Photographer Karen Hanrahan: Blog en-us (C) Photographer Karen Hanrahan (Photographer Karen Hanrahan) Fri, 21 Apr 2017 02:47:00 GMT Fri, 21 Apr 2017 02:47:00 GMT Photographer Karen Hanrahan: Blog 120 92 Cabbage Rolls suffice to say that this was one of those first spring evenings where the temperature and the stretch of brightness into the end of the day confuses you, and you start a crazy ambitious task of making in the kitchen at like 7.  On this particular evening I made a nettle pesto, a chocolate cream for one, a batch of stove top granola and because i was starving I also made these asian cabbage rolls. I amused myself and took images of all that I made, but the cabbage rolls really photographed well so I thought i'd have today's blog post be about them. I am not trying to make this space become a cooking/recipe space. I just think the photo narrative works in this circumstance.

I could not get enough of my back door being wide open ( flies are not in full force yet ) and laughingly, I took two very similar images of this little blue vase obviously because of the way the light was shining through it. I crack myself up.  

And then, to have the entire evening be sent off with a visual kiss from the universe - there was this remarkable sunset. With clouds outlined in golden light. Gorgeous.  

I had so many dishes to do - it wasn't even funny.  

asian cabbage roll recipe

asian cabbage rolls - these were amazing. preheat oven 400 degrees. rinse 8 cabbage leaves and boil for 3 minutes. transfer to a bowl of ice water, remove then dry. in a skillet heat 1 T of oil, 1 teas of garlic and ginger - fresh grated ginger, add 1 shredded carrot and 1 shredded zucchini - add 4 fried eggs ( i did those separately ) add 1/4 cup green onion. lay out cabbage leaf add veggie/egg mixture and roll - brush with oil - bake for 25 minutes. top with soy sauce, toasted sesame seeds and more green onion. note: i steamed mine vs baking.



]]> (Photographer Karen Hanrahan) karen hanrahan photographer washington Fri, 21 Apr 2017 02:47:09 GMT
Paired Image Collage Technique i have been collaging for a long time. recent years collage has taken on a larger role in my day to day. as well as a growing role in a local art community. this expansion of my collage work means everything to me. if you are someone who collages you can relate to the compulsion to tear apart publications in public places. i can't help it, i see something and want to add it to my collection of potential for collage.

after you've been collaging for some time you begin to have a knowing, an already oh "this" that has you build a confident collage upon. pairing images is a great technique for this knowing. when i saw these two images from two very separate sources i had to collage them together.  something about the colors, the textures, the mood, the moment. all just made sense.  perhaps you can see why? while pairing might seem like a very simple way to collage, it's not as easy as it appears. it's very much like a puzzle and making sure the piece fits just right. when the pieces fit it's ready to glue. 

the quilt like piece was sourced from an art in america magazine - the construction and mixed media expression is by artist Joan Giordano

the photograph was sourced from a conde nast traveler magazine - it was taken in Burma by photographer Richard Renaldi 

]]> (Photographer Karen Hanrahan) artist collage karen hanrahan washington Thu, 20 Apr 2017 22:57:00 GMT
Our Creative Freedom To Observe A photography contest prompted our creative work and how it relates to our freedom. What drives international and contemporary photographic practices, they asked.  Further in prompting they said - what is our language as photographers, our visual language. What are we saying? How does what we say elevate the social conscious? In 1941 President Roosevelt outlined our four basic freedoms: freedom of speech, freedom of worship, freedom from want, freedom from fear. These three questions they wrote struck me the most:  What is freedom?  Are we more free by isolating ourselves from unknown others or are we more free by being able to exercise and enjoy our basic human rights? How do we respond to and counter those ideas with alternative perspectives?

While I don't relate to these questions on a political level. They provoked me on an artistic level. Specifically on the topic of privacy.  I don't like having my picture taken. I never have. With the advent of cell phones - random capturing occurs everywhere you go. I feel like people should ask me my permission. May I take your picture?  Yet, I admit that probably some of the very best shots of me are when I had no idea that someone was photographing me. I actually like this. Someone saw something in me to casually pause that moment in a photograph.  How great is that!  This however can be a very fine line.  I won't go into the legal aspects of this topic, because i am not an expert on it, and the conversation has too many opinion nuances to it. I will say this, over the years as I've developed myself as a photographer I have become very good at honoring privacy. Almost to the point of paranoia. When some asks where everyone's heads are ....that might be a little too private, yet, as a style of capturing, I sometimes prefer it.  Over time, my photography work has taken on a narrative role. I believe you can say a lot about a person without revealing their full identity.  I admire the street photography genre - I'd say that most of it is probably not taken with signed consent. It doesn't need to be. It just needs to be mindful.  Especially in a public space.  If you are a person looking out a window in a public place - that's fair game.  If you are a crumpled heap asleep on a sidewalk, that's a very public place. I think in the spirit of observing, that when I see something that makes me want to pull out my camera, that moment is altered completely if have to ask that subjects permission. I also think as a creative my freedom to express myself is also in that moment.  It's like painting something pink that should be blue do it that way because you can. I have had more than a few people say that zooming in on a crowd is voyeuristic ...i'd say that if that practice was exploiting or violating perhaps so, but if you look at some of the gritty, in your face photography. that stuff is real and in the moment and there is no fine line. that photographer is observing it with every click of the shutter.

