Today we’d like to introduce you to Eileen and Jeff Walsma.
Eileen and Jeff, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
So, this has become our retirement gig. I worked 40 wonderful years with a large retail corporation, Jeff as a Hotshot Firefighter and then Carpentry. Both roles play a significant part in our new venture. Retirement just opened the door, enabling us with the gift of time to pursue our passions for travel, photography, and woodworking. Oh, and by the way – since Jeff wouldn’t ‘share’ the new camera, he upgraded mine shortly after… yeah!
We have a lot more to learn as we continue this journey. Not only on how to continuously seek that ‘amazing’ shot, but how to stand out in a world where photography is literally at everyone’s fingertips given the capabilities of today’s cell phones. Given that, why jump into this particular fray? Because we love it – and we hope to share that passion with others and inspire them or simply make them smile.
Going to market – this is where my business background and Jeff’s woodworking passion come in. Not only do we make frames, we then select the best of the best photography, mat each and then match them to frames or in some cases, match frames to the photography. For example, barn wood has been very popular, and its’ unique personality often dictates the photograph that goes into it.
Jeff’s woodworking talents has led to lathe turned bowls, goblets and candleholders – turning raw wood into art – who knows what is around the corner! This part of our story has grown so much that we now include wood turned items in all our shows, driven again by great support from our community. Jeff welcomes studio demo’s and encourages a growing number of people who have expressed an interest in learning how to turn wood. A passion Jeff is willing to share in a heartbeat!
Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
Where to start? Well, first off, those awesome friends that encouraged us to keep moving forward – they know who they are! We have also received great support from our community. Water Street Studios and the Artisan Collective in Batavia, IL, as well as the St. Charles Arts Council, have accepted our work into their shows and continue to provide support for many local artisans. Fine Line Creative Arts Center (also in St. Charles, IL), whose mission is to support artists through instruction, exploration, and exhibition of traditional and innovated arts and crafts, not only has a popular holiday show available to its’ members, they have graciously provided us a small presence in their Dempsey Artisan Shop (which currently has work by over 40 artists).
We would be remiss if we did not mention where Jeff sold his first photo, Graham’s 318, a coffee shop in downtown Geneva, IL, where they celebrate local artists by showcasing new works each month.
And lastly, Jennifer Keller, our nominator – she saw something – and those gentle nudges, that is what inspires us to keep moving forward. We wish her all the best in her endeavors as well!
Now, where should we take the camera’s next…?
- Address: See our work at:
Fine Line Creative Arts Center
37W570 Bolcum Rd, St. Charles, IL 60175
And/or check our website/facebook for upcoming shows!
- Website: https://www.
- Email: amazingshots@sbcglobal.
- Facebook: https://www.
- Other: https://www.facebook.
Eileen Walsma, Jeffrey W. Walsma