Tag Archives: nature

Tree Woman Project In Review

A hearty Thank You to everyone who attended the Arts In Nature Festival last weekend.

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©Holli with an i photography

It was such a fun experience to not only show off a project I’ve worked so hard on over the past 10 months, but to also give a little bit of the “Tree Woman” experience by braiding hair and making crowns. Here is the first family group to get their crowns on to enjoy the festival in fashion:

Family of nature lovers!
Family of nature lovers!

The cabin exhibit was a sensory experience: I created a soundtrack from recordings during hikes this summer to capture the sounds of the forest. We added branches from our friend’s tree farm on the Olympic Peninsula to the shelves and walls of the cabin which surprised people the most: the pleasant sound of the trees! The visual part I worked the longest on for ways to display the Tree Women in a way that had variety. From tiny wood mounted prints to large canvasses and extra large prints hung from clothes pins…here are a few phone photos:

Tree Woman Project exhibit
The entrance of the cabin.
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A braided flower crown.
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Canvass mounted portraits.

And a few photos of me with a couple of me and the Tree Women as well as with the Art Program manager, Yeggy.

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The project was a success thanks to my wonderful community. I am thankful for everyone who help me pursue my crazy idea. Each model was a friend or acquaintance. One of them I had only met through Facebook and the parent community. Another I met at a model session a month before. My Mom and cousin helped make crowns and braid hair on the second day of the festival, which was wonderful since it seems twice as busy as the day before. And, the supplies of birch branches, willow and hydrangeas were from my family and friend’s gardens. The tree branches for the cabin came from our friend’s tree farm.

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My favorite moment from the event itself was a conversation I had with a boy who I believe was about 8 years old. You see, I had imagined the show would strike a cord in the imaginations of women, but it really engaged many men and people of all ages.

Boy: “What is that smell that’s so good?”

Me: “That’s the smell of the trees.”

Boy: “But why do they smell so good?”

Me: “It might be the type of tree. (knowing they were Noble Fir “Christmas tree “branches)”

Boy: “No, I mean, why do they smell like that in there (cabin) but not out here (outside)?”

Me: “The tree smells stronger when you cut it. Out here the trees haven’t been cut. The branches in there have and that is why they smell so much stronger for us.”

Being in Seattle and surrounded by amazing programs that get city kids into nature, I never would have imagined giving a boy the first opportunity to see what a tree really smells like.

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I wish that every Tree Woman model could have attended, and it’s difficult to find another venue that could provide another such experience. The best I can do for now is share a slideshow of the exhibit photos with the sound track…enjoy!

Tree Women Project: You’re Invited

You’re Invited!

The debut of this personal project celebrating the stages of womanhood and the seasons of nature through our connection to trees.

Arts In Nature Festival this August 22nd & 23rd

Saturday 11am-9pm, Sunday 11am-6pm, tickets and more info here: Arts In Nature Festival.

Tree Woman Project: Moss

The beautiful thing about this project is how it appeals to women of all ages and stages of life. Remember the model who sat patiently for me while I worked through my studio lighting technique with my classmate, Alecia Lindsay?

Well, after telling her about my project, she offered to join the volunteer models! And, since I didn’t have a specific tree in mind, she braved the cold, rainy Seattle weather to adventure around the Duwamish Greenspace with me as we found pretty mossy places in the trees.

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This session was more of an adventure than classic beauty portrait of a tree and a pretty woman…

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I treated the session much like all the rest of the series, by creating her crown, and planning around her dress to pair with a green velvet jacket and a little glamorous makeup…

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This session inspired me to be more adventurous with my editing, and I explored some techniques to make them look like old school film prints…

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Much thanks to Jessica Marie Cantu for being an adventurous Tree Woman!

 

Tree Women Project: Bamboo

When I posted about this idea I had for the Tree Woman Project, I was pleasantly surprised. First, I was not expecting so many of my friends and family on Facebook to support the idea. Second, I was impressed by the number of volunteer models that emerged.
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Jackie is such a doll. When I met her we were children attending the same church. She was my friend’s younger sister. I always thought she was adorable, and so it was really like a mini-reunion dress up session to photographer her for this project.
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She’s a strong woman who never stops encouraging others…and with a flair for fun. She brought her own fairy wings that are special to her, and so we snapped a few of those too.

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Jackie was up for wandering around the Kubota Garden with me, so we tried a few other locations too. I think it was a pretty neat way to mark the half way point toward my goal to capture 12 Tree Women!

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Tree Women Project: Deodar Cedar

When I think of Christmas trees, I envision a classic Scandinavian Noble fir. As I was learning about trees this past summer, I saw the Deodar Cedar and thought it looks very much like a Noble, but was surprised to find it’s what some folks call a “real cedar” tree. They grow very tall and look like giant Christmas Trees.

My Dutch friend, Robin, was the chosen model for this tree because she is a strong woman. A mother of four, her reputation proceeded her as a woman who gets things done. Though our kids don’t know each other, we have become friends through Facebook. Exchanging comments through social media seems like a shallow way to make a friend, but I can honestly say that I admire and appreciate her.

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This was like getting together with an old friend to play dress up!

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As a mother of young kids, I really think it’s important to feel beautiful, and to be celebrated in the midst of seemingly thankless years of raising kids past toddlerhood. That transition for the kids to become independent is vital for both parties, because it’s so easy to get lost in the care and shuffle of daily living.

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A hearty thanks to Robin for being my model, and braving another “Seattle Winter” day – braving the cold and steady mist-like rain to show let me capture her beauty!