I didn't submit to this particular contest because the fee was prohibitive for me. I did however think on it. quite a bit. I also gathered a few photographs that I feel example how I respect a persons privacy and engage in my right to express myself creatively. To narrate and speak as I see things. I do love the idea of provocative topics and projects in photography. I admire the tenacity and risk, and projects are often very inspiring to me






]]> (Photographer Karen Hanrahan) karen hanrahan photographer washington Thu, 06 Apr 2017 04:22:37 GMT
Easy To Step To Manzata Over the weekend I had the opportunity to collage prompted by a short story.

Local author Alma Alexander is working on a collection of short stories titled "Untranslatable." Each story has a word that inspired it. She let me work from one of the stories and swedish word "Manzata"

These are the two collage pieces that found me.

They were not exactly right - meaning, they did not literally depict the tale. I sure had fun trying though!! As process goes, I worked with what I had. I read her story - I jotted down words from her story that spoke to me, I then took a stack of national geographic magazines and tore what I could find. In my minds eye certain imagery would illustrate her story, and some of that definitely landed in these two collages. The challenge was to take what images I did find and have them have some artistic aesthetic.  Very much like a puzzle of sorts.

It was a delight to meet Alma, and super fun to playfully attempt to illustrate something in collage. As time goes on I bet the right collection of imagery will find me and I can be more literal to the story!

Alma's story by the way was really wonderful! You can enjoy her writing for yourself here 


]]> (Photographer Karen Hanrahan) artist collage karen hanrahan story washington Wed, 05 Apr 2017 19:18:20 GMT
Collage Tells Stories For Me My personal process for making a collage starts with a pause. like a deep breath. never more than that. just a small moment before i begin. 

sometimes i will let a word find me. what word describes what am i feeling during this pause?  It's nice to compare that beginning word to the word that finds you after you collage.

I then tear apart a magazine and/or pull images from a stack of already torn pages. My work space could remind you of a deck of cards except my cards are pages and pages of all sorts of magazines.

I then assemble. In 2013 I began to collage in a journal.  That style of collecting work turned into a story of my life illustrated through collage.

Occasionally I have a clear vision of a finished piece with what I find, but mostly it comes together as I go. The images seem to have a plan for themselves.  Like this needs to be cut, or this needs to be torn.  This shape goes in this direction etc.  I love the challenge of puzzling it together.  When it is finished I am continually in awe of what a collage will narrate from my subconscious mind. Over and over they tell my story. I always feel so relaxed after completing a piece.

For this particular collage I had only pulled two images. In my mind, i had one idea for it, my gut however said no cut them into strips and let the two intermingle. The result was remarkable. I like this collage very much.


Lately, I've been called to use scissors more than usual. Not sure why. When making this collage I randomly placed one of the images on top of my phone and it glowed! Isn't that wild?

Once I finish a collage I let words find me to be complete with it.  free flow. sometimes i ask the words for a title but mostly I want to be with what it initially tells me.

For this piece the word "divided" spoke the loudest. 

Beginning in 2017 I started an instagram hash tag #icollagedaily just to see how that phone based social platform works and to provide example and accountability for daily creating. Its neat to see all the collages assembled in one space, better yet ...another artist @saraglactica posts her collages too! I sorry to say that I am not that attached to my phone to be in the moment with my fellow connections on instagram but I sure do love how responsive so many folks are of me when I post. 


]]> (Photographer Karen Hanrahan) artist collage karen hanrahan Wed, 29 Mar 2017 23:47:38 GMT
Grounded Going through a bit of a challenge in my life right now.  

Sometimes a challenge can stop you in your tracks.

I feel like this past month has been exactly that.


i describe myself as deeply rooted. 

trees in particular resonate with me

i feel they have stories to tell

their roots ground me.

they are not always perfect

i know I am certainly not perfect. 

i am grounded

and boy, do i have stories to tell.

my friend and fellow photographer shared this poem today after I posted this tree image.

i just love him for sharing it. 

