World-Class Rural Virginia Artist

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The artist’s world is limitless. It can be found anywhere, far from where he lives or a few feet away. It is always on his doorstep. ~ Paul Strand

“Gee, I thought the place would be more ostentacious than this given the artists’ reputation,” I thought as we drove up and parked outside the gallery of internationally known sculpture artists William H Turner and his son David H Turner on the eastern shore of the Chesapeake in northern Virginia. However, inside the father and son’s work was exhibited in abundance. The 4,000 square feet of gallery space made for great browsing. I didn’t realize until later that a foundry, metal shops, a wood shop, wax shop, mold room and storage in nine separate buildings were also on site. The Turner’s have the assistance of 20 skilled artisans they supervise throughout the multi-step process.

Their limited edition sculpture includes more than 400 designs. Birds of prey, game birds, deer and other American wildlife and animals seen on safari are among them. Smaller pieces include rodents, frogs, turtles, fish and other marine life. More than 100 public installations of Turner Sculpture are located on some of the finest college campuses, in aquariums, nature conservancies, zoos, museums and botanic gardens throughout the country. The father and son have even presented a piece of their art to President George Bush, Sr. at The White House.

heron signed

duck signed

rams head signed

bass fish signed

As I perused the gallery, I got a very real sense of the importance of passing along the craft of sculpture making to younger generations of Turners as well as an appreciation for other mediums of art. One display space was dedicated to cast sculptures that grandchildren had created. A large number of canvases painted by various family members hang throughout the gallery space.

children turner signed

Writing and independent publishing is just another aspect of William H Turner’s talents. His rural farm-boy voice is prevalent throughout his book Memoirs of a Farm Boy as well as in the Turner Sculpture “Tracks” newsletter. Stories such as Mrs. Chrysler and the Pickle Barrel, which is excerpted in one of the newsletters, is a charming recounting of his artist/client relationship with a wealthy woman and her appreciation of his work. His books also include East of the Chesapeake and Of An Evening.

turner books signed

For a farm boy from Virginia, born in 1935, many roads have been traveled and explored to reach the notable status that the father and son enjoy together as world class sculpture artists.  William H. Turner’s life after college began as a dentist.

Vaarious signed

pheasant signed

pelican in progress signed

It was a privilege to speak with  William H. Turner, Sr. in person and he told me that many of their sculptures are permanently exhibited at the Benson Sculpture Gardens in Loveland, Colorado.

And I was taken by great surprise when I saw the work of artist Wick Ahrens in the gallery. I was familiar with his whale sculptures, as he resided in Peru, Vermont for decades. Peru is the town right next to my thirty-year place of residence in Bondville.

boy on stilts signed

My favorite piece was from their childhood memories collection “A Boy on Stilts.” I thoroughly enjoyed my visit to  Turner Sculpture and was so very impressed with their craftsmanship and skilled artistry.

This blog is brought to you by award-winning author Sue Batton Leonard. Check in on us on Monday on All Things Fulfilling!

Appetite for Metal Art?

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The aim of art is to represent not the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance. – Aristotle (384-322 BC)

“Mares eat oats and goats eat oats” … and everything around them. I can’t remember the exact lyrics of the song my sister, brothers and I sang in our childhood but it went something like that.

When I saw these billy goat lawn sculptures at Art in the Park, they caught my attention. They’re reminiscent of Hanratty, one of the childhood pets in our family’s menagerie.

A very creative artist took the lyrics to the song literally and created these metal sculptures from found items. The guts of the animal reflects exactly what goats are known for “trash eating.” Garden tools, tin cans, children’s metal toys, hubcabs and more are incorporated into these fun to look at garden ornaments.

I laughed when I saw them. A short time later when I returned to the display to show my husband, several had been sold. A good indication that others appreciated the humor and ideas of the artist in designing this craft.

Do you have treasure in your basement or attic that you could reuse to make something special? Even if it it’s just for yourself you can have fun creating. Art is therapeutic and a good way to cure whatever is ailing inside of you.

An artist is not paid for his labor but for his vision. ~ James McNeill Whistler

billygoat1

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This blog is brought to you by Sue Batton Leonard, author of Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected and short stories Lessons of Heart & Soul.

