my personal website about the stuff that makes me more or less real and almost human, especially including art and birds.
The Amateur Birder's Journal and DallasArtsRevue
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Links down this page: My Cat Art Birds Photographs Ideas Family Resumes Websites Blogs
My Current Favorite Portrait of me, by Anna Palmer: We were
waiting at a bus stop after touring the State Fair of Texas, where
I found some paper to cover my head, so I'd be a little cooler.
Who I Am
I am a photographer, writer, editor and art critic, Local Art Promoter and curmugeon in charge. Among other things.
I used to be am exhibition organizer, poet, website producer and curator. I have been a Staff Photographer for The Dallas Times Herald, Dallas NOTES from The Underground, HOOKA, The Austin Sun, The Edinburg Daily Review, and I've had photos published in dozens of other publications around the world, including Life Magazine, The Texas Observer and the lowly Dallas Observer, who usually just stole my photos.
Because I was involved in the underground newspaper business, I was seriously blacklisted by the Dallas Police and undisclosed others for many years. I recently spoke with a woman who viewed portfolios for an ad agency, and she told me I was the best photographer they'd ever seen (always nice to hear that, but Dallas has many fine photographer, so I gotta wonder, too), but the Dallas Police prohibited them from hiring me. So I found other ways to make money, and I still make several hundred photographs every week.
I've been a photojournalist, typesetter, community radio and TV producer, milkman, Secret Film Courier in Viet Nam, Instructor of Photography at El Centro College and the US Air Force, and I taught classes in Publication Design for honors college classes at Richland College in Dallas, Texas, USA.
Others entries from my Fascinating Jobs Collection include: Yellow Cab Driver, Publisher of Underground Newspapers and a Night Watchman at The Imperial House of Message in Irving. I have curated 14 art exhibitions and am a published art critic — writing about art longer than anyone else in Dallas. My story about George W. Bush's paintings of world leaders was published by the very Conservative National Review, although there's a better version of it with my own photographs on DallasArtsRevue.com.
Check out my resume for most of the rest of my jobs. In the last few years, I've kept the same jobs and jettisoned more as I've passed into my 73th year.
My photographs have been published in dozens of publications around the world, including LIfe magazine, Jet and Texas Monthly, and they've been exhibited in more than 100 art exhibitions, so I no longer need to buy big, expensive prints; I just post them online.
I don't like to do the same any thing for very long, so I don't. I'm easily bored but never without something interesting to do. And I keep coming back to making photographs — especially of birds and art, and writing, editing, designing and publishing — community-based publications (including this one), although the medium keeps changing.
Photograph of the first American White Pelican to Return to Sunset Bay in Dallas, Texas USA in 2017
Most of the time my favorite blog is my The Amateur Birder's Journal.
Sometimes my favorite blog is my ThEdBlog (spelled and pronounced a runned-together thed blog), which is me blogging about me publishing DallasArtsRevue and living life as I have come to understand it, if I do. Those pages are illustrated with often enigmatic photographs from my personal experience.
Used to be that every time I got a new camera, I'd start a new Learning My New Camera blog, and the collection now includes my continuing Nikon D800E journal and my (Panasonic Lumix) G5 Journal and other cameras including my Nikon d7000 journal; the Canon S90 and Canon S90 Tips & Accessories and Canon S90 Accessory Nikon D200 journal that are mostly completed. I'm back to using my elderly but perfectly usable Nikon D810 after it jumped out of my hands after I fell at the lake. But I often use my Nikon D800E and my much-newer Panasonic Lumix GX8, although I'm hankering for a Sony a9 that's wonderful but way too expensive, since I'd have to buy all new lenses for it.
I am also back to covering Dallas area exhibitions blog style in an ongoing art criticism series called Art Here Lately. These are huge, all in one, web pages that include photographs and criticism of art for months and months. I quit for nearly a year, then warmed back to it, am as of Thursday October 12, 2017, I'm writing a new Art Here Lately and organizing the old ones, again.
new I quit writing about art for awhile. Not sure how long, but more than months and less than a year, but I'm back at it again, and I recently finished my new story about some shows at 500X that will be at http://www.DallasArtsRevue.com/art-crit/Here_Lately/ArtHereLately.html.
