The Carthage Press
  • Precious Moments artist to show his 'other works' Saturday, Sunday

  • Sam Butcher is famous, of course, for the Precious Moments line of art, greeting cards and figurines as well as the paintings in the Chapel in Carthage, but like all artists, Butcher has many other sides to his creativity.
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  • Sam Butcher is famous, of course, for the Precious Moments line of art, greeting cards and figurines as well as the paintings in the Chapel in Carthage, but like all artists, Butcher has many other sides to his creativity.
    These are sides that most people haven't seen, since Butcher has declined many offers to sell his works.
    "I've never sold a painting," Butcher said during a recent tour of his home on the grounds of the Precious Moments Chapel.
    Butcher said he just doesn't like to part with his creations, even though he's been offered large sums of money for some of them.
    "A lady offered me quite a lot of money in the Philippines for one painting, but I just didn't feel like I could sell it," Butcher said. "Why not? That's an interesting question because I had a teacher in college, he was the one who taught me how to paint the human form. He was one of the finest artists I've ever known, he did real creative human form paintings, and people would get him to sell his paintings to them, but he would always go back and buy the paintings back from the people. I was always afraid that's what I might do and they might jack the price up," Butcher added with a laugh.
    Butcher's Missouri home is a gallery of colorful paintings of the human form, abstract shapes, works inspired by his travels in the Pacific basin, works from his younger days, and of course, Precious Moments art and figurines.
    "I love to study the human form," Butcher said. "But I also do very non-objective art, which is something very exciting for me. That just means shape, line and so-forth. I do that, and I do a lot of scenes, all kinds of line-drawings. And people are quite surprised when they see that kind of art. Thankfully many of them are very delighted, especially my artist friends. They say this is another side of Sam Butcher that people should see and appreciate."
    That's why Butcher and Precious Moments are planning a showing of many of his works for this weekend at the Precious Moments Convention Center, adjacent to the visitors center in southwest Carthage.
    Butcher said some people who visit his home are sometimes shocked by the abstract nudes and human form paintings that greet them.
    "I heard a couple of fine fundamental Christians say, 'this is a little bit weird isn't it,'" Butcher said. "So what I did was in my library case in one of the rooms, I have a print of Michelangelo's where he's touching the finger of Adam and Adam is completely nude, and when the people have something to say, I say, people walk into the Sistine Chapel, including Christians, and they're totally inspired by the wonderful work of Michelangelo."
    Page 2 of 2 - Butcher described his work as "Fauvist," which the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City described as "the first of the avant-garde movements that flourished in France in the early years of the twentieth century. Their spontaneous, often subjective response to nature was expressed in bold, undisguised brushstrokes and high-keyed, vibrant colors directly from the tube."
    "All of the different periods of art inspire me," Butcher said. "When I'm thinking of (Henri) Matisse, I think wow, I'd like to do that kind of thing, real fiery. When I think of (Claude) Monet, things like this, it's a little more quiet looking. Some pieces are like what Van Gogh would do."
    Sam said he also finds joy and inspiration in some of the works of local Carthage artists. He pointed to some of the works on the wall of a room he described as "messy."
    "I also have things of Bob Tommey's and Lowell Davis'," he said. "And so instead of enjoying my own work, I enjoy the work of other people."
    His home is filled with colorful renditions of scenes that have inspired him throughout his life and travels. It also includes paintings based on verses in the Bible that he's read and pondered.
    Terri Heckmaster, president of the Precious Moments Supporting Foundation, said she's glad the works have remained in Carthage and that the public will get the chance to see them.
    "To me, it is so important to have all of Mr. Butcher's legacy of love, because it is a legacy of love to the world, in one place," Heckmaster said. "Many people know there is Precious Moments, but as Mr. Butcher has talked about, there are people who have inspired him, and the bible stories, he has such great love for others."
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