This week’s blog posts are all by Erin Keane. The past three weeks have seen Crystal NeubauerAmanda Jolley and starting us off was Michelle Belto introducing our collaborative series; this week Erin! Enjoy and savor the uniqueness of each~


“So much of life is like taking a photograph.

We must pause to catch the moment and savor our delight.”

~ Julia Cameron

When I take a photograph, even a highly abstracted one, it holds a powerful memory of when, where, and why it was taken. Sometimes I find shots serendipitously, such as the red umbrella on a special day. It was my birthday and I was sitting at an outdoor café with my beau, having lunch after delivering art to Moses Cone Manor on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Weather was warm, autumn leaves against blue skies… we were playing hooky in the middle of the day. The red umbrella became a symbol, a self portrait.

Sometimes my discoveries are whimsical – glimpsing through a green wine bottle in a grocery store and noticing the lines of the shopping cart refracted through the glass. Sometimes my photographs naturally hold meaning – receiving a handwritten letter on vintage stationary and seeing it cast layers of shadows on the countertop. Sometimes the images capture a fleeting moment – waking up in the morning and seeing the mountains behind a mist of dewy condensation on the window.

Keane - Seven Degrees - 03

My fascination with the elasticity of light began when I studied darkroom photography in college. I used my father’s Mamiya-Sekor fully manual camera, which he purchased secondhand in 1969, and did all my film processing and print developing in the darkroom. I was so addicted that my professor gave me a key to the darkroom and I would work for hours without food or potty break. Just. One. More. Print!

A light bulb moment occurred when I was dressing for an evening out and dropped my handheld mirror, which shattered on the ground. As I bent to pick up the pieces, I saw my unusual reflection in the broken shards… an eyeball here, an eyeball there… another eyeball there…. I began to explore ways to capture imagery through broken mirror. The results were sometimes ethereal and sometimes edgy, depending on my settings for aperture and shutter speed, along with ambient light and position of the camera.

Keane - Seven Degrees - 04

I’ve continued exploring the theme “Light is Elastic” with my iPhone and post to Instagram under the name ErinBeanKeane ( One of my favorite things to do is take my iPhone “window shopping” by walking past store windows with the camera lens facing the window, capturing superimposed images of what is behind the store window while simultaneously reflected by the store window. It’s intriguing how the camera lens “sees” differently than your eye lens.

I’m pretty much a purist when it comes to imagery. I never use filters and my editing is minimal, maybe a slight boost in contrast and a touch of straightening (I do have a T-square in my head). The challenge in “Seven Degrees of Connection” was to have a 70% match to each paint chip. Instead of altering colors in a computer program, I choose to take photo after photo after photo, building up a library of images. My interpretation of 70% match was liberal, a guideline rather than a hard and fast rule, with my true goal to create beautiful art with a deep connection – to myself, and hopefully to the future owner.