An Artistic Duo–Greg and Debbie Norton

by Jan Cox

For the last two years, Greg and Debbie Norton have been volunteering for the State Parks system and have lived in their R.V. on the west arm of the Feather River and at the mouth of Deer Creek.  Living in the same natural area that the Wintuns and Maidu inhabited has led them to explore the natural materials these groups used in their lives; an exciting, creative and rewarding experience for the Nortons.

Debbie, a native of Chester, CA, says this area “owns her heart.”  And so she uses local natural materials for her art. Jeffery pine needles form the basis of her exquisite pine needle baskets, enhanced with deer antlers shed where the deer come to drink, and lodge pole cones found while overlooking beautiful Mt. Lassen.  Here is one woman who lives her bliss!  Her pine needle, antler, gourds, and jewelry baskets are available throughout northern California at B & B Booksellers in Chester, Plumas Arts Gallery in Quincy, Lassen Volcanic National Park Kohn Yah-mah-nee Visitor Center, and Lake Oroville State Park Visitor Center, Orville. You may reach her at [email protected].

Greg  Norton has been photographing since high school.  When he began, he worked with film and in the dark room.  Finding the chemical process of toning black and white prints damaging because of the build-up of noble metals in the body, he took up digital photography.  For Greg,  working in a “digital dark room” on his computer has been safer and ideal for his life as a full-time RVer.

Effects such as split tone, tonal shifts and exotic coloration–all part of the earliest days of photography can today be emulated on Photoshop without having to breathe the chemicals.

To Norton, some images are perfect straight from the camera, but certain images have been worked on for more than twenty hours to get them just right and make them “look like they came straight from the camera.”   He tells us, “I’ve been told ‘a painting is the event; a photograph is a document of the event.’ Some of my images might be just what my camera saw; some images might be what my mind saw, striving to make them the event. At the end of the process, I hope my images will hold your interest.”

Greg also exhibits at B & B Booksellers’ Backroom Gallery Co-op.  He can be reached at 530-596-3367 or at [email protected] .