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!

Artistic Whimsy and Ingenuity

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What’s life without whimsy? ~ Dr Sheldon Cooper – The Big Bang Theory

I like the concept of taking old things that some people might consider to be passe´and bringing them back through the process of “upcycling.” The artistic ingenuity that goes into reusing and redesigning found old items into something unique strikes my interest. Not to even mention that fewer items are now being sent to landfills.

In my own home, I like the juxtaposition between old and new. Over the years I’ve incorporated some antiques into my home décor.  It allows for variety and one’s own personality and unique preferences to really shine through. Each person’s interpretation of what makes a home comfortable and attractive is different. And I find it fulfilling to see how people artistically embellish their living environments, rather than using “cookie cutter” interior decorating style.

A few artists at Art in the Park in Steamboat Springs exhibited “upcycled” work that I particularly enjoyed. Chelles Painted Décor by Michelle Welch was one artist whose work struck a chord within me for her book night lights and other home accessories which had colorful glass plates incorporated into their design.  Her booth space was particularly attractive and showcased her crafts well. There was a lot of thought put into her set-up. Here are a few images.Visit her Facebook page!

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Up-Cycled Antiques had a great assortment of wind chimes made with old kitchen utensils. Their whimsical approach to art made me smile. After all, life shouldn’t be taken too serious. It spoils all the fun! Here are a few images  I captured and you can visit their Facebook Page or their etsy.com site to see more of their creations.

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That’s all for today, folks. We will be here again tomorrow and I hope you’ll check in on us!

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.

Film Friday: Katzenberg on Movies

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Some time ago on All Things Fulfilling, I wrote about the power of movies as art to heal. Today we will be focusing on changes in the filmmaking industry which may make movie going easier as our population ages.

Jeffrey Katzenberg, the Dreamworks Animation Chief gave a talk about a year ago at the Beverly Hills’ Milken Global Conference on the Entrepreneurial Leadership in the Corporate World panel. He spoke of his opinions of how the movie industry is going to change in coming years. With the ability of “the cloud” being able to hold a vast amount of content, the window for seeing movies at the theatre will become three weeks. The period of time when receipts are highest for even the biggest blockbuster.

At-the-Movies_Sanctuary-GraphicWhat does all this mean? If you wish to see movies in the big screen, don’t delay. Their runs in the theatre will be much shorter. After that if you want to see a movie, you can pay to watch it on your computer, i-phone or in your home theatre. Depending on the size platform you are using to view the movie, the prices will vary. The larger your screen the higher the price. Interesting concept, and these changes have already begun to take place. Read the full article, it is interesting.

That is the latest development in the world of film and e-commerce has it’s advantages for seniors. If it is not possible to go to the movies there are now a variety of ways of to watch the latest films in the comfort of a living room. That’s all for this Film Friday.

On Sunday I will be posting a story on All Things Fulfilling as a tribute to my dad in honor of Fathers Day. See you then!

This blog is brought to you by the award-winning author, Sue Batton Leonard.

 

 

Good News: It’s All There

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“In a knowledge economy natural selection favors organizations that can most effectively harness and coordinate collective intellectual energy and creative capacity. ~ Justin Rosenstein

There is a new website, just launched on Tuesday called Guardian Sustainable Business. It is organized by some of America’s top companies such as Google and Coca Cola. The  mission behind GSB is to “rethink the prosperity hub.” It’s target audience will be 18 to 30 year olds who will be our next generation of business leaders. It’s hoped they will do things with an eye on sustainability.

sustainable world“The aim is to provide a dynamic showcase of technologies, campaigns and entrepreneurs for young people to participate in, celebrate, share and draw on to change their own lives and the lives of others.” According to this article, the good news is “everything we need to co-create a sustainable world is already out there.”

The human creative spirit will be relied on to bring about much change in the way people live. I must ask, is that not what brought America to its prosperous rankings the world in the first place?

Interested in learning more about Guardian Sustainable Business? Click on this link. Sign up to get mailings and become informed about how as a nation we can harness everything we’ve got and move into a more sustainable place as a nation.

Next Thirsty Thursday, the day of the week devoted to good news, we will follow up this story with another about children entrepreneurs who are climbing the corporate ladder with their digital knowledge.

This blog is brought to you by award-winning author Sue Batton Leonard. See you tomorrow on All Things Fulfilling.com.