I also did a rather enigmatic picture story with hardly any words, about an official conversation about a photographer, where I only photographed people and what they wore, instead of jabbering away about art, that story is already there, and you can look at it all you want. Now I'm getting into jabbering about the art.
DallasArtsRevue includes — in its more than six hundred web pages — art, art stories and news, views and reviews of, by and for the artists of Dallas, Texas, USA. I'm the editor, publisher and main writer. In one medium or another, I've been doing DallasArtsRevue for 38 years. It's the main reason I'm still here.
Ideas + Spirituality
Spiritual — The Meta Index includes links to my photographic pages of SolstiCelebrations and other bits of magic.
The Magic of Color
Images of personal and public magic
My metaphysical and philosophical writings about intimacy and prayer and some other stuff.
A Meditation of the Five Ancient Elements
J R Compton's Cosmic Coping Kit of Metaphysical & Other Knowledge
2,435 Movies Reviewed this century.
The best of My Poetry
I used to do websites. Well, I still do my own websites — JRCompton.com here and that big other one, DallasArtsRevue.com that I am finally back to updating after more than least six months vacation from writing about art. I don't do sites for other people anymore. Just as well. These two keep me busy.
My most recent other person's website is that of T. J. Mabry. It's a beauty, but I keep wanting her to find somebody closer to where she lives to help her with it.
My full resume
The shows my photographs have been in
Exhibitions I've produced and/or curated.
My logo designs
And all those employments that have filled in the betweens.
Every year, 20% of humans on this planet change their email addresses, and so do i, and my latest email is where my latest email address always is — on this site's Contact page, which is not anywhere near as entertaining as DallasArtsRevue's Contact page .
My Father Died on May 22 2015
Check out — 116 photographs of many of the people who knew and loved my father on his 100th Birthday in 2014. Whenever anyone complained about much of anything, he liked to say, "It gets worse," usually with a big smile.
Visiting Daddy during His Last Days
My 2012 Clare Family Reunion page and my 2008 Pictures from a Reunion include pix of both my parents and all their kids and cousins and etc.
My Mother's 90th Birthday in early 2011
My Father's 97th Birthday in late 2010 was a great excuse for a family gathering.
Maravilla for Mom is of, in and around my family's home of 40 in the Lower Rio Grande Valley of Texas. Included are many pictures of all of us, including wonderful pix of my late Father.
The Clare Family Story - my mother, Mary Clare Compton's family story
Back Home in Indiana - My Father's Story
The Ballad of Harold & Emily - my mother's parents' story
The Fire - How my father's mother died in a fire saving his life, and what happened after that.
The new Pegasus at the Dallas City-owned Omni Hotel - April 2015
I took this photograph for a story about the new Pegasus — and all the old Dallas Pegasi. I really like it here, looking much more like art than a sign for Big Oil, and that must be Bellerophon and some pals working on it from the inside.
Pegasus (or Pegasos) is a winged-horse from Greek mythology which was fathered by Poseidon and was born from the severed neck of the gorgon Medusa, slain by Perseus … Poseidon gave Pegasus to his son Bellerophon who put Pegasus to good use in his famous battle with the Chimaera." according to the Ancient History Encyclopedia.
The red Pegasus glyph was originally copyrighted by the South Africa branch of the then Rochester, New York-based Vacuum Oil Company, which had originally used a stylized red gargoyle to advertise its horse-drawn carriage and steam engine lubricants, well before gasoline became a product. A red gargoyle seems a more apt symbol for an oil company, but red gargoyles were already atop downtown Dallas' Old Red Courthouse, now the Old Red Museum, that was originally built downtown in 1892. Those terra cotta figures are more properly called acroteria (architectural ornament) and are in the shape of wyverns (Latin for serpent), all according to my research for the story on DallasArtsRevue, my other website.
Anyway, my new Pegasus story has lots of pix of the new skeleton being installed at the Omni. The old Pegasus that was replaced in late 1999 on top of the Magnolia Hotel, also in downtown Dallas gave its red skin to the newer Pegasus out in front of The City of Dallas' own hotel, I'll take more pix and more potshots at the whole ordeal. For awhile, it was — or is — online here, but by May or June 2015, it'll be online here. Supposedly.