Endure Like A Tree. 

To get through life you have to endure as a tree does.
When Mother Nature tries to bring you down,
You will never fall; you will stand your ground.
You will encounter burning flames.
Yes, it will be painful and hard,
But once it's over and done with,
Your bark will grow back stronger than ever.
When your leaves start to slowly leave,
Never fret, there will be more to take their place.
They'll come and go throughout your life,
That's just how it is.
From the time you're a seedling to the time you're mature,
Your roots will always be there to support you.
After many years,
After enduring forest fires and changing leaves,
Your own saplings will fall away to start anew.
Then you'll know not to worry,
They'll grow into tall, strong trees,
Just like those before you.

Alicia Quetzalcoatl



]]> (Photographer Karen Hanrahan) karen hanrahan photographer tree washington Wed, 22 Mar 2017 19:09:22 GMT
Winter In Washington I am told this is one of the worst winters in washington in some time. 

having lived in the midwest my whole life 

winter in the pacific northwest seems different somehow.

i heard that the climate here offered all four seasons 

but not to the extremes 

more temperate.

what i know about winter from my childhood, was that winter was a season

it snowed with great synchronicity around thanksgiving.

it stayed cold and white until march.

st patricks day was always gloomy, moody and muddy.

sometimes though, on st patricks day it would snow.

those tricky leprachauns!

as I got older the season wasn't so predictable

it was messier, slushier, dirtier and colder. sub zero cold, crazy bitter cold.

i felt like winter as a kid was just a time to wear boots and mittens.

not to be concerned about frost bite

i played in the snow, hung out in the winter and found it beautiful in its own cold, but not too cold and wintery way.

not so much these days. at least in the midwest.

i feel like the 21st century go go go does not heed things like winter. 

in the old days

long ago

one didn't commute in winter.

you couldn't.  you were snow bound.

thats what fireplaces, knitting, whittling and making soup was for.

hunker down and cozy in.

stay inside.

do not venture forth into the white covered abyss.

some of this winter felt like that to me here because my car situation in Dec had me stuck a few times. 

stuck in my own driveway stuck.  yikes!!

and, some of the snowfall this winter 

had schools and libraries and whatever else completely shut down.

i LOVE that in this state they don't use salt on the roads

sure it makes trekking on some of the roads a bit of a trick 

but hey stay inside, hunker down ... and cozy in

that's what novels and hot chocolate are for. 

I found the photography pretty darn inspiring

here are a few, ok here are more than a few of my captures!!





]]> (Photographer Karen Hanrahan) gorgeous karen hanrahan photographer snow washington winter Fri, 10 Mar 2017 01:18:05 GMT
PhotoLush 2017 Delivers Authentic Message I signed up for the photographers conference PhotoLush 2017 in a very spontaneous moment. I signed up because it was local. I signed up because it appeared to be an intimate conference, which appeals to me. Small = Better. I signed up because it showed up in my feed on FB, just as an art show I had planned to submit to had cancelled and a patron let me keep the funds.  I signed up because I recognized Clinton James  from a FB group I had lurked in. I signed up because it was out of my league.  I signed up because I wanted to be uncomfortable.  I wanted to be uncomfortable for a variety of reasons. As a person who struggles a bit with social phobia, being in crowds of strangers is like death. I am putting myself in these circumstances even if I struggle with it.  

The conference was mostly designed for the professional photographer. Things like weddings or journalists, or senior portrait photographers.  I don't do ANY of those things. I also don't intend to do that type of photography. Why would I surround myself with these types of professionals?  

I did it to affirm what I am. 

This past year I became more familiar with my introvert self. I have been an introvert my entire life, I just never had a name for it.  In a workshop I was teaching, all the participants spoke to being introverts and it was like a light bulb went on in my head.  Wait a minute, is that what this is?  Are the quirky ways of being me and surviving publicly now defined? Is being introverted what this is called?  It's rather embarrassing that it took me until my mid 50's to GET my true self, but there it is. AND it's very real for me.  Anyone with challenges socially, and or even certain learning disorders ( I have those too) we all know that we creatively cope with being who we are. For me, if I can control my circumstance somehow by having a role to play, like volunteering at the check in of a conference, or teaching my own workshop -- then I can be the one in charge of something. I can shine in my own way.

