Community Sketchbook

Sunday, October 31, 2004 | 12:00 a.m. CDT; updated 5:28 p.m. CDT, Friday, July 18, 2008

Title: Amish Crew

Artist: Martin Spilker

About the artist: Spilker’s love of the countryside and his memories of his childhood on a farm inspire his photographs. Spilker said he likes incorporating the natural with rustic man-made structures.

“The thrill of a photograph is in capturing the landscape,” Spilker said. “I like getting what is natural in as much as possible.”

Spilker, 44, has been taking photographs most of his life while on vacations, motorcycle travels and drives through Missouri.

Until five years ago, he only shot with disposable cameras. Then a friend convinced him to buy a real camera. Without any training, he sold his first picture just five months after buying the camera.

Spilker said he hopes to eventually support himself through his photography.

He has been a course material buyer for MBS Direct for almost 20 years and said his 25-year anniversary with the company would be a nice time to retire and begin taking photos full time.

Spilker’s work is on display at Roger Berg’s Creative Photo and Grindstone Gallery, 2201 Old 63 S. Prints cost $15 to $150. His Web site is

About the work: Spilker took this photograph in 2003 in the Amish country north of Columbia. He was out driving and saw the men working. He parked along the road and took the picture with a Canon 10d 6.3-megapixel SLR digital camera.

“About half the fun is the discovery — driving back roads, hiking trails and coming across something special,” he said.

Muse wants your artwork. Submit paintings, drawings or photos to Brian Wallstin at 221 S. Eighth St. in Columbia or e-mail Include your name, the title of the artwork and brief information about yourself and the artwork.

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