gmhTODAY 01 gmhToday Mar Apr 2015 - Page 95

Watercolors by Wendy and Photo Art by Jeff Sprague. tech wiz by profession, has also begun to sell his art as well. Jeff is an author and die-hard photographer. Using the words die-hard may not be too far from the truth if you ask Jeff. He admits that he may die of hypothermia one day due to the fact that when he’s taking photos he’s so engrossed in his art that he’s completely unaware of anything else, including the temperature, maybe even cliffs, bears, and other potential hazards. Such is the nature of the true photographer with a lens to their eye. His love of art and writing started young just as Wendy’s did. His photography interest began in the early ‘70s. “As a teen I worked at the old photo drive-up chain where I developed (no pun intended) an enthusiasm for photography, and I bought an SLR, but I didn’t get really serious until Canon released the first digital Rebel DSLR in 2004,” said Jeff. His writing also started early on. Jeff & Wendy Sprague “I began writing the day my Mom brought home that first typewriter when I was about seven years old in the early ‘70s. I’d write Star Trek episodes, poems, and short sci-fi stories.” Jeff ’s first published book, Slow Children at Play, was released in 2012 by Wild Lizard Ranch Press. Jeff continues to write stories and other works and create fine art photography including showing his art with Wendy at various local shows. “Mostly I was encouraged by my wife Wendy, to get more involved with my art so I could join her in her artistic endeavors. Really, I think she just wanted me to help carry the display stands to the art shows,” Jeff jokes. Their new dream is to create collaborative works. They are discussing writing and illustrating different sets of children’s books. Among the themes, one idea is a series designed around therapy dogs, something Wendy’s involved in G M H T O D A Y M A G A Z I N E MARCH / APRIL 2015 locally with their rescue dog Mollie. She and Mollie are a certified therapy dog team through Furry Friends Pet Assisted Therapy. Wendy and Jeff discussed creating books using Mollie as the main character. Since they have more time now (and they have the talent) there is little to stop this creative couple from making this dream a reality. And staying creative can only continue to keep the marriage strong according to Jeff. Jeff believes that being an artistic couple has played a part in the success of their twenty-seven years of marriage. “Art can bring you closer together, both because you can share ideas and opinions, but also because it provides a peaceful solitude where each can spend time pursuing interests without feeling guilty.” It will be fun to see what inspirational works come from this all-American love story as the next chapter continues to unfold. To see more of Jeff and Wendy Sprague’s works visit wildlizardranch.com. gmhtoday.com 95