filed under: art, artists, miniviews, photography
i want everyone to visualize calm right now. let’s breathe in deeply through the nose and hold it for a moment. now, slowly exhale through the mouth. if it make you feel better, then i think you’re ready to look at the meditative work of karen casey smith. karen’s collection is filled to the brim with thoughtful, focused shots that lead your eye in and hold it, quietly. afterwards, whether you were prepared to do it (or not), you might find yourself a bit more relaxed afterwards, a bit more focused inwardly, a bit more healed – in a million different ways. it’s a zen feeling. and who wouldn’t want to know a little bit more about the brains behind that operation?
q: where do you live and where do you create your work?
a: home is about 30 miles from chicago, in the northwest suburbs. my work is created first in thought, then with attention to my subject while making the photograph and then in my computer at home.
q: your flower collection is pretty extensive. what is it about flowers that appeals to you most?
a: i love being around flowers. they are a miracle of beauty, and with closer attention even more amazing than anyone could know at first glance. throughout the ages flowers have been loved and given in love, to celebrate, to comfort, and to lift spirits. the beauty of flowers can be experienced directly, without words. when contemplating a flower, time seems to cease to exist and in that silent space you can experience the beauty to the core of your being.
q: i think your mandalas are mesmerizing – can you tell us a little about your technique, and the reasons why you create them?
a: mandalas are so appealing to me. i’ve been working in that form since around 1995 when i first read judith cornell’s book, mandala. she teaches that creating and contemplating mandalas is healing at the deepest levels. each of my mandalas carries a energy or vibration uniquely its own. the mandalas are a way to share positive, healing energy.
the mandalas are made with the aid of templates i designed myself. i first do any editing of the original photograph that’s necessary to make sure the contrast is good, and that all color is in gamut and printable. depending on the flower, i have different templates to choose from that have a varying number of divisions of the circle. in choosing the flower and creating the mandala, i work intuitively. the message or energy of the piece is revealed when it’s completed.
q: what are you doing when you aren’t taking photographs?
a: sometimes i work with and assist my husband, and occasionally do freelance graphic design. i love photoshop, and am always studying and working to improve my skills in both photoshop and photography. currently you could also find me cooking, baking (sometimes in my solar oven!), gardening, playing my ukulele or djembe, practicing tai chi, and playing with our two cats.
thank you karen!