Area artist paints with pictures

A Notley Hawkins photograph of a 5th Street manhole in downtown Fulton is one of many on display in Cox Gallery for the "From Life" exhibit. An Ovid Bell employee, Hawkins has been photographing Fulton and mid-Missouri since 2005.

A Notley Hawkins photograph of a 5th Street manhole in downtown Fulton is one of many on display in Cox Gallery for the "From Life" exhibit. An Ovid Bell employee, Hawkins has been photographing Fulton and mid-Missouri since 2005. Contributed photo

A mid-Missouri artist known in part for his photographs of Fulton is featured in an exhibit at William Woods’ Cox Gallery alongside his mentor.

Notley Hawkins, a Columbia resident who works at Ovid Bell Press, makes up half of Cox Gallery’s “From Life” exhibit, as well as University of Missouri art school professor Frank Stack’s paintings.

An art school graduate with a bachelor’s degree from Columbia College and a master’s from MU, Hawkins actually started his artistic career in landscape painting. It wasn’t until later in life that he began working with a camera. That began when he took a day job with Ovid Bell preparing magazine pages for publication.

A full-time job made it more difficult for Hawkins to paint on location, so in order to save time he began shooting scenes with a digital camera. Soon, the reference became the art itself.

“Around 2005 I joined a photo website, flickr. I started taking pictures around the area for studies to maybe do some paintings ... (but) became interested in the photograph itself after doing that for a while,” said Hawkins. “You get comments on the photos after you publish, so basically publishing on the internet prompted my interest in photography, being that you could instantly publish and get feedback.

“I became interested in photography itself and not the process of creating paintings.”

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