I was born into the family of Hubert and Mabel Campbell on July 20, 1947, in an old two story house in the middle of a tobacco field located in Cullen, Virginia. I wasn’t privileged enough to have been born in a hospital but I was privileged to be born into a large family consisting of my parents and three older sisters. Later, I would be blessed with having two additional brothers and finally, another sister. There were seven brothers and sisters in all. All were different, all unique, and all willing to meet life head on.
The first time I recall anyone noticing my art tendencies was when I was in Matthew Whaley Elementary School in Williamsburg, Va. In the 3rd or 4th grade, each class member had to report on a past president. I picked George Washington and in an effort to make a good grade on the project, drew a portrait of President Washington for the cover of my report. To my surprise, several of my classmates asked me to draw their presidential cover as well.
Another time during a Christmas season at Matthew Whaley Elementary, the teacher using masking tape, taped white paper from one side of the blackboard to the other and all of my classmates drew portions of the Christmas Story. Since it had been previously established that I had some artistic talent, I was asked to draw the three wise men. Of course in today’s world, this activity, sadly, would be politically incorrect and could never happen because of it's religious subject matter.
As life went on, I found a need to capture scenes on paper so that I would always be able to remember and enjoy them. I was particularly interested in old barns, covered bridges, homesteads and log cabins. I think what interested me most about these subjects was the fact that real people, real hard working farmers and perhaps settlers from an earlier time, invested hours of sweat labor into the construction of these shelters in an effort to protect their families, crops, and livestock. As a result of this interest, I began using the medium of black ink, to record what I saw. I wanted to capture these images because I knew that many would soon be gone forever. Many of the structures I sketched are now gone, some torn down, and some just falling into themselves, the result of insect and decay. I am extremely glad I have them on paper.
As a child, I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to grow up in the country. I have many memories of playing in old barns and visiting my Grandfather’s dairy farm near Farmville, Virginia. There were many rainy days where my siblings and I found that an old barn was a great place to stay dry, and climb and play in the higher elevations of the loft where nesting pigeons shared their space with us for a few hours. These memories inspired me to preserve some of this country life with pen and paper.
As I entered the job market I soon found myself neck deep in the world of electronics repair, more specifically, computers. In 1966 this was one of the most prestigious careers one could have. In contrast to this high tech field of work, I still kept drawing and many nights stayed up until 3 A.M. sketching a barn or house that I had found during my daily travels. After about 35 years of electronic services, I realized that corporate America considered me and those who worked with me as commodities, not real people with careers and families, just someone to use for a while until they were no longer needed. It was apparent to me that the new unpublished rule of many corporations insisted that employees were to be discarded when the bottom line needed improving.
As I watched this trend grow, I began to develop a plan to return to my roots. My wife and I carefully devised a 5-year plan to return to the country, buy some land, build a log cabin, raise some animals, and live happily ever after. The plan came together as we supplied the labor of love for our country project. So now we are here, living on Dreamcatcher Meadows Farm, in a beautiful log home, with 2 horses, 2 dogs, 2 cats, and 2 miniature donkeys. Just call me Noah. I now have the precious time I need to improve my art and offer it to those who may like it. I can only make this better by living to be 100.