Billy Roper 2016 Folk Art Calendars coming this fall!
The new upcoming 2016 calendar, featuring the artwork of Appalachian artist Billy Roper, is already in the works and you may now be added to the reservation list. Calendars are expected to be available by early September 2015. A special, limited edition version will also be available. (The cover of the 2014 version is pictured here; look for a peak of the 2016 cover to be coming soon.)
The annual calendars, designed and created by Debbie Martin, include 12 different paintings and writings by Billy. Each painting was carefully reproduced along with his actual handwriting and line drawings. They are printed on acid free, canvas-textured cardstock with archival pigment ink.
The calendars are a great way to share Billy's art and wisdom (his insightful writing is an art form all its own!) with your family and friends... they make perfect gifts or a present for yourself. Spiral-bound wall calendar is $22 and mini easel desk calendar is $17. Price for the limited edition version is TBD.
You may be added to the reservation list by emailing Billy at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Featuring 6 different line drawings created exclusively for this collection by Billy, this rustic card set, is handcrafted and designed by Debbie Martin from textured recycled paper and burlap fabric.
Inside the cover is writing by Billy about stories and memories from his childhood Christmases while growing up in the north Georgia mountains. There is blank space on the other inside panel for your own message. The printed drawings are reproduced so that it looks like Billy drew directly on the cards himself. The writing inside is in an old-timey typewriter lettering.
Each 5" x 7" folded card features a printed drawing layered over a piece of frayed burlap in barn red, pine green or winter white, with tiny metallic gold fibers scattered throughout the weave.
Each card comes with a matching envelope printed with a mini version of the same drawing. The cards and envelopes are all printed on acid free, 100% recycled brown kraft paper with a rustic texture.
A set of 6 cards is $17 (available as a set with all six designs... or all the same design). You may order online at www.debbierana.com.
In describing himself, Appalachian folk artist Billy Roper says, "I was born blessedly poor. We lived back in the hills where life was 50 years behind times. We didn't have much growing up, but what we had was more –– an honest, hardworking family."
It's those years of weathering hardships throughout his life that have made him the artist he is today and that is reflected in his work. Art has always been a part of his life with his skills ranging from painting and drawing to sculpting marble and carving wood. Roper recalls, "There isn't a time I can remember when I didn't want to mark on something. I was the worst write-on-the-walls young'un that ever lived."
His work has emotional depth and speaks to people about the simple things in life –– the things that matter the most. The native of north Georgia is most known for his expressive style of painting that combines colorful imagery on the front with handwriting on the back to tell a story or depict an emotion.
Billy Roper is simply Billy. He remembers his Appalachian roots, his Cherokee ancestors and their culture. Of them he says, "I was taught who I was and where I came from for countless generations. That does not make me better than or worse than, but it does make me –– me."
Music has always been a strong part of Billy's life and that passion is shown in the nine months he spent painting a bass fiddle that was raffled off in April 2011 at the Bear on the Square Mountain Festival in Dahlonega, Ga. The project raised money to benefit the Georgia Pick & Bow Music School, an instructional music program that helps to ensure that Appalachian music is passed down to the next generation.
His work can be found in art collections throughout the United States and more than 30 countries. He was North Georgia College & State University's first artist-in-residence in 2007 and the book, "Billy Roper: Visual Storyteller," was the first work published by the University Press of North Georgia.
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