The whole project is mostly City of Dallas promotion, and only peripherally has anything to do with art, but I'm a big Pegasus fan, and sometime in the last century, DallasArtsRevue had a whole issue of stories and pictures in glorious Black & White in a special Pegasus Issue, which, if I can find one of, might provide even more textual information, so I can post even more Pegasus pictures on it
northwest corner of Saint Francis of Assissi Church in Rancho de Taos, New Mexico
This shot was from a brief photo essay of the St. Franciss of Assissi Church in Rancho de Taos, New Mexico — the one that Georgia O'Keefe often painted. Eventually, I replaced that page with photographs of something else.
Palo Duro Canyon October 2 2014
Dallas to Austin to Houston and back with Matt Kaplinsky
Galveston Island January 2013 The Ferry Early May 2013
San Antonio June 2012
South Texas Coast May 2012 June 2014
Corpus Christi, The South Texas Coast and Goose Island
Glacier Park, Montana summer 2010
San Francisco, California October 2011
Birds of West Texas, New Mexico & Arizona in 2006
Down South in New Orleans
Angels on Fire 2002
Colorado Trip 2001
Me Meditating in Casa Rinconada at Chaco Canyon 2006
Chaco Canyon is one of my most favorite places on earth.
Lost in the Ozona — a night in the Ozona City Jail mid-1970s
Texas' Lower Rio Grande Valley - The Birds of the Rio Grande I and the much more popular (just under 130,000 hits, so far) Birds of the Rio Grande II (winter)
Birds in the Monterrey Aquarium White Tailed Kite in CA other California birds
Richland Creek Wildlife Management Area July 2014
Stripey baby whistlers somewhere
Bald Eagle Carrying a Catfish
On January 27, 2009, I was the first person to photograph a Bald Eagle at White Rock Lake wholly inside Dallas, Texas, USA. And I wonder if this eagle and that one are the same, although these photographs (as well as the ones of it perched on its usual log well out into Sunset Bay resting a few weeks previous) are substantially better, because I have better equipment now — better lens and a much higher resolution camera, and I've been practicing a lot in the last five years, usually adding more bird photos to my Amateur Birder's Journal at least three times a week.
Anna's photograph of me photographing birds at Goose Island along the South Texas Coast
Our trip down the coast from Dallas, down US 77 to Corpus Christi and surrounding areas, then back up to San Antonio to visit my parents, and finally back along the slow parking lot known as I-35 to Dallas. I've been posting my bird pix from that trip on my Amateur (me) Birder's Journal on this website.
Reddish Egret Fishing on an Intercoastal Turnaround near Corpus Christi, Texas
This may be my favorite trip photo. Intercoastals are the highways up and down the coast, and Turnarounds are the more or less solid ground that holds up bridges and lets travelers turn around and go back from whence they came or visit the various life forms underneath, where are bars and bait houses and boat ramps. The current link for that page is jrcompton.com/photos/The_Birds/J/June-14.html or click the photo.
One Reddish Egret, Three Tricolored Herons, Five Willits (two flying) and another Tricolored
Heron on a
Boardwalk along Texas Business 35 at 12th Street in Rockport, Texas just a few hundred yards from the ocean.
In August 2017, Rockport was mauled by Hurricane Harvey. We've stayed and birded there. We will visit it again.
The Amateur Birder's Journal — more info below, takes up most of my time and effort online. About three times a week I show bird photographs from White Rock Lake in Dallas, Texas, USA and as far as Montana, Colorado and The Lower Rio Grande Valley and other places we wander. The six years of my Birder Journal is indexed here. There's also a bibliography of useful books, a links page to other lake and bird and other sites and a Feedback page and dozens of others linked from the index.
We kept wondering where all the clouds kept coming from. Then we found The Cloud Factory
Matt K and I drove from Dallas to Austin to Houston. He was selling art, and I was along for the ride with my little camera. I wasn't expecting birds, but we found some. We also found several abandoned buildings and other interesting experiences along the way. I've commemorated the event with a quick, trip web page at the link above.
The most popular and informative of my photography pages is How to Photograph Art or Pretty Much Anything Else, and I've got feedback from all over the world about it.
