BY PATRICIA DUFF
Whidbey Life Magazine
Photographer Sue Averett said the muse came to her in a dream.
“Make a list of all the people you know who are the embodiment of light and joy. People who glow; people who inspire,” she said of the vision that inspired her most recent show.
“The Emanations of Love Project” is a series of photographs featuring portraits of people and animals who Averett was drawn to for reasons having to do with spirit, inspiration and the thing that she identifies as radiating from an individual that draws people to them. But another reason might be explained by the radiance emitted also from Averett herself, a healer and one of those persons who bothers to pay attention to those things she sees that give her joy. When one considers what makes life most radiant, one might imagine a circuit or continuum. Rarely is the emitter of light ever without a receiver and vice versa.
“The idea here is not to create a super-posed “perfect” portrait,” Averett said.
“While in some cases I begin with a concept in mind, mostly I have asked people how they would like to be portrayed.”
This photographer let her subjects direct the photos and asked them each to choose who might stand by them in the photo; a friend, family member or pet? Also, she asked them to choose a place for the photo that makes them happy.
“Then I attempt to capture a spontaneous moment that registers high on the ‘light of spirit’ scale,” the photographer added.
Averett said that because she tends to see the world as generally an enchanted place, she likes to embellish her photos slightly using the magic of software, as if each one is a painting. The photos are mainly shot outside, not only for light, but more because the beauty of nature is also an inspiration to the artist. A natural setting, she said, makes sense for photographs that strive to capture the lightness of the people in her community; people who are affected in a positive way by the bucolic setting of the island.
“It’s easy to see how people can truly bloom under such circumstances, and that is what helps a community thrive and grow. No one is perfect; no place is perfect. But if intentions and creative energy have anything to do with it, then our community is infinitely blessed,” Averett said.
There’s the rub, and the reason why dreams are involved in Averett’s process. She is a photographer who embraces a certain radiant charm she happens to see in her friends and acquaintances and is inspired to take their picture and emanate some love of her own.
“The Emanations of Love Project” is still growing, but the first installation will include 40 photos at Timbuktu Java Bar and Café in Freeland with an opening reception from 5 to 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 2. (18205 Highway 525 next to the Texaco station.)
A second installment at The Queen’s Buns at Bayview Corner’s Cash Store will open Wednesday, March 6. Also, the Bayview Corner Art Walk will kick off Thursday, March 14 and Averett said she is honored to be a featured artist at this first art and wine event. The Bayview Art Walk will continue regularly on the second Thursday of each month.
For more about this photographer and her previous publication of photographs with her husband Erick Westphal in their book, “Whidbey Magic” visit www.WhidbeyMagic.com or www.the-enchanted-studio.com. You can call The Enchanted Studio/Whidbey Magic at (360) 331-3393. You can also find their photos at www.fineartamerica.com.
(Pictured at top, Victoria Sanchez as captured by Sue Averett.)