Tree Women Project: Wild Apple Tree

When I saw this old apple tree, I could not believe how big it had grown. It’s hiding in a green space where rumor has it there used to be an old military bunker. The story goes that they filled it with cement and it’s buried deep under a school nearby. Regardless of the old military presence, this part of the green space is home to many fruit trees. This apple tree is overgrown like a wild tree in a Dr. Seuss book.

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My mother loves apples, and so it was truly delightful to pair her session with the old wild apple tree.

The day we woke up to do our session, Seattle saw it’s first snow. It was bitter cold outside, but we decided to go for it anyway. Add to that the fact that my back was out of alignment, and you have two very determined artists stomping through the frozen forest to get these photographs.

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Kaarisa_HolliMargell 161We left the green space with frozen fingers and toes, but huge smiles as we had gone against the natural inclination to stay indoors and capture natural beauty.

Special thanks to my Mom for being my model, and camera assistant lugging around my old fashioned metal tripod and large camera bag. It was truly an adventure!

 

Tree Women Project: Bigleaf Maple

There is something magical about the Bigleaf Maple tree leaves. I remember walking to elementary school and being completely excited when the maples along a street we walked started dropping these wonders of nature, their size and color still delight me. My brother and I would collect the ones with the most vibrant colors to give our mom as if they were as precious as wildflowers.

It seemed fitting to pair Donna with the Bigleaf Maple as she turns ingredients into magic at her shop, Stuffed Cakes. She is a culinary artist, and gets credit as the Make Up Artist for our session!

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I am truly delighted to be able to see this project come to life, and grateful for women like Donna who answered my call for a real woman model. Stay tuned as I hope to capture one dozen of these Tree Women Portraits by summer 2015. And, my then, I hope to have the experience and systems in place to offer these types of concept based portrait session next fall!

xo, Holli

Photography Roots: Port Angeles

My first photography class was at Peninsula College. It was photojournalism with a real dark room and assignments that showed me that I love to photograph people and tell their story. And, I fell in love with nature photography too.

While my life is a bustling with activity as we approach my next Art Show during the West Seattle Art Walk on April, 10th, it was good to get away for a night and spend some time on my friend’s tree farm.

He and his wife live “off the grid” meaning they don’t depend on utilities, and use Solar panels, and harvest rain water. It might sound rugged, but really, their home has all the amenities we’re used to in the city. Except for Internet. So, I was detached from the Internet for over 24 hours, plus my phone thought I was in Canada, so I couldn’t access the web that way either. It was beautiful to be forced to simply be present near the wilderness.

Here are a few of my favorite photographs from our mini-adventure:

 

© Holli with an i photography A Tree Farm in March.
© Holli with an i photography
A Tree Farm in March.
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©Holli with an i photography
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©Holli with an i photography
Returning to Seattle, you can see we also returned to the gray Spring weather.

 

You’re Invited: West Seattle Spring Art Walk

WS ART WALK @ Remax Junction, April 10th, 6-9pm

You’re Invited:

West Seattle Art Walk Spring Show @ Remax Junction, April 10th, 6-9pm.

Come check out some of my floral favorites and springtime art photography with some wine and appetizers. A ceramic artist will have her wares on display as well, and a sculpture artist who uses recycled parts will show off two of his personal creations.

Remax Junction is located at 4727 44th Ave SW #101, Seattle, WA 98116 – across the street from the West Seattle Junction parking lot. The main street of West Seattle, California Avenue houses many businesses also participating in the Art Walk, and many lovely places to dine for dinner. Plan on a night of fun!

Shifting my focus toward a dream

February was a difficult month. I didn’t blog because it was the month that asked hard questions of the heart. I did my business taxes, and found that I didn’t make a profit. Again, I came close within a few hundred dollars, but as my family is growing and needing more space, clothes, food, etc, I had to admit that I can not keep investing in my fine art photography.

I felt the shift before my husband and I had a hard talk about what I’m doing with my art. It feels like I have failed. I have worked hard and done the best job I could, but it has not been enough to make any money. I’ve learned so much about the local art scene, and have met many wonderful artists in my community. And, I’m grateful for the experience. At least I can say that I tried my best.

A tiny Dogwood art print
A tiny Dogwood art print.

I wont’ be pursuing my art photography fully. I still have lots of art products (magnets, iphone cases, postcards, etc), and will be doing one last art fair to do a “Studio Clearance” where I will sell everything at cost to clear out our garage. I realized that I would rather see my work in the hands of someone who can appreciate it and not make a profit than to have it sit in a box in my garage. And, I’ll keep my etsy shop up to sell all the prints I have in a box since they need a good home!

White Beach Fauna ©Holli wtih an i Framed Art print
White Beach Fauna ©Holli wtih an i Framed Art print.

As many of those close to me know, I will never stop photographing beautiful things I see in life everyday, and someday I hope to share them again as a fine art photographer. But now, I must shift my focus my love of photography as a service to capture people. The truth is that when I started to play with photography as an art form, I focused on people. So, I’m going back to my roots…

While sharing this news with my creative friends, I was reminded that fun is a key to all of my art photography, and I think the theme in my art. I hope to capture the fun that people have in their lives!

My dream is to help support my family by photographing people in a “wonderland” setting that reflects what they love like I did with my children in a local garden:

©Holli with an i photograph The kind of Wonderland photography I dream of doing full time.
©Holli with an i photograph
The kind of Wonderland photography I dream of doing full time.