Debra Butler from Terre Haute is the River City Art Association’s September Artist of the Month featured in the Vigo County Public Library Virtual Exhibition in https://youtu.be/10yVUseHDkk/.
Butler has explored a variety of mediums, but has been primarily a landscape and nature photographer for the past 40 years.
The library’s YouTube video features photographs she captured at various times in Turkey Run State Park near Marshall, Indiana.
“I tried to select a sample that shared my attraction to beautiful places as I walked through Turkey Run State Park,” said Butler. “While photographing in the field, I approach it as an plein air painting and work to achieve spatial balance in digital shooting with the layout and ambiance that I want to capture. I do very little computer editing.
The scenes chosen by Butler for the virtual collection share the natural environment which brings him serenity.
“Although sometimes I wonder if I am an artist or just a perpetual tourist, if my photographs even bring you a moment of calm and tranquility, I am happy that I have managed to share the beautiful world I see”, a Butler said.
After high school, Butler went on to study at Purdue University, finding time to take drawing, design and photography classes. She then moved to California and became a lawyer.
While graduating from law school, Butler worked in arts and craft supply retail stores and framing departments, learning to use different art materials and framing techniques, and enjoyed painting and woodworking in his spare time. After becoming interested in 35mm photography, she began to take photographs as an art form in earnest. “I had fun photographing ball games and surfing events… but I found out that I much preferred taking pictures of landscapes,” she added.
When his legal career was at its most active, Butler was able to pursue his artistic interests by photographing his vacation trips. “Sometimes I was able to slip away for a class and spent time learning watercolor painting. But photography has always been my favorite medium for documenting the world I see. Due to my work as a disability lawyer, I feel a calling to capture what I see in my outings to share it with less mobile friends.
Butler and her husband retired to Terre Haute in 2019. With more unstructured time, she renewed her commitment to her artistic endeavors. “I have recently started to share my photographs publicly because I feel that the serenity and regeneration that one can find in watching beautiful scenes of nature is especially needed now.”