I am grateful for the earth and the ability to take photos of the beautiful creatures in it.
I am grateful for family and close circles of friends.
I am grateful for a husband and son who want to be outdoors with me.
I am grateful that I still get to be here, even though times are tough.
I am grateful to those of you who come visit my site each week to read what I write and see my photographs.
Thank you and have a wonderful Thanksgving!
From one yellow leaf fluttering to the bare ground to the pungent but delightful smell of the first rain, nature has so much to offer us. From calming our minds and exciting our senses, it’s time to get back out to the world and see this planet for what it really is!
Considering my new series “Simple Nature” I have created a 45 day challenge for anyone who wants to join me. The challenge is this. Spend time outside every day for the next 45 days and take a photograph of something in nature that delights you. Tag #kellyssimplenature on Instagram, so I can see all the work you have created and share it in my stories.
Let me tell you a brief story about the first photo from this challenge (I started a little early).
My favorite time of the year is the day after the first rain of fall. After that night has passed the skies clear. Some clouds linger, trailing the billowing clouds that produced the rain. I imagine them saying, “Hey wait for me! I want to have fun raining too, but I am not big enough. Can I join you?” I watch as they whisk by, changing shape with every second.
The birds are happily flying around enjoying the sunshine eating all the bugs the water displaced. I believe this is the bird’s favorite time of year too! They fly with such renewed energy it puts a little pep in my step just thinking about it.
But the best part the day after it rains is the smell. Here in California the summers are so dry and hot that when rain finally comes, its moisture lingers in the air. It smells so fresh and feels so cleansing to my nose that has been inhaling dust from fires, soil and pollution. When I step out in the morning for my normal routine I sit for a short period just smelling the cool air, letting it sink into my lungs.
For some reason the rain also brings out other scents, like the pine trees on my property. When I think about this day, I often feel a sense of nostalgia and I think about all the times I have been camping in the woods, enjoyed a hike, or fished in an alpine lake. I often tell myself I don’t think I could ever live without mountains and forest. I could never live without these natural wonders in my life because I would feel incomplete.
Follow me on Instagram for updates on this challenge.
Have you noticed lately or paid attention to your social media feed? Everyone has a side hustle or new business they're promoting or product they want you to buy? Everyone is an influencer these days.
These things are supposedly there to improve your life, make it quicker, easier and more efficient. If you are anything like me, you feel you’re missing out on something. Guaranteed you already have what they are talking about.
Right about now you are probably thinking “Kelly, but you are trying to sell me something too”. Yes, you’re right I am, but since I don’t like FOMO and scarcity tactics, I will not do that to you. Instead, I’m going to tell you something completely different.
You should only buy things that are going to bring you joy and love and actual value to your life. You should buy art with this in mind too!
Art adds value to my life. Photographs of my family add value to my life! Photographs of nature add that value to my life! I want that for you too!
This not only applies to objects, but digital materials. It’s so easy to buy anything we want now (because it’s literally at our fingertips) that most of the time we don’t even think about it.
Next thing you know you have a house full of stuff collecting dust and that you don’t really love. What if before you bought something else like a piece of art you stopped to think about it? Maybe ask yourself these questions.
1. Am I buying this because I love it?
2. Am I buying it because it’s trendy? Am I buying it for myself because I really love it or because others will think it’s cool?
3. Am I buying this to fill some other void?
Instead, especially with art, find things that really make your jaw drop when you see it. Art should fill your soul, not your ego.
Take your time when choosing art and art doesn’t have to match, have a theme, no matter what you see on Pinterest. You can like both Ansel Adams photographs and Mark Rothko paintings. Also, they can hang in the same room. Again, I know Pinterest will make you feel otherwise.
I like to think of houses as galleries. Paint your walls white so you can collect an eclectic taste in art that makes you happy, no matter the genre.
Fill your home with art that makes you smile and feel something every time you walk by it. Your purchase should not give you buyer’s remorse.
Maybe you don’t know where to find original art like that or you feel it’s too expensive. Here is my advice. Stop taking décor advice on Pinterest. Don’t get me wrong, I love Pinterest, but it’s definitely a platform that can make you feel less than while also begging you to shop.
In the spirit of minimalism, look local. Go into your local galleries on main street or independent boutiques. They’ll most likely display local artists’ work. You can also use Google to search for artists in your area. Go visit their studios and connect with them. Finding the right art for your home should be an experience. You should have a connection with it.
Most likely local artists are going to have the same interests as you. The artist might like the area you live in for the same reasons you do. For example, the town of Placerville that I live in has a gallery called Volution Gallery. I have purchased several pieces from them and here’s why:
1. The subjects the artists from this gallery paint are the subjects I like to photograph, such as the local plants and animals.
2. They are affordable. I believe great art shouldn’t be so expensive that someone can’t afford even one piece of your work. A variety of different price points offers something for everyone, especially if you love it, but can’t afford an original.
3. Their style is unique and draws me in, taking me to another time, and that’s what art should do for you too.
If you aren’t connecting to the art, you are purchasing on a visceral level than it’s time to reconsider your purchasing habits for art and home décor.
Buy art that brings you joy. Heck, apply this to all that you buy, but especially things that are prominently displayed on your wall.
Some people consider art junk, but I don’t. Art to me is like music. When you see something you really like a deep unnerving, but also comforting feeling happens inside you. That feeling is when you say “Yes, I want that!”
For those of you who have purchased work from me, I truly hope it has inspired you. I hope that it’ll be on your walls as something you’ll love and cherish! It is my great honor to provide that connection you have with art! Thank you!
2020 has been a year of challenges that has changed a lot of us in many profound ways. For me, I realized that the stress of these challenges is exacerbated by the many things I have going on at home.
I began getting really curious about minimalism, what it means, how it helps people and could I do it.
I also wondered how I could use it to the way I approach my art and business. I realized my Pinterest is full inspirational photos and are that is very simple. It's something that I am drawn to.
So why am I not doing that too? Why do I make things so overly complicated? So I am getting back to basics and the simple things I used to photograph because that's what brings joy into my life!
Coming soon is a new photo series all about the simplicity of nature and I am really excited to share it with you all!
Imagine yourself at a gallery opening or even shopping the décor aisle in Target. You see several pieces that you really like, but you have no idea how to make them all go together. Here are a couple of tips on how to create a wall/shelf/whatever in your home that looks cohesive!
1. Color Scheme
A lot of us are pretty intuitive when it comes to what we like. You are most likely drawn to certain things because you already have established a certain taste for colors or shapes.
Look at the art you like closely. Do you notice a color theme? Are you drawn to things that are red or blue? Put similar colors together.
Above is an example from my small town series. In each photo you a have a pinkish brick color, white and splashes of green-blue. It makes the series look like it goes together just because I was drawn to those colors.
Are you drawn to cities or nature? My mom loves photos of doors and windows. So if you are into a particular subject pair those pieces together.
Check out the photos below. Each was taken in a different place, but because the subject is the same it makes sense to use them as a series.
Maybe you love to travel or you love your hometown. Find pieces that are all from a place you love. Many places have a similar style to their buildings or landscape, so this is a good way to go if you have multiple pieces that you want to coordinate.
Below is a 3 part series from Sutter Creek, California. Many of the buildings in small towns are the same style. So each photo or art piece goes well together.