For this conference I had none of those safety nets. Sometimes being new can actually help. Hi - I am new to Washington state and ...but after a year plus now, I am not sure I can still say that. Nor can I say that about my photography. My self taught journey began in 2012.  Clearly the conference was rich with friendships and connections from it's past years, and having been part of environments like that before.  I mostly took the stance of being an uncomfortable observer or a wall flower - yes, that was me in the back of the room. watching. I was completely out of my element in the lighting shoot session , but I tried, and I found my creative way in spite of being uncomfortable

Here is what I saw:

I was very impressed by the mom/child lifestyle photography expressions I saw represented. Large percentage of women in the crowd. Leah Shepard I was very moved by your sharing

Folks sure go all out with regards to their camera's and equipment. big camera's, big lenses, fancy flashes. Being in a room full of that, to me, felt like tech overload. 

That said, one speaker - the very young and impressive Kjell Redal spoke to the "use what you have" model.  I particularly loved that because guess rock star of a point and shoot camera ?? It's all I've got. I've got a long way to go to feel one with my Lumix.  

The example of using your lap top in an oven as a light source?  A total gem of an idea. Thank you Jennifer Bogle -- way more my speed.

It takes a certain kind of person to do wedding photography. I state this affectionately. I am in awe of you Sarah Postma - you make it look effortless. I am definitely not that sortof person. And while I didn't understand a single thing you said Saturday - I tried and it was fun to try.  

( the very last three of this set were with my Lumix - which is very low performing in low light. )

I would like to do portraiture. I have an idea as to what kind. I need mentorship to acquire this skill. 

What I do best and what I wish to do and be proficient and sustainable in project work. narrative. not journalistic, but story telling for another -- specifically - my images move their story forward.  Not sure what that is called. I knew this about myself before the conference. After the conference I feel more clarity about it.

The give back in photography or what a photograph provides that isn't measurable or tangible is priceless. The photographer who uses photography to give back are people I really enjoy being around. Rob Atkinson - what a beautiful story you shared. Tiffany Burke you are such a power house. 

A LOT of heart in this crowd. 

MOSTLY, the hat I chose to wear when I moved to Washington a year and a half ago, was one of AN ARTIST. It's a hat I wear with risk, because if I want my work to be income producing.  It needs to be something that is sustaining. Boy - did Anna bring that pricing for profit reality home.

My personal shining moment, and it didn't have an official conference lushie award attached to it, was seeing these stickers on my salon image.

This informal photo salon contest had several categories:  Kid and Baby Portraits, Landscape, Wedding/Events, Art/Fashion, Adult Portraits, and Editorial/Photojournalism.  When I decided on this piece...I thought of it as a portrait in the adult category.  but not of an adult adult...but more of my mooing neighbor and a cow adult.  

strangest thing happened conference peers experienced my photograph as art!!

Thank you to those who gave me my little blue stickers!!

You have no idea how defining that is for me.

Shout out to Quick Silver Labs in Bellingham - my print was very well done!! 

I live in the country. I had a bit of a trek to attend. When I went to get my print it was completely hailing outside. full hail pour! I had a chance to pause and enjoy the sunset before the conference began.

me thinks there are stars in this shot of the manor, they had to be pretty darn bright for my little camera to pick up. The Lairmont Manor was a lovely venue! I was very taken with this fridge in the kitchen - it had stuff stacked in front of it by the time i got back to snap a few shots of it.  

My blooper for the day/event was this ridiculous capture of a fire extinguisher!! HA!!

To the founders of PhotoLush Clinton and Aaron - kudos to you for continuing to gather this special blend of creatives. I am sure I am not alone is saying the difference you make for others is real and tremendous. Thank you!

My conference set of images is here.

bride and groom. ( ashley kristoff and conor james bryan )

engaged couple ( elyssa zorres and curtis carter )

dress and tux from belle bridal 

make up - elizabeth marie makeup


]]> (Photographer Karen Hanrahan) artist bellingham conference karen hanrahan photographer photolush Tue, 28 Feb 2017 00:09:21 GMT
Collages For Sale At Dog & Pony Gallery In Peoria Darn stoked to announce that quite a few of my original journal collaged pages are now for sale at The Dog And Pony Gallery in Peoria, IL.  

I was invited to participate in this new gallery adventure by my friend and artist Ricky Traughber.  

He, and his business partner Cyndi Merrill, another fine artist,  are proud to represent a rotating collection of some of the finest Art and Artisanal works Central Illinois and the Illinois River Valley have to offer.

My inventory at Dog And Pony Gallery includes collage work from the 200 Series, The 900 Series and The Loose Page Series.

3 sizes are available 5 x7, 8 x 10 and 8.5 x 11's. prices are $36. $49. $54. accordingly. They are unframed.

