About Me

T

"From just one moment comes a "Masterpiece of Life"

he strongest memory I have from my childhood and birthplace in the swamps of deep south Louisiana, was seeing my mother looking out at us on the patio and turning stone cold white. My younger sister and I were around the age of 4 and 6 years old, playing with a Tonka truck. My mother began to panic and told us to come inside, when I said, "Why Mamma" and my little sister then chimed in with, "We are just giving the giant snake a ride."

     Needless to say, we had no idea at the time, the snake we were playing with... was a huge water moccasin, coiled up in the bed of the Tonka truck. It came in the night, from the swamp that was our backyard.

     As we grew, we water skied with the aligators on the Intercostal Canal, jumping off the back of my Granddad's tug boats he built.

    Eight years old, swimming in 50 ft. deep water, that you could not see anything under you. As I said, we were fearless, but that didn't help my Mother's confidence.

    She moved us to Austin, Texas by the time I turned 15.

    For the past 33 years, I have lived in the wild hills of Tennessee and Kentucky.

    A life very different from my childhood in the swamps of Houma, Louisiana, but now, I live in a new kind of wilderness. A wilderness so vast, the beauty and splendor of the wild can turn into a nightmare in a flash... without a single warning.

    Being the devoted photographer and artist that I have become, that wilderness did turn, without a warning. The night of the "Super Tuesday Tornadoes" on February 5, 2008, made me realize just how small I really am. I was outside in that storm, immediately after the hail bombs stopped hammering everything in rapid fire, a camera in hand, not knowing or realizing what I was filming.

     I filmed the natural gas pipeline pumping station burning out of control from an F3 tornado, which exploded it only a few moments before, just over a mile from my porch.  

    To my greatest surprise from that night, while editing my film, I discovered that I caught on film, 300 feet in front of me and above my head, the 2nd funnel that dropped. Just mere moments before it dropped, but was in the process of dropping as it crossed over the top of me. It was a full formed cone and already the huge body was turning, just as it got past my hill in front of me and gained its intensity, it was then on the ground, destroying everything in its path.

     Then, in 2010, once again camera in hand, lightening striking all around me, I was standing in water, under trees, a metal umbrella on my shoulder, filming the massive and sudden flash flood that drowned the city of Nashville. 14 inches of rain in less than 36 hours.   This photo, below, is my home, when we were hit.   I have live film footage, in the flood itself, and yes, I was scared to death.   Riding in the truck, filming, when suddenly, the road is gone under us.   Water rushing all around us, dropping to 12 - 20 feet deep.   

    This image is downtown Nashville, TN,  where all the water went the very next morning.   At my home, there was no water, but small trickles.   That much water and it was just gone and stopped in the photo below.   Parts of Nashville were under 20+ feet of water.   They didn't reopen parts of Nashville, until Spring of 2012.   

     Now in a new and even bigger wilderness in Kentucky, things are even more interesting.... Bombs exploding that shake the ground under me, missiles being fired from the air, as the helicopters circle and hover over my head, so close, I can see the pilots flying them.  Giant C-130 airplanes, only 250 feet above my porch.

     Wildlife much bigger than I have ever seen before in my life and never..... a dull day to speak of.

  

     I became a photographer 37 years ago and have been capturing events, that drove my passion, as an artist, even further to capturing some of the most amazing and yet, dangerous, once in a lifetime, "Historic" events.   I have been working as an artist and photographer, since I created "Portraits of Elegance" in 2004, from just an idea and built my company to where it is today, from scratch.   For the past 13 years, I have worked very hard to continue to improve my art and to grow my business, "Portraits of Elegance" Fine Arts, to what it is today.

     "Portraits of Elegance" Fine Arts has been my life ambition and it is a lifetime devotion, that I am very proud of, as each day brings a new level of art, that I only saw before, in my dreams.   Today, "Portraits of Elegance" Fine Arts is very much a part of me, as it was when I began to build and grow this business, since I went public with my business, in 2004.

     I hope you enjoy my website and my artworks, as I show you the amazing world of this Louisiana born, "Cajun Lady", living in the wild and ever changing wilderness in the hills of Tennessee and Kentucky.

     If you have an amazing story to tell, I can help you tell it through fine art and film. Talk with me and together, we can make your story shine.

 
"Portraits of Elegance" Fine Arts ®  Trademark
poefinearts@outlook.com
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