Tim Keller, writer, photographer - by Christina Boyce, August 2012

When I went off to college from my placid beach hometown of Pacific Palisades in the late 1960s, I didn't have a creative bone in my body. The path since seems to have been a slowly-accelerating engagement in creativity; only in the last ten years have I come to terms with thinking of myself as an "artist," though my love of the arts has developed over several decades.

I wrote my first poems in college. Soon after, I drove home to buy a used guitar from my brother Terry. With my first chords, I started writing songs. That was all, for a long time: some poems, a lot of songs, as I developed my guitar skills and grew into the world.

In my mid-thirties, a funny thing happened. Married and divorced, a father, having taught school in San Marcos, Texas, and Santa Fe, New Mexico, I began to realize that I'd created a collection of songs that deserved their own chance in the world. No one else would take them there: I decided to quit my teaching job and try to build a career as a singer/songwriter. From 1987 through 1991, I recorded two albums and toured incessantly, criss-crossing the United States several times each year to perform regularly in 32 states.Tim Keller Photography at White Sands

I spent the rest of the '90s in Dallas, averaging eight performances each month with my trio while teaching in the Dallas public schools. I produced my best album, Little Miracles, in 1995: I'm still happy with it. Finally, tired of "stoking the starmaker machinery behind the popular song," I stopped performing when I moved back to rural New Mexico in 1999.

I find the country life rich with creativity. I make a vegetable garden each year. I'm a passionate cook. I enjoy designing and making things in my woodshop. I've always enjoyed making good photographs. I found the "zone," and great joy, in my teaching at Raton High School, where I finally retired in 2015 after 34 years of teaching. Most afternoons now, my pups and I hike up to two hours over high-mountain trails or across vast ranch pastures.

Tim Keller self-portrait in Ford F-250 mirror while camping

Eventually the creative urge grew. In 2007 I published "My Confession," a book of poems written during the preceeding year. I wrote a memoir called "Ameripass: Aimless in America" that brought me to terms with the fact that I am, finally, an artist. And then I bought my first digital SLR camera, a fine Nikon, and have immersed myself in photography. That led to eight years of incessant writing to accompany my photography in newspapers and magazines. Now semi-retired from the hustle of newspaper and magazine work, I've turned with excitement to travel--road trips and flights to new places and new people, newness and creativity everywhere I look.

My wife, artist Christina Boyce, devotes her energies to arts administration and community building after years as director of a Colorado art museum, as Raton's tourism coordinator, and as owner of her own rural art studio, gallery, and community center. We've been together since January 3, 1987, when she walked into Sweet Inspiration Coffeehouse in Santa Fe and saw me at the microphone. It's a rich life together.