( note: some collages have already sold. I will try and do my best to mark which are already gone) 

Below -- just a few examples


Galloping ChickenGalloping ChickenThe 200 Series Cozy Dance For TwoCozy Dance For TwoThe 200 Series One With HeadlightsOne With HeadlightsThe 200 Series Retro TenderRetro TenderThe 200 Series Galloping In StrideGalloping In StrideThe 200 Series Wings Of Bat In PinkWings Of Bat In PinkThe 200 Series The 900 Series :: Blue Party DressThe 900 Series :: Blue Party Dress The 900 Series :: PaternalThe 900 Series :: Paternal The 900 Series :: She was a techThe 900 Series :: She was a tech The 900 Series :: MooThe 900 Series :: Moo The 900 Series :: Spectator RageThe 900 Series :: Spectator Rage The 900 Series :: Mixed MediaThe 900 Series :: Mixed Media


]]> (Photographer Karen Hanrahan) artist collage dog and pony gallery karen hanrahan peoria, illinois Thu, 16 Feb 2017 00:31:33 GMT
Collage Artist Displays At Social Fabric In Bellingham Through a referral I was guided to this lovely boutique/gallery and making place called Social Fabric.

Renee, owner of Social Fabric agreed to let me teach a creative subconscious collage workshop in March.  

A few weeks ago I brought 6 framed pieces as samples of work to display for the workshop. Renee loved them, and to my delight, asked for 10 more collages!

I am very excited to share that I will be exhibiting at Social Fabric this month!!

These are the 6 framed pieces that are from a former series release.

The 900 Series :: Burst Of AutumnThe 900 Series :: Burst Of Autumn Mustard PumpMustard PumpThe 500 Series Buckets Of PaintBuckets Of PaintThe 500 Series Empty NestEmpty NestThe 500 Series Afternoon BreezeAfternoon BreezeThe 500 Series PumpPumpThe 500 Series

I decided to release something NEW for the 10 collages that Renee requested.

Introducing the 300 Series:

The 300 Series -- Winter Lady At DuskThe 300 Series -- Winter Lady At Dusk The 300 Series -- Boots In BrownThe 300 Series -- Boots In Brown The 300 Series -- Celtic CountryThe 300 Series -- Celtic Country The 300 Series -- Lost In The Crowd.The 300 Series -- Lost In The Crowd. The 300 Series -- Pet HawkThe 300 Series -- Pet Hawk The 300 Series -- Torn ApartThe 300 Series -- Torn Apart The 300 Series -- Riding The Solo StormThe 300 Series -- Riding The Solo Storm The 300 Series -- Super Hero BluesThe 300 Series -- Super Hero Blues The 300 Series -- Petal ScapeThe 300 Series -- Petal Scape The 300 Series -- HeavenThe 300 Series -- Heaven

This Social Fabric establishment, I might add is quite swank. 

MORE about the details of the March 12th workshop ...soon!!


]]> (Photographer Karen Hanrahan) artist collages downtown bellingham karen hanrahan social fabric Wed, 15 Feb 2017 22:06:35 GMT
One Camera Verses Another Brunch when nature brings you a good dose of winter

Why not make brunch and take photos!

I have been playing with the light of this north window since summer.

The winter season had the light shift dramatically, lots of grey days and it got dark so early, 

but the days are getting longer and, on this day

the light was just exceptional.

I decided to play with both cameras to see what I can observe

one is my trusty canon point and shoot 

the other is my mirrorless lumix

no fingers were lost while making this brunch 

but I did take a good slice out of my thumb


I made a red and sweet potato hash w/ serrano pepper, garlic, onion and red pepper w/ scrambled egg topped with radish greens, green onion and lime. It's a test of will when I scratch make hash browns because you need to be patient while waiting for them to get crispy! Toast was a local sourdough and a boysenberry jam. Its becoming empty fridge club time again and I had somethings that had to be used up.

Here are the canon files:

These are the files from the lumix

I think both cameras did a terrific job.  I find the scene food photography setting that I use for the lumix sometimes pops color a bit too much and often images are too dark.  I can fix that with software. My point and shoot is very forgiving, and does really well in low light - for the sake of this project I just used my auto setting.

Let's compare a few shots - left are the point and shoot. right are the lumix.

onion - i didn't realize i had turned the onion over. ha!







]]> (Photographer Karen Hanrahan) bellingham karen hanrahan photographer washington Wed, 08 Feb 2017 04:38:14 GMT
Full Circle Over the weekend I completed my gratitude packages for the Go Fund Me monies that were gifted to me.  If you recall a 30 day campaign pulled together by my friends back in IL bought me a car.  Wow - right?  