A Fold in the Story

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“It’s been my experience that you can nearly always enjoy things if you make up your mind firmly that you will.”
L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables

So, today is a continuation of the story about the Girl Scout fundraiser I attended. Along with the creative offerings of cocktails and appetizers there was a silent auction and some raffle items.  I was feeling a bit defeated when I was outbid on a couple of the gift baskets. I wasn’t quick enough on my feet!

silent auction item

At the end of the evening, a friend gave me a heads up that I needed to go over to the raffle table because there was something with my name on it. As soon as I saw what it was, I couldn’t believe it. Previously, I had seen many of these creations in art galleries and in exhibitions and had dreamed of someday having one for my book shelf! Now I am the proud owner of an Art Fold book sculpture, a Premiere Edition, which has been made out of a volume of Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery. How fun is that?

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Ann of Green Gables cover

artfolds joy

The biggest surprise of all was the artist who made the book, Luciana Frigerio, is from Vermont! My home state of more than thirty years. Check out the artists’ website! He has many wonderful products for those who love creative gifts incorporating books, art and sculpture.

What joy I am having along my path of book publishing. The journey has been extremely demanding work, educational, terrific, uncertain and, to be quite honest, even terrifying at times. Discovering the next fold in opening my story has kept me busy and engaged because the experience has been completely what I have made of it.

Join me tomorrow and I will give you a summary of my time with the Seniors of Routt County.

This blog has been brought to you by the award-winning author of Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected and short stories – Lessons of Heart & Soul.

 

 

Advent Day #22 Open Hearts in Community

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Christmas, my child, is love in action. Every time we love, every time we give, it’s Christmas.” ~ Dale Evans

I’m more proud than ever to attend a church whose motto is “Open Hearts, Open Minds and Open Doors.” The Steamboat United Methodist Church reached out, extended their welcome and showed that they practice what they preach to the Jewish congregation here in Steamboat. The menorah issue was put to rest and it was lit on Tuesday December 16th on the front lawn of the United Methodist Church. The Menorah is symbolic of  “light, wisdom, and Divine inspiration” but it was also designed as creative art for our community.

This story was broadcast on CBS and in newspapers in other cities. To watch the video about what ended up being a story about love in action, please follow this link.

http://denver.cbslocal.com/2014/12/11/menorah-blocked-from-courthouse-lawn-in-steamboat-springs/

One of the best things you can teach children when they are old enough to grasp the concepts is about multi-cultural understanding. Author Sue Batton Leonard recounts her personal experience with multi-cultural love in her memoir, an anthology of stories in her book Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected. It has won several awards, one in the young adult category. The book is perfect for giving to “tweens’ and teens and an entire family.

Xmas image of book cover for Mailchimp newsletter

The memoir, an award-winning anthology of short stories is available in audio book (narrated by the author), paperback and e-book. Here is how to order:

Audio Book http://amzn.to/1trrTl9
Paperback http://amzn.to/1qmcEHI
e-Book http://amzn.to/1lx7oRh

Glassworks in the Garden

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I prefer winter and fall, when you feel the bone structure in the landscape – the loneliness of it – the dead feeling of winter.  Something waits beneath it – the whole story doesn’t show.” –  Andrew Wyeth

The remains of summer, now shades of gray, ocher, umber, gold, crimson, wheat, rust and garnet lay dead and dried covering the forest floor and spaces of the outdoor gallery of the Denver Botanic Gardens. Then Pow!  Just as you rounded another corner intense spurts of color were exhibited in creative settings picking up the energy of the gardens where the plants are bedded down for their long winter’s rest.

IMG_20141128_152131_052On Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, my husband and I snubbed shopping the stores and malls  and visited the Denver Botanic Gardens. Even though we were visiting during one of the darkest seasons it was filled with glory, brightly highlighted by the work of international glass artist Dale Chihuly. Color was present in the natural landscapes, in ponds and in streams. It was a sight to behold.

For more information on Dale Chihuly and the publications that chronical his education and work as a young man on a Fulbright Fellowship at the Venini glass factory in Venice, Italy and subsequent forming of the Pilchuck Glass School in Washington State, please visit these sites.www.pilchuck.com and http://www.chihuly.com.

We thoroughly enjoyed our day at the Denver Botanic Gardens. Our only regrets were that we hadn’t visited much earlier in the season also when the flowers were blooming and we could see the whole story.

