Earth Tones: Exploring the Creative in Nature

Earth Tones: Exploring the Creative in Nature

By April Sullivan

Join us at Buescher State Park in Smithville, Texas for a day of creativity on Saturday, October 8th! This is free and open to any current or prior military member, Veteran, or family member of a Veteran or military member.

Meet at the park at 9:00 AM, then break into groups for the morning activities. Meet back together for lunch (provided), then return to your group for the afternoon before a final wrap-up. Choose from one of three creative tracks for the day: Photography, Creative Writing, or Visual Art. We have three great instructors! Here is what you can expect:

Introduction to Landscape/Outdoor Photography with Jerry Sargent 

Bring your camera (preferably DLSR or Mirrorless camera) and a willingness to learn. If you have lenses or a tripod, bring those as well. You will start in the Recreation Hall looking at photos and being introduced to camera basics and concepts such as exposure triangle and basic composition. Then, be sure you have your hiking clothes and shoes on and your water bottle handy, because you will be walking the trails (accessible options available) and applying what you learned as you take your own photos. Then, return to the hall for a photo review.

Bonus from Jerry – He will be at the park for Sunrise and Sunset photos!  Meet him at Point of Interest 5 on Park Road 1C as marked on the Buescher State Park Trails Map (30.055531, -97.177219) at 0700 for sunrise photos and again at that same location for sunset photos from 1830 – 1930.

trees around a pond       mist rising from a river

More about Jerry Sargent: 

photo portrait of Jerry Sargent in front of a black background.I am a landscape/outdoor/nature photographer living in the beautiful Texas Hill Country. My interest in photography began in about 2014. I joined a photography club on post while stationed in Japan with the US Army just to learn a little more about my newly purchased camera.  Before I knew it, I had the bug! I’ve always loved being in the outdoors and have just naturally gravitated towards landscape/nature photography, plus, it always serves as a good excuse to get out and enjoy the great outdoors.

I feel every good picture should tell a story. Sometimes the story is simple, sometimes complex. Like all good stories it should evoke an emotion; maybe happy, sad, moody, somber or joyous. It may mean something to you and something totally different to me. As an artist, it is up to me to find that story and present it to you in a way that evokes that emotion, captures your attention and draws you in. While it is not always easy, it is what I look for every time I press the shutter button.

Writing Workshop: Truth and Memory with Ben Reed 

Out on the Recreation Hall patio, this workshop will feature exercises designed to connect creativity with the truth of experience. Participants will write passages from scratch, which they will then revise, develop, and share. This process is intended to help develop or refresh an appreciation for the literary tension between memory and invention. Students can bring either laptops or pen and paper.

More about Ben Reed: 

Photograph of Ben Reed in front of a black background.Ben Reed is a senior lecturer of literature and creative writing at Texas State University. He is an award-winning short-story writer and the former fiction editor of Arcadia. His fiction has appeared in PankSeattle ReviewWest Branch, and online at The Adroit Journal and Tin House. His essays have appeared in Southern Humanities ReviewThe Texas Review, and online at The Millions and The Missouri Review. He has organized workshops for writers of all ages and backgrounds.

Collage and Painting with Michael Golden 

Hosted in the Group Picnic Pavilion, you will start with short creativity exercises. Then, after warming up you will make collages. Materials will be provided, but bring a favorite magazine if you want specific source material. You will be inspired by the nature surrounding you! After lunch, you will be painting from nature. Again, use the provided materials, or your own paints and palette.

a peacock , a shell, and the earth.         painting of 3 birds.

More about Michael Golden: 

A man standing outside with donkeysMichael Golden is an artist living and working in Carmine, TX. Michael went to the University of Notre Dame, later dropping out of med school to be an artist. He ended up in Houston, becoming a professor at Houston Community College, where he chaired several visual arts programs. His images blend wildlife and birds with sacred geometry or starry skies. He has exhibited his art at the Painting Center and Artists Space in New York and recently had a retrospective of his work in Houston and in Chicago, at the Beverly Arts Center where he took classes as a child. His work is in several museum, corporate, and private collections. Golden currently teaches with the Arts for Rural Texas Program, is learning about the native plants where he lives, and continues to volunteer as a wildlife rehabber.

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