I decided on multiple tiers of gifting utilizing these four seasonal photographs. I ordered postcards, greeting cards with envelopes, photography prints and matts. I also ordered thank you cards with my mug of a pic on it because some donations came from folks I had never met before. All these orders and details took a bit to pull together, and I am happy to say I ordered just enough.  No major Karen math mistakes! 

In my heart I wanted to send a bit of me, a bit of the washington I've fallen in love with and make sure my feelings felt sincere. I wanted my thank you to feel enough somehow. abundant. 

Imagine my surprise when Monday came around and already some of my packages had found their way to the midwest. I mailed them on Saturday and they were in IL on Monday! Folks really loved them. All week, as more people are getting them. I am feeling their delight in what I sent. The praise was really something.  

I love the full circle of this entire circumstance, and perhaps I am making a bigger deal out of all of this then I should but I felt it was important to do the right thing.


]]> (Photographer Karen Hanrahan) artist karen hanrahan photographer Thu, 02 Feb 2017 07:40:43 GMT
2016 A Very Good Year It was a very good year. That 2016. A triumphant year actually. Much to overcome. Yet, in it's artistic glory, a very cathartic year thanks to my art. I've been an artist wanna be my entire life. Sure I dabbled as the kids grew. My arty karen-isms always filtered into whatever I've found myself involved in, but the level in which they were part of my life would probably be defined as a hobbyist. Meaningful, productive and provoking are all words I'd use to define myself as an artist. In recent years the time I've given to my art has grown. i think of the term starving artist. i feel that an artist may not have much, but when they are creating they are at their happiest. That is exactly how i'd describe 2016. Probably to date my most producing art year ever.

Here are some of the highlights: 

"Feminominal"  2 HS Students Gather Art From Local Women. ( I had a photograph hanging in this show) 

Three Of My Collages Were In A Show in Seattle

I Released 4 sets of original collage journal pages.

Over 125 pieces ( The 200, 500, 900 and the Loose Page Series )

Marketing Hire. ( February and May )

Developed Solo Installation ( Jan - May )

Created a collage an envelope tutorial

Successful Collage Workshops at The Bureau

A Collage Circle Was Formed. 

Hire: 4 Whatcom Libraries Hosted Collage Workshops

Lost Art Project - SOLO Installation at The Bureau

Guest Post - What We Don't Know. The Bureau's Blog

Hire: Jansen Art Center ( Winter 2017 Programming )

Fall and Winter Juried Show - Jansen Art Center. 10 selections. ( photography and collage)

Women's Work Installation.  Collaborative Show

Collage A Calendar In 13 Days Collaborative with Sara Holodnick ( Email Campaign )

Narrative Photography

Three Week Photography Intensive. The topic revolved around food. 

Fun Photo Essay Highlighting My Country Studio

Notes:  The establishment known as The Bureau closed 12/31/2016.  It was a gem of a boutique championing a variety of artful humans, myself being one of them. It was easy to call this establishment my home during 2016 - and a great way to launch my artist self here in WA




]]> (Photographer Karen Hanrahan) artist karen hanrahan Wed, 25 Jan 2017 23:29:12 GMT
Josh The Woodsman i originally met josh through a buy nothing group on fb 

i needed a seam sewn on a dress i had

he agreed to do that for me.

josh's place was a mini farm

he shared that he was an artist

and made things from wood.

i liked what i saw 

i thought it was terrific that a man sewed.

time passed.

josh posted that he needed some images taken of his beard for a local contest

i wanted to give back and agreed to help him.

one of the things i love to do with my photography is offer a narrative

and even though this post is about josh

there is a small back story.

see the day before i was supposed to shoot images for josh

my brakes failed on my car.

i had to leave my car in an empty parking lot.

even though i often feel new to town

(i've been here over a year now)

i had some folks i could call

one got me to the class i was supposed to teach

another got me home. 

which was pretty darn terrific.

my reality was that i was carless.

nothing worse than letting a client down

josh ended up coming to get me for his photo session

the shoot ended up being way more than 

a few captures of a guys beard

at the end of the day 

he helped me get my car to a mechanic. 

love that. full circle. 

I like when a client is prepared with their own ideas for their project.

like stopping at the nearby mill first. 

boy was i glad i thought to bring my muck boots. muddy!!

josh wanted me to capture him when he is at his happiest. 

working with wood, at his mini farm, with his things around him

he wanted shots of himself in all kinds of hats.  

my favorite was the fur cap. it ended up being his favorite too.

all of them were definitely a layer of personal expression!

and note the great captures of his beard!