Enjoy the journey through these visual images of the Chihuly exhibition, and return to All Things Fulfilling tomorrow. I will share something else that I found besides glassworks in the bare bones of the winter garden.

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This blog is brought to you by the award-winning author Sue Batton Leonard. For information on her book Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected, please visit this link. http://amzn.to/1vDFUMt.

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Texas Art Exploration

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All art is a kind of exploring. To discover and reveal is the way every artist sets about his business. ~Robert Flaherty

header_ArtistsGalleryAugust2013Today I continue my interview of artist Sandra Sherrod, an artist who splits her time between Steamboat Springs, Colorado and Houston, Texas.

Sue:  Sandra, what medium of art would you like to try, but haven’t tapped into it?

Sandra: Sculpture. I may try to do that when I am in Houston at a place called Glassell. http://www.mfah.org/visit/glassell-school/.  When I am in Houston I take all kinds of art courses. I am always learning.

In Houston, my art sales are stronger, particularly among women, because my pieces have a feminine side to it. In Steamboat, it seems the more masculine art sells a little better.

Sue: Interesting.  Do you stick with one project and finish it or do you jump from project to project?

Sandra: My rule of thumb is to make 15 – 20 pieces and explore an idea. When I get bored with it, I jump to something else. History has shown that both kinds of artists, those that work in only one medium and multi-dimensional artists can be successful. No matter what, you have to tweak your ideas every so often and not overwork it.

Sue:  What do you like to create the most?

Sandra: Writing is my favorite. As you know writing a book can take years whereas with other forms of art you can complete and get it out quicker to be seen by others. The satisfaction comes more immediately.

Sue:  What are you writing now, anything?

Sandra: I’ve been writing about 1,000 words a day. I just completed a series of eight books in the fantasy genre. They’re intergalactic stories. I am looking for a publisher so I can be involved in other creative projects. The series is geared to age nine to twelve.  I am also writing magical realism – earth stories with magical things happening. These are for young adult to adult.

Sue:  Seems like I’ve heard you read some of them at the Steamboat Writers Group.http://steamboatwriters.com/.

Sandra: Yes, I have read some of them to the group.

Sue: I look forward to seeing them published.

For a long time I’ve wanted to sit down and talk with Sandra about her life as an artist. Since  she was “manning the gallery” the day I visited with her, I had the added bonus of learning more about all the other artists The Artists Gallery of Steamboat represents.

Thank you, Sandra. You’d also make a wonderful art educator because you are so knowledgeable and your heart and soul is really in it!

Sandra’s jewelry was featured at The Artist Gallery in Steamboat throughout August, but it will continue to be displayed – stop in and see it. You can also communicate with her about ordering through her website. www.SandraSherrod.com.

This blog is brought to you by www.CornerstoneFulfillmentService.com. See you on Monday.

Art at the Heart of the Story

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Life is a quarry, out of which we are to mold and chisel and complete a character.” ~Samuel Butler

Yesterday we featured a soon-to-be released book by Pearl S Buck. The unpublished manuscript was found many years after her death, and the story is projected to be one of Buck’s best publications yet. If you missed out on the blog about The Eternal Wonder, scroll down and read it.

Photo Below: Pearl S Buck

Pearl S BuckToday I’d like to highlight one of Pearl S Buck’s lesser known stories, called This Proud Heart. The story is about a sculpture artist who is torn between her second marriage and her craft. Her life becomes a juggling act to try to find balance between her relationship with her husband and her art. I wonder how many artists worldwide have this theme weaving in and out of their own personal life and career.

The struggles of the main character, Susan, were particularly burdensome because in the 1930’s when the story takes place, few women ever made difficult choices between marriage and a profession. Overwhelmingly, women stayed the course and made self-sacrifices in the best interest of the marriage. And gaining credibility during that era as an artist or in any business, for women, was much more difficult.

Artists, put This Proud Heart on your reading list. Click for info & ordering
 It is fulfilling to read something other than contemporary fiction every once in a while.  Reacquaint yourself with a classic from time to time, you’ll most likely rediscover some of the characteristics of why novels like this become classics in the first place.

This Proud Heart can be downloaded on Nook and other digital readers, as an e-book. Click for info & ordering

Do return tomorrow to All Things Fulfilling. I will be interviewing an artist about all sorts of things. This blog brought to you by Sue Batton Leonard, author of Gift of a Lifetime:Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected. Click for Info & ordering