This is for my wonderful friend Kristen Westlake, Fine Art Photographer:
The chef tenderly peels the onion, insists slicing through the many layers. Her eyes sting more with time, becoming more sensitive, but fully aware she'll be moved to tears.
Kristen's website: www.KristenWestlake.net
Kristen Westlake, Fine Art Photographer, is the best of friends anyone could have. Kristen's family moved to the area while we were in Junior Highschool. We enjoyed many pajama parties in Jr. High school, she usually singing Andy Gibb songs-she was "in love" with him! She went another way for High school, attending Wayland Academy in Beaver Dam, WI while I stayed in public school in Juneau, WI. We lost touch.
It wasn't until Facebook that we connected again. We chatted online casually. At some point she stopped in when she was visiting her parents who live only a few miles where I do now. That was about 2011...both in our late forties. I hadn't expected to connect with her as I did. We've become tight and keep each other laughing-especially when the other needs a lift. We've seen each other through some hard times and we've had upsets with each other, but she is rare in being so forgiving and so open with her feelings.
Now, a couple years after we've grown so close, she comes up often from her home in Elkhorn to visit her parents on weekends, attending church with them on Sunday, and we often hook up to shoot photos together. We don't sit around drinking coffee, we go out driving to a location one of us has in mind and enjoy several hours photographing, chatting, and giggling a lot. When it's cold and we hop in her car to warm up, we discuss her work, other photographers, artists, influences.
Myself-I hated art history while in art college, but now have come to eat it up-documentaries, reading, and more. Even when I don't care for someone's art, I may watch simply to see what it is that fuels that artist. Discussing the artist and what fuels Kristen Westlake is a natural interest of mine, considering our close relationship. All my links to my work about and with Kristen is within my site menu. It will be an ever-growing list.
My videos and discussions Kristen Westlake's work, her vision, and life journey are not an all inclusive biography at all. There is much to be found about Ms. Westlake online regarding publications, galleries, photographic alliances and such. My article is more of a personal note that will run on, as our conversations often do--many times chatting on Facebook, laughing so hard we can barely type. Such joy is the fuel in my interest in sharing discussion about Kristen. We have a great time, enjoy photography, the arts, and so must you if your interest has come here. There is much sadness in the world, art is a fundamental human need-not a luxury-toward uplifting one's soul.