I didn't know josh very well

it was clear he loved anything that had to do with working with wood.

he loved his farm, all his animals, his artistry. 

there was a moment that day when i felt he trusted me artistically. 

i took responsibility for that

it felt great!!

what could have been a terrible rainy day 

ended up holding off 

it was a good session.



]]> (Photographer Karen Hanrahan) karen hanrahan narrative photographer nature washington woodsman Thu, 12 Jan 2017 06:04:56 GMT
Collage A Calendar In 13 Days Collage A Calendar In 13 Days

An Online Workshop taught by Karen Hanrahan


As the year draws to a close it can often feel like time speeds up. Schedules explode and although the celebrations of the season are joyous, it can all feel a little overwhelming. 

Collage a Calendar in 13 Days will help you take the edge off your busy schedule and social obligations by giving you space for creative exploration. This online workshop will offer you a way to prepare for the New Year with grounded reflection and thoughtful intention-setting. You will learn how to create a one-of-a-kind collaged calendar for 2017 that is full of your hopes and dreams for the future. 

Just $18 - Click HERE to Enroll. 

( The Bureau is sponsoring this time sensitive workshop - registration is required by DEC 12th - be sure when registering that you click subscribe also - your instruction emails will begin DEC 13th )  

How it Works

You'll receive an email every day for 13 days. Prompts will guide you through the process of creating collages with intention, and tarot readings will provide additional depth to aid your creativity or inspire daily journaling. 

You will make 13 collages over the course of this workshop: One for the cover of your calendar, and one for each month of the year. You can do one collage a day or do a couple longer sessions-- it's up to you!

When you are finished, you will have a complete calendar that is unique to you and your intentions for the New Year.

Included in the workshop:

  • Creative Subconscious Collage tutorial that will teach you the easy, intuitive method you'll use for each collage. 
  • 13 daily collage prompts to help focus your work and set intentions. 
  • Tarot Card of the day prompts, perfect for inspiring your work or journaling as you go. 
  • Complete supplies list.
  • This online workshop is flexible so it fits into your life: Whether you want to carve out 20 minutes each morning or take your time over a beer on a Saturday afternoon.

  • The most important part is making the time and space for yourself. You choose the when and where-- we'll provide the how. 

]]> (Photographer Karen Hanrahan) artist collage creative subconscious collage karen hanrahan sara galactica tarot washington Tue, 06 Dec 2016 19:38:32 GMT
New Skills recently a woman told me i needed to learn a new skill. she said i already had an artistic aesthetic and that all i needed was to tap into that. i found her assessment of my ideas and needs to be very refreshing and encouraging. she was spot on. learn a new skill. duh.

the thing is, this learning new things and skills i feel is a percolating theme.

i just decided i am going to have it be my theme for 2017.  

Last years theme was "path"

with all the shift in direction especially in finding and feeling that i have a home

path was a good word for last year.

I thought i'd start learning new skills early.

one of the joys of this past year included showing some art.

however showing art has a few challenges.

for me, the expense of putting art up is something i've discussed here before.

i decided to learn how to wire these 5 pieces myself.

i am not adept at tools.

i also have lame tools.

my hands are not strong.

but i watched a gal do it at a local frame store.

and in a few videos.

I thought,

if they can do it. 

so can i 


and so armed with wire that was the wrong gauge, and hardware that was too big for the frame, I turned my oak kitchen table into a workspace and I did it!!

the project was not without a few challenges though.

like putting the hole in the wrong place

so that when i screwed in the hardware it almost came out the other side.


or not being able to get screws in straight.

or flat. 

but in the end and after some patience.

all 5 pieces looked pretty darn wired!!

and I saved money!!

The opening for the juried Winter Exhibit at Jansen Art Center begins December 8th, 2016 - the show will hang until the end of February.

These are the pieces I submitted


]]> (Photographer Karen Hanrahan) artist jansen art center karen hanrahan washington winter Mon, 05 Dec 2016 05:13:20 GMT
Holiday Vintage Reindeer At The Bureau One of the things I have just loved about my affiliation with The Bureau Of Historical Investigation this past year has been the unveiling of their window displays!!

The shop part of The Bureau is closing at the end of the month.

( huge sad face inserted here ) 

Check out the sweet borrowed vintage reindeer collection from Erin Boyd Of Red Spade Designs ( local maker of those viral "nasty bitch" t-shirts )



Goodbye treasured time gone by. 

It was such a pleasure to vend here.

AND gosh, 

Happy Holidays!!

