Kathy Kessler

Something Imagined, Not Recalled: Staying True and Lending Truth to Someone’s Life

People who read the New York Times are probably familiar with the “Anatomy of a Scene” pieces, in which a film director describes a particular scene from a film they’ve made. Parts of the scene are shown as the narrative proceeds. The filmmaker/director often touches on what they were trying to achieve in the scene,

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Discoveries of Innocence in my iPad

When I found some photos in my iPad that had been taken by my now-teenaged grandkids when they were little, I realized their psychedelic selfies represented not just funny and endearing memories but whimsical spontaneous art pieces. Their unsupervised play with digital forms of self-image left behind a record of artful innocence, a touchstone for us, as the challenges of life move us forward in uncertain times.

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Learning Bird Language

Even isolation can serve as a motivator for looking more closely at different forms of communication expressed by birds and other non-human neighbors in our midst. Spending time developing our sensitivities to subtle communicative behaviors opens us up to surprisingly meaningful kinds of narrative that can enrich our lives and enhance our appreciation of how birds and other animals experience the world we share.

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The Art of Portraiture

Though phone cameras have changed the way we look at the world and ourselves, a powerful portrait remains a conversation. As a portrait maker I work from an essential sense of intimacy with and empathy for my subject. An artful portrait requires both a keen eye and an open heart. Establishing trust with the subject and honesty with the self can be key factors too.

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Bring on the Dark Sky

Bring on the Dark Sky

One summer night last year I ventured into the star-filled night to catch remnants of the Perseids meteor shower. Being outdoors in a wild natural setting in the dark predawn hours inspired me to examine some of my fears and anxieties arising from a growing sense of helplessness about our deeply troubled world. It helped me appreciate how engaging in even small moments of beauty and mystery can help restore an increasingly elusive sense of agency.

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