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Studio Visit with new DARts
Member Karla Leaphart

Story + Photographs by J R Compton

Karla Leaphart - Cone Flower

When I shoot art by a new DARts member, I like to poke around their studio, find interesting little niches, pieces they're working on but aren't finished with yet, textures common in their work, unique materials, etc.

I've already got the camera there and set up, and they're busy writing down the titles, sizes, mediums and stuff for the text of their page.

Or maybe they're off looking for that elusive other piece that would look so good on their page with the pieces they've already found, and I've already shot.

I could just look around or take some pix. But I've been a photographer longer than I've been anything else, so naturally, when I have the opportunity, I take a minute or two to capture some more art souls.

No telling when such an image might come in handy.

Whether it's in a back room, the garage, an out building or someplace off property, artist's studios are special places indeed.

As my friend Margie says, “An artist’s studio is their place of magic.” It's where their special alchemy turns ordinary materials — paper, paint, found pieces, researched animals and colors and ideas — into art.

Everybody’s creation space is different. It’s almost always textural, colorful and revealing of personality in many noverbal ways.


These rooms and walls and tools and materials show, in so many ways, what the artist is thinking about, struggling with, inspired by, seeing in other people's work...

From the simplest kitchen table to the most elaborate estate studio, wherever it might be, I'm joyed by an artist's place of creation, and I take special delight in photographing those magical places.

new DARts Member Karla Leaphart's studio is in the Continental Gin Building, underneath that stained, graffitied old water tower on Deep Elm at Trunk, near Baylor. So are new DARts Member Fannie Britto, Elissa Foster and maybe a couple other future members.


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