📷 An Eye for Life: My Week Online 🎨 #6





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Thank you for joining me for the Sixth Issue of my weekly newsletter! Are you still enjoying receiving this every week? Should I switch to twice or once a month? The last thing I want to do is clutter up your inbox. So please hit ‘reply’ and let me know, if you have a preference.

I am so grateful you're here.
Now that I am six weeks into sending this newsletter, I want to say thank you for being here. I can’t put into words what it has meant to me to receive your messages, your replies, tips and your feedback communicating that you enjoy what I send and look forward to reading each issue.
We all have a lot that competes for our attention these days and perhaps nowhere more so than in our email inboxes.
When you open my newsletter, click on any links or take the time to engage in any way - you communicate that you value what I do. For someone running a small, creative business: there is nothing more valuable than knowing that what I do matters to people.
And I believe that probably applies on some level to all artists or creatively-inclined people that you know. What we do - in any medium - can be lonely and isolating at times. And unless you achieve celebrity, it can be undervalued and underpaid.
But we who are artistic are often driven by a desire to put beauty and meaning into the world for the benefit of others. Most of us don’t do it for attention or validation. Yes, we are also creative simply for the pleasure of it or because we have to be - it’s who we are - but from speaking to colleagues since the start of the pandemic, I’ve found one thing drives almost all of us: the simple desire to bring joy to others.
So thank you. For all the support you give me and people like me. That’s you bringing joy too.
I’ll spend the rest of this issue, sharing the work of people that inspire and delight me. Some of them I have featured before, others I’m sharing for the first time.
Dance 💃🏻
This week, my friend Shannon pointed out the joy that dance brings to her life. That made me want to share the following:
Bare Feet, hosted by my friend Mickela Mallozzi, where she learns to dance from locals in countries all over the world. Travel + cultural exchange + dance = so much joy!
Dance Theatre of Harlem, always, and since last year this dance - set to Bach’s Violin Concerto in A minor - in particular.
Dancing Through Harlem
Dancing Through Harlem
Gurdeep Pandher of the Yukon
Bhangra in Boreal forest of the Yukon for Joy and Positivity
Bhangra in Boreal forest of the Yukon for Joy and Positivity
Patrick Dougherty is a favorite natural sculptor who makes dwellings I wish I could live in part time. This is ‘Grand Central’ now on display at McKee Botanical Garden.
Grand Central by Patrick Dougherty
Grand Central by Patrick Dougherty
Danish artist Thomas Dambo turns trash into treasure. His latest at the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens aims to convey the importance of forest preservation, and our responsibility to the environment. “These are nature’s protectors,said Gretchen Ostherr, president and chief executive of the gardens, “[the goal is for people to] have a wonderful, connected, restorative experience, and that they are inspired to take care of their planet.
The Boston Globe
The exhibit, titled, “Guardians of the Seeds,” is the work of Danish artist Thomas Dambo.

Guardians of the Seeds officially opens later this month.

https://t.co/n01Q3s2IrX https://t.co/d4Mro3Bqml
Illustration, Graphic Design, Painting
I rediscovered an old classmate this week and with that the fact that she’s an artist too, living in Los Angeles as well! [We did not grow up here. Small world!] Julia works in many mediums and I have really been enjoying them all. Shop her work or join her for yoga.
© jgdnoriginals
© jgdnoriginals
I could never choose just one favorite from artist Melissa Koby. Here is my most recent favorite and this one, this, and this are also favorites.
© Melissa Koby
© Melissa Koby
I found Natasha Cunningham via an Adobe tutorial this week, that made what she does look easy. As a decades-long Photoshop user, I know it is not! I bow to her talent, and hope to buy one of her prints.
© Natasha Cunningham
© Natasha Cunningham
Lisa Congdon is an artist who never fails to bring light into dark spaces through her work and through her words.
Eyes Forward - Art Print – Lisa Congdon
© Razlyn Lysaught
© Razlyn Lysaught
I’ve known Razlyn Lysaught on Instagram since before she started painting. When she did, I knew it’s what she was born to do. I have one of her pieces already, that I need to get framed, and I am currently lusting after the bird above.
I’m often moved by the visual stories curated to the Exposure Photography publication. Though all of the Publications feature imagery that is worth checking out.
I discovered Kali Spitzer (Kaska Dena) through my visit to the Bill Reid Gallery and later rediscovered via an article online. It can make me uncomfortable - though the image below does not - but it always inspires me to think and learn. A role the best art, often plays. I hope you will see, then read more at the artist’s own site or the article.
Jamie Beck may not need an introduction to this audience. I met her when she was still living in New York. She now lives and works in Provence with her daughter Eloise and husband Kevin, inhabiting a slowed-down life that is essentially my dream come true. But she inspires me because she manages to stay creative in challenging times. I struggle with that.
© Jamie Beck
© Jamie Beck
I met Mutua Matheka in Kenya when I was working there in 2017. He’s a friend - and Ford Foundation fellow - whose work moves me in ways few other photographers can. I bought the image below in the height of 2020’s uncertainty because looking at it imbued me with a sense of hope and I needed that then. I still do.
HOLD ON TO YOUR LIGHT (color) — Mutua Matheka
Marissa teamed up with Hope to pair words and images from San Francisco and Paris in beautiful prints. Fellow fans of typewriters will particularly love the mashup. It has inspired me to wonder what else I could do with my photos that I haven’t yet tried. See here and buy here.
My friend Jeff launched Stanchion Zine during the pandemic as a way to support other creatives. He focuses on writers, poets and black and white photography; publishing Stanchion in print four times a year. It’s one of the best things I receive in the mail and I hope you will join me in subscribing.
My curiosity is always put into overdrive by my friend Jodi’s newsletter, literally called Curious About Everything, & my friend Mike’s newsletter.
I really enjoy listening to my friend Erica’s reading series.
My Insta-friend Vina uses words and photos to impact me greatly whenever I see her posts. She’s one of the most thoughtful people I follow on Instagram.
Art compels us to question, invites us to memory, provokes us to act. [source]
I want to end with this prompt from Nikkia Reveillac, Head of Research at Twitter:
Nikkia Reveillac
close your eyes.
take 1 long, deep breath.
take 7 more of those.
to yourself, say "I AM ENOUGH" each time.
open your eyes.
now swagger into your day like the phenomenal human you are.
Now I think I’ve gone on long enough. I could include so many more people or make this newsletter only about featuring others. I’d never run out of subject matter! But that thought about not clogging your inbox is top of mind, so I will close for now.
with love, Kirsten
Thank you so much for reading! I hope to see you back here for the seventh edition of An Eye for Life. 💛 ✨
To let me know you enjoyed this, or anything else I create: you could share it with a friend, send me a tip, explore other ways to support, or send me a note by just hitting ‘reply’. I’d particularly like to know if you’d prefer to hear from me only once a month.
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Kirsten @kirstenalana

A periodic newsletter that helps you discover the work of creatives around the globe and ways you can help people + planet. Also includes notable online moments, photos, and an original short essay by Kirsten Alana.

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