Thank you owners Sara Holodnick and Marissa McGrath for all that they are for the community and especially local artisans. 




]]> (Photographer Karen Hanrahan) artist bellingham karen hanrahan photographer vintage reindeer washington Thu, 01 Dec 2016 22:42:03 GMT
Defining Moments There are moments in our life when we know we've defined something.  It might be something good. Or it might be something bad. What ever the moment is. There is a clarity that just makes sense of it all. I recently had that type of moment about my relationship with my sister.

This months collage circle theme was forgiveness. Forgiving is not that easy to do. Seems that in today's day there is a lot to forgive.  Sometimes the need to forgive is closer to home

I have sometimes felt like forgiving was a forced march.  I akin it to what I call an automatic sorry. The thing you say when someone expects you to, the problem is everyone can tell when your apology or your forgiveness is nothing but lip service.

What I learned recently about forgiveness is that it is a bit like that old phrase ...when one door closes,  a window opens, or however that saying exactly goes. The point is, people and events come into our lives. Equally, they also leave our lives. The act of forgiveness allows for good karma. 

The theme of this first collage was about the love and gratitude I felt for my sister. I made it when I first arrived in Washington. She missed the sentiment of the collage when I showed it to her. Her comment was dismissive. "Whatever" she said. I am not going to explain the entire demise of our relationship.  Being dismissive though was a part of it.  She and I have parted ways.  

The second collage I created when I let go of the blame I was feeling towards someone. We were divided too, but i had found forgiveness for the circumstance. While not specifically created for my sister and I's parting - It seemed like the appropriate creative pairing and sentiment about her and I.

I appreciate the visual full circle of it. 



]]> (Photographer Karen Hanrahan) artist forgiveness karen hanrahan sister Sun, 27 Nov 2016 19:25:51 GMT
Winter Is Blue Spent some time today submitting art for a winter juried exhibit at the Jansen Art Center. I had some decisions to make about what to submit. Winter photographs, which I have some beautiful captures of, or collages. With the advent of my class proposal to teach a Creative Subconscious Collage Workshop now accepted. YAY!! I felt perhaps collage work was a stronger art statement. When I think of winter, and color - there is of course the color white and snow, yet the blue of winter also really speaks to me. I decided to focus my selections around the color blue.  

My artist statement says 

Karen Hanrahan began tearing magazine images and unifying them into collage in the late 90's. Finding the process insightful and relaxing she shared the technique with others. Her Creative Subconscious Collage workshop evolved and became popular. After many years of facilitating workshops this methodology is still tried and true. Timeless, actually. A trust in the process is key, a willingness to play another, and taking the time to immerse also becomes part of doing Creative Subconscious Collage.  In recent years Karen applied this technique to journaling. Her torn bits of magazine narrated love, pain, loss and courage.  They told her story. Since it’s the only story she has, she loves that art can be therapeutic and telling. Facilitating workshops is a way to give to others this personal and inquisitive tool, as well as a way to meet other creatives like herself.

Here are the pieces I entered.   Wish me luck on being selected.

Update:  all five of my winter is blue pieces were accepted!! Opening Reception is Dec 8th, 6-8pm


]]> (Photographer Karen Hanrahan) artist collage exhibit jansen art center karen hanrahan winter Thu, 10 Nov 2016 02:36:42 GMT
Art Installation :: Women's Work I am tremendously honored to have participated in a collaborative art installation titled Women's Work. As someone who is decidedly not political it made sense for me to stitch the "?" 

Hosted by The Bureau Of Historical Investigation

Curated by Sara Holodnick

"Featuring embroidered pieces by womxn* artists, celebrating the historical significance of changing roles & role models as the first woman representing a major political party competes for our country's highest office."

*”Womxn” used intentionally to be inclusive of the trans women who participated in this work.
Stitched expressions include:

"A Woman's Place Is In The White House"

"240 Years? Bitch, Please"

"Votes For Women"

"Deeds Not Words"

Artists who participated include: 

A - Carrie Cooper

Woman’s - Lisa Colleen Elliott

Place - Marissa McGrath

Is - Ann Darlin

In - Megan Carroll


The - Sara Holodnick

White House - Emily Holodnick


240 Years - Patrice Anne

? - Karen Hanrahan


Bitch, please - Christina Miglino


“Votes for Women” sash - Shandra Shankle, Valerie Rodriguez, Erika Rodriguez


“Deeds Not Words” dress - Sara Holodnick





]]> (Photographer Karen Hanrahan) Art Installation Bellingham The Bureau Washington Womens Work karen hanrahan photographer Thu, 27 Oct 2016 01:28:04 GMT