Other photo info pages include some of my blogs listed below.
Photographs are everywhere.
It's not one of my official photo series, but over the years I have photographed a lot of people's houses. Some in the guise of studio visits, some just because that place fascinated me. Here's Somebody's House in East Dallas. And here's a whole other way of showing where my mother and father used to live — Maravilla for Mom.
Poemagraphics combined poetry and photographs many years ago when websites with pictures loaded much more slowly than they do now, so the pictures were smaller.
George Bush's portrait of Vladimir Putin
Photograph Copyright 2014 by J R Compton.com All Rights Reserved.
In an odd twist of fate, I had an edited and slightly rewritten art review I wrote about Former President George W. Bush's The Art of Leadership Portraits at the Bush Library in Dallas through June 3, 2014, published in National Review, where it no longer resides, but now my full text is on DallasArtsRevue, complete with the only accurate photos of the Bush paintings I've seen, although the net was awash in lousy images of them.
The NR story had only the bad copies, even though the story overtly disses them. I tried to sell them the good copies that are in my original story, but they seemed happy enough with the lousy ones that did not.
Its odd twistiness derrives from the historical fact that in the early 1970s I was the Editor & Publisher of Dallas NOTES, which became HOOKA (the Humanitarian Order of Kosmic Awareness), Dallas' most popular Underground Newspaper ever. My leanings are still mostly left, but we haven't had a bonafide Lefty in the Presidency since Clinton, and everything I hear about W is that he's an amazing nice guy, whom I'd love to meet and talk with about his art. But I suspect my chances for that are lousy, even though I once had a lovely conversation with his wife at Pamela Nelson's when her studio was downtown.
I have a check for $73 for the story, parking and entrance to the Bush Library here, and I wonder if I should cash it or frame it… I ended up cashing it. Sometimes, when it's an amazing opportunity, I work cheap.
Meep, the Mackerel Tabby domestic cat — three years after I got him
My cat was given to me as "a female about four months old," but the first vet told me it's a seven-to-nine-year-old male. It's small for any age. The very nice people who gave it to me called it "Tinkerbell," because "she" came with a little bell, so somebody would know where she was. That's a an interesting concept. He disappears sometimes within seconds and stays gone for hours. Then he reappears right where I last saw him, or I trip over him when he's sauntering toward food.
But I wouldn't want a bell on me, and he somehow rid himself of it, so I'm not going to do that to him. He's endured enough indignities already. I'd rather have a cat who disappears. In fact I'm liking it. I have a cat who disappears — as if I were the only one.
He now has a name he supplied for himself. He's Meep, which may be spelled Miep, although I doubt he cares.
He responds equally to "kitty-kitty," "hey, you" and resonant, flat-hand pats on my stomach when I'm sitting on my office chair or couch in the living room, both places have a handy cat brush or Furminator. He's a cat; he likes to be brushed. He objects less now that I turn him upside down to pet him, and sometimes he even lets me rub his tummy — briefly. At first he couldn't stand that, but we are training each other.
My favorite and most useful call for him is, "Where's My Cat?" delivered loudly enough he can hear me from wherever he's hidden himself this time. If he's close, he ignores it. But if he's awaze away, when he hears that, he knows he'll get profusely pet. When he tires of it, he escapes.
His kind — not species — of cat is usually called a Mackerel Tabby. Although when I recently attempted to get an appointment for him and his usual retinue of shots and pokes, the person who answered City Vet's phone said she'd never heard of a Mackerel Taby, so she would not write it down. He's darker than what I thought of as a tabby, and he has five parallel black stripes along his back from neck to tail that mimic the dark lines on his wrists.
I've had him since January 1, 2014, and I'm very fond of him, and I treat him better than he treats me, and I am not even surprised he's never made effort to get to, let alone through a door to the outside.
I'd hoped to have him a couple decades, so I was disheartened to hear he was already at least half that. But with cats, you get what you get, and it's never really what you expected — though usually better.
During my early, intense online feline research, I learned that cats who get their toothaches fixed often radically change cat-onalities, and that's what happened to Meep, although I never really got to know his proclivities before I took him on that very expensive dental vet.
What personal website could ever be complete without pics of the owner's cat?