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Shimmering bronze

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These are the objects in Tom Henderson's yard: the fiberglass head of a baseball player mounted on a pole staring out toward the street; a huge lizard sprawling across his front window; a preying mantis climbing a prominent pine tree.

Inside Henderson's home, downtown on the corner of Willamette and Royer, sculptures, paintings, vases and molds are in every corner. Partially completed wax figures (including the baseball player pictured above) shimmer in the lamplight of his studio.

Henderson, 53, has fostered his interest in art for almost two decades. He's gone through his clay phase, a stone phase and a fiberglass phase. "I like the challenge of making something look right," he says. "I love figuring it out."

A 28-year resident of Colorado Springs, Henderson pays the bills working as a painting contractor, until he can make it as a full-time artist. "I'd rather have the lifestyle I like, doing creative things all the time."

A lot of being an artist is "just learning how to look at things," he says, like how colors fade in and out of landscapes or the proportions of the human form.

-- story and photo by Michael Beckel

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