Worthiness in Writing

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Friendships begun in this world will be taken up again, never to be broken off.  ~Francis de Sales 1567 – 1622

A few people have asked me how many books I’ve sold and my response is “I don’t know. I’m not paying much attention.” Truthful statement. Believe it or not.

To me sales figures are irrelevant compared to the fulfilling feelings of accomplishment that have come with knowing I completed what I set out to do – tackle writing a memoir and publishing it independently. No one can relate to the process unless they have been through the paces.

Secondly, when I get feedback from readers, it makes publishing the story all worthwhile. People that I hadn’t heard from in decades, that I thought were gone from my life a long time ago, have come climbing out of the woodwork.

education2For instance, a college math professor from my days at Johnson State College in Vermont sent me an e-mail that I will always treasure. His comments after having read my memoir made me feel that I was not just another one of his thousands of students that passed through the halls of that higher institution during his life-long career of teaching.

Here is some of what he had to say after reading Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected:

Sue, I just finished your book and “shared” it via e-mail.  Of course, it brought many tears to my eyes being exposed to your early, early years.  And, it nearly goes without saying that Fanny has made an indelible mark on my mind, having known both you and Jan.  It is a wonderful story filled with the joy of life and living.

I wish you all the best in whatever writing you undertake in the future.  It surely is not a simple task and I thought this effort very well done!

My very best to you and Terry ~ J. Davis

Since rekindling our teacher/student connection, we have had many meaningful back and forth e-mail discussions on various different blogs about life that I have posted on All Things Fulfilling.

The point of this blog is to say “the  value of writing a story is not in book sales. The true worthiness comes in what writing feels like to the author’s heart.” ~ Sue Batton Leonard

 

Book Covers and Fonts

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Like all forms of design, visual design is about problem solving…~ Bob Baxley

So, an author friend of mine is getting ready to have her next release published. Last week, she posted images of several cover designs that she is considering. I let my opinion be known only because she asked for some feedback and I understand the value of feedback with regard to publishing.

It got me to thinking of the cover design of my 2nd publication, Short Stories: Lessons of Heart & Soul. I decided that it was time to make a change to the cover. I love the cover image but the font of the title has been problematic in a digital format. I didn’t foresee the kinds of problems I am having with it. For the title I had chosen a font that is in script. Esthetically it looked good with the cover image but it was not a good decision on my part because it is not very readable digitally.

So there has been a slight revision to the appearance of the e-book cover of Short Stories: Lessons in Heart & Soul. Here is a before and after.

Below – Initial Font Used in Title on Cover Design

Lessons of Heart V4 Cover

Below: Revised for Better Readability of Title in Small-form Digital Formats

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You’ve gotta love e-books, it’s so easy to make changes. Download a new version of a cover or revised text and you are all set. Not much more than a click of a mouse and very little expense.

Chalk up this necessary revision to lessons learned in digital publishing! Since e-books are still undergoing tweeks in development I’m not the first to encounter this problem. Here is a good article about e-books and fonts. 

See you back here tomorrow. This blog is brought to you by award-winning author Sue Batton Leonard.

Leadership Traits for Writers

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“The two most powerful warriors are patience and time.” ~ Leo Tolstoy

rising to victoryIt came as no surprise to me that Major General Louis W Prentiss, Jr., the author who was the subject of yesterday’s blog has written about his life in the Army and had it published independently.  Many of the leadership qualities that served the Major General well in his military career are nearly identical to what it takes to become an independently published author.

If you anticipate publishing, be honest with yourself for a successful outcome.  Do you possess these leadership traits?

  • Dedication
  • Stamina
  • Energy
  • Fierce Determination
  • No Excuses Attitude
  • Self-Motivation
  • Tenacity

“Ok,” you say, with unwaivering confidence, “I’ve got the right stuff. I can do this!”

Move ahead then with confidence and the understanding that at some time or another you may get writers block. You may also face unavoidable challenges that are all part of the time element involved in writing and publishing. If you are realistic in your understanding of what it takes to be successful in your efforts, you will not let the rough times defeat you.

Tip: Speak positively of your progress. No matter how long it takes to tackle the project don’t be too harsh on yourself.  Continually move ahead reminding yourself you have what it takes and you’ll get yourself through the project.

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