The picture that set it all into motion…..
Brothers On The Frio River © Bonnie Feaster Chapa
In even the most perfect life, creative energy unfulfilled can be haunting. Right out of high school, the structure and dictates of a commercial art program snuffed out my artistic candle. Structure and organization are alive and well in my left brain, but trying to apply someone else’s demands to the right side of my brain was not a career I wanted to undertake. Another, more practical path seemed the best alternative to living where art equaled frustration. A degree in Environmental Health and Safety was about as far from art as I could get, but it fit my left-brain perfectly. The best part of that career choice was finding the most incredible life partner and husband. Together, we have two beautiful, intelligent boys who are the delight of my life.
Our family discovered the Frio River, the coldest and most beautiful river in Texas. Cascading across the rocky foundation of the Texas Hill Country, gulping cold limestone springs into its flow; the Frio is an oasis every sunburned Texan longs to fall into. Soon, my friends and family wanted to take home the images from the Frio, the Gulf of Mexico, the beaches, fields and vistas my camera captured. A digitally created image of my two sons, sitting arm-in-arm beside the glittering Frio, set in motion the interest and demand for this artistic pursuit that cannot be denied. Now, my images that first appeared on my mother’s wall can be found in prints, on canvasses, phone covers, and pillows across Central Texas. Every day, someone asks, “Bonnie, what’s next?”
I hear color the way others hear music. I love photography, and capturing beautiful scenes or colorful patterns around us in Central Texas has always been another frustration because no matter how beautiful the photograph turns out, the music of the colors and patterns I saw through the lens is muted for me. When we fell under the spell of the Frio River in the Texas Hill Country, I began to see images in my photographs that would not be silenced, and I found the music again with digital photo manipulation.
I “see” the art the image can become, and I know I can recreate the image that still plays in my heart. That discovery unleashed the creativity I set aside so long ago, and my perfect life has become round, and full and bursting with life. I have always felt I was the lucky one – the one who had her cake, and dessert never ended. Now, this medium and the treasure that I find in the images I create are the icing I didn’t know was missing. This symphony of color, form, function and symmetry takes my breath away, and I can play it again and again as the image becomes the reflection of my vision, and more.
Bonnie Feaster Chapa