J R's Images & Ideas

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 American White Pelicans Landing - Copyright 2009 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Words give thought wings:   Pelicans Landing — See The Amateur Birder's Journal

I am a writer.

I can say what needs saying or figure out what someone else is trying to say, then say it in fewer words, so more people will understand. Internet surfers have short attention spans, and I can condense pages of type into paragraphs that say the same thing better.

I've been an editor for more than 40 years. I can organize text into succinct, coherent communications. I can write technical, news or personality stories, and I have many years’ experience writing press releases, especially for nonprofit clients.

Another specialty is writing down-to-earth art criticism and first-person experiences. My stories have been published in Atlanta's Art Papers, Houston's Art Scene Magazine, DallasArtsrevue, The Dallas Morning News, Dallas NOTES, Hooka, The Austin Sun, The River City News, Iconoclast, Texas Jazz, Dallas Jazz News and Glass Tire.

D-Magazine named me Dallas Best Local Arts Promoter in August 2004, for the stories I write about art and artists in the pages DallasArtsRevue.com, and they have not named anybody else that since.

If you'd like me to write or edit your project, check my prices, then E-mail me at the Contact link at the top of this page.


My Best Writing

These are links to my best and favorite stories. Since words and ideas are so close, there may be overlap between these and the links on my Ideas page.

Lost in the Ozona — a short but impeccably true story that happened in the mid-1970s and to me.

The Amateur Birder's Journal — Some of the writing on my near-daily blog about birds is exceptional. Some of it is truly pedestrian. Either way, I write on it or in it at least three times a week. Its purpose was to learn to write better, but it also chronicles my hands-on experience and education in the fine art of photographing birds.

The Winter Show Blog about the creation, publicizing and production of an art show is on The Winter Show page, which includes advice to artists, information about preparing work to hang in shows, pricing your work, thoughts about hanging work in a show and reviews of work in that show.

AN EXPERIMENTAL story incorporating the concept of Centripetal Force and Personal Confusion is on ThEdblog #3 from December 2007. The ThEdBlog pages, in general, follow my experiences and thoughts about publishing an art magazine online.

I WROTE a large, complex story about the art program at DFW's new Terminal D. That web page incorporates a variety of information types into one long, complex feature. Writing it was a public experiment I shared with my readers as I wrote, rewrote, edited in and out, organized and reorganized information, facts, opinions and photographs.

I AM particularly proud of my coverage of the 2005 Texas Biennial Exhibition in Austin. It was a large and fascinating show, and writing about it set me on fire. The founder of GlassTire, Houston's online art magazine said of it, ”WOW.”

PERHAPS one of the most expressive stories I ever wrote was about my late friend Georgia Stafford’s retrospective, Left Right Neo-Obsessivism which I curated and produced in 1985. It was originally written for Houston’s ArtScene magazine, which unfortunately folded before they could publish it. They called it “World-class writing.” I published it in DallasArtsRevue on paper.

CLOSELY associated is a story called About Her Death that began as a wildly poetic letter to my late friend, poet and writer Gerald Burns.

SOMETIMES I like to experiment with stories and pictures. Like Of Whirligigs & Other People's Magic.

I DON'T know whether it will rank as my best writing, but J R's Summer Art Essays delved into eclectic ideas of and about and in and around media and understanding and art. In several ways, this series is off-beat and experimental.

AND there's a short, poignant photo essay in Memorial to my dear friend Carol Wilder who was murdered by a drunk driver in early 2003. Then Dallas Morning News Art Editor Janet Kutner liked my story so well she signed her name to major portions of it, complete with early misspellings of one of Carol's children's names, which I subsequently corrected, but she did not. She even managed to misspell those names exactly like I originally did.


Metaphysical Writings


Gradually, I'll track down more, but this is a good start.

My latest email address is always on the Contact page.