10.18.2011

STORYTELLERS (Art with Heart): Charlene Precious

Toronto-based Photographer Charlene Precious writes on her blog, "Each photograph, no matter how seemingly simple, strange, or ordinary, is tied to a moment, which is tied to another moment, and another moment, and then another – they are an endless reminder of infinite moments."

Charlene Clothesline

This is what drew me to Charlene and her work--this bread-crumb trail of moments that she leaves for herself and for us, documenting and preserving the journey she makes. . .

charlene travel

taking in wide open spaces,

Charlene portugal

winding through narrow, city passages

Charlene sea2

and splashing across sandy stretches.

Charlene lives by St. Augustine's mantra, "The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only one page." But it's hard to say where the story began. Charlene says traveling is inspired by her photography, and her photography is what inspires her traveling. "Both go hand in hand."

BookstoreCharlene

The story of Charlene's art is told by an eye that watches the world fly by through a camera lens. "Traveling year after year is my deepest, darkest desire," she says. "There is something about waking up in a new and unfamiliar place that is just thrilling. Traveling does something to the soul that nothing else can do and capturing the experience with a camera is an added bonus."

And just think of the miles that would have lain untraversed, and the moments passed without notice if Charlene hadn't "stumbled upon Flickr" in 2007. This is where the world of photography opened to her. Inspired by Page Traeger and Samuel Barr, among others, Charlene says she "stalked and admired their works of art from afar with this broken, envious heart."

 So the full-time Marketer for Canon decided to take a step toward adding the name "artist" to her resume and purchased her first Camera--a Canon Powershot SD1000. She learned from the powerful point and shoot camera--her "teacher and companion for a time," and upgraded a year later to a Rebel XSI and began to build her professional portfolio.

charlene camera

But the real magic began in 2009 when Charlene started her photo blog--A Photo A Day--which she has kept "alive and bumpin’," ever since. The fact that the blog is something that "stuck" is a source of great pride for Charlene: "I have taken, or at least posted, one photo a day, every day since 2009. A Photo A Day evolved from just a fun Facebook and Flickr photo album into a precious photo journal told with words and photographs," she says.

The natural progression from here was the opening of the Charlene Precious Etsy shop. It was at this crucial intersection of making art, writing about it and taking the leap to sell it that the "Marketer" could finally see herself taking on another role as well--the role of "Artist."

And Charlene couldn't be happier at this turn of events. (Maybe you can tell by the happy pastel color palette of her photographs!) "Photography, blogging, and selling prints together have become the perfect platform for creativity and expression, and the trio is my single greatest source of joy," she says. The photographer continues to work full-time in marketing as well: "I’m just so in love with both worlds that I can do it."

charlene cornfield

Living a life full of work, no matter how much you love it, still requires a little rest.  Maybe that's why her favorite things to see through her camera lens are "vast empty spaces like a big field, a meadow, grassland, or farmland."  This is where travel comes in again for Charlene. "Road trips excite me because of all the large masses of empty land you pass while driving along the countryside and they look like they go on forever and ever," she says.  And of course, she always pulls over for a photo!

Charlene sea

Charlene has discovered that this love of wide open spaces is what seems to resonate the most with her customers--but especially the urge to "escape" into the vastness of the sea.  "The ocean is vast and filled with mystery, serenity, and possibilities," she says, "making it a great source of comfort and escape."  The photo, "My Heart Belongs to the Sea" is a favorite in her shop.

Charlene Europe

Other than golden fields and sparkling waters, some of Charlene's favorite places in the world and in her photography are in Europe.  But Lisbon, Portugal is an especial favorite.

Charlene Clothesline2

"Out of all the places I’ve been, Lisbon seems to be the one that left the biggest mark in my heart. The simplicity of the place really hit home," she says.

"It was beautiful in its natural environment. There was nothing flashy or vain to get your attention. The simple living, the run down houses, the chipping paint on the walls, the clotheslines outside their windows, were enough to draw me in and I appreciated it."

Charlene Clothesline3

Charlene's clothesline photography made a strong impression on me as well--it's such a beautiful thing, to travel halfway across the world and find that a midst all the grandeur and glamour of Eurpoe, the biggest impression made upon your heart was the simplicity of everyday people living everyday lives.

And as much as Charlene loves to travel and loves to connect with that desire to "escape" that so many of us hide in our hearts, her work also expresses the beauty of contentment in the "right here" and "right now." Charlene's clotheslines provide encouragement in this expression of contentment--maybe it's the realization that the simple task of hanging out the wash can be artful and can make an important difference in someone's life.

Thank you, thank you Charlene, for sharing your story! Don't forget to check out the Charlene Precious Etsy shop and the Photo a Day blog.

10 comments:

  1. Thanks for showing her work, I love it and will head over at once to the blog. :-)

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  2. Charlene, thank you for sharing your story and Sadee for introducing us. These photos are GORGEOUS! Looking forward to browsing your shop.
    Hugs, Catherine Denton

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  3. oh, my! I think I'm going to love every word and image in this post! Thank you....

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  4. Thank you, Sadee, for such a lovely feature. You are an angel! Thank you so very much - you did a stellar job!!! I am honoured!

    Charlene :)

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  5. Sadee,
    Thanks for posting about Charlene. I can't wait to go over to her blog and check it out. I love the photography. I just bought a new camera several months ago and have had fun taking just basic photos - but the inspiration here has made me want to learn more.

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  6. Charlene's work IS so inspiring, isn't it? I'm inspired too--I'm travelling to Barcelona next month and can't wait to see what I can capture with my camera!

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  7. the imagery is gorgeous...like a dream
    thanks for sharing her work Sadee

    love and light

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  8. wow, gorgeous photography and post... i love that quote by augustine. and i love this meme sadee.

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  9. beautiful moments and colors. Makes me wish I had more photos of the clotheslines in Ecuador. No matter who you are,or where, your clothes still get soiled.

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  10. Lovely! Imaginative! Full of grace. The artist and her work are just Beautiful, Sadee. So glad I took a peek into your Storytelling. Can't wait to read more in 2012!

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Thank you for being kind with your words and generous with your time!