One of the very special things about being an artist is that we all find each other. We find each other in our stories, in coffee shops, within conversations, during travels, at the studio; our spirits gravitate towards each other and make the connection. That connection is essential for all of us. Artists love other artists. We are constantly gravitating towards our tribe. We encourage each other and inspire one another in our expressions. We need each other and more often then not, we create our best art together. The best part is that when we all bring our uniqueness to the table of creativity we thrive and meaningful beauty is made.
This story was originally inspired by a romance between two artists and a water color painting. Originally I had this idea over a year and a half ago, when I created a mood board. Sarah and Dan, the real couple in the photoshoot are artists themselves. Dan owns a coffee shop that I work at often; a special place that houses creatives that walk in and out drinking their deliciously brewed artisan coffee, made with the most love. Sarah is a barista at the coffee shop and her and Dan love each other a whole lot. Sarah, a multi talented beauty, makes me my life support (coffee) and we find ourselves in deep conversations about art. She is a poet and writes with a quill and ink on the most beautiful paper. She also paints and in one of our conversations, she told me that Dan built her a little studio to make her art in. It had been a while since I had looked at my watercolor love board but as she mentioned this, a familiar light lit inside of me. They were the ones I had been waiting for. Naturally, I told her my watercolor love story as we sipped our coffees and became excited to create it.
The couple always had an inspiration from Frida Khalo and Diego Rivera who’s painting surrounded me as a child. Perhaps since I grew up in a home where “El Chile” ran out often and tacos were our favorite go-to meal. Frida and Diego represent my roots, my culture, and the beautiful colors of Mexico. My father was born in Mexico City and my mother was raised by a mexican father and cuban mother. I’ve always loved my ethnic, colorful culture. I grew up in a house with vibrant paintings all over the walls and unique decorative art pieces made by my mother. She is a painter, she was an art teacher… my very own art teacher in elementary school and my teacher at many things. My father gave my mom her beautiful easel that she paints on this very day; the one seen in these photographs. That easel means a lot to me. My Father is an artist also; an architect, the gardener and an intelligent, creative man himself. My parents share a bright romance, two artists themselves who also inspired this story.
Blue is the painter of the watercolor. A writer and and artist who often hangs out at the coffee shop. Working with blue was an honest blessing. When I met with him to tell him my ideas, I remember watching him dream it with me. He followed along easily and he saw it. I told him to paint whatever he saw, to paint Sarah however he imagined the story. It was so exciting to finally see the watercolor, the hues and colors of love. Kristina, another barista at the coffee shop did Sarah’s makeup and hair and made our beautiful flower arrangement, she is another vibrant soul who brought so much life to this shoot.
Then there’s me and my sweet Joshua, who I see reflections of throughout these photographs; from our love of the ocean and boats, photography, our pup Amos, our friends, to all the props you see in these photos – there’s so much of us in this story and it makes me so happy. I was on my final shot of the day, photographing the series of Sarah and Dan in the water. I had been most excited about this set of photos, I was shooting with film, Kodak portra. On the very final shot, I slipped on a rock I was standing on and fell in the ocean. I held up my camera to save it and immediately remembered I had all of the film I shot on in my pack on the other side of me, at this point it had been completely submerged in the ocean water. My heart sank, we all looked at each other in disbelief. But beyond the feelings of defeat, I felt hope. I felt the hope that got me through everything I battled the last year in my own personal life. I just felt it there. So here I was, drenched from head to toe and all my film and beautiful photos drenched with me. We unraveled the film, dried it and prayed for a miracle. The film itself touched by the water, developed perfectly. It was truly a watercolor, and a story of hope.
We are all creative beings and our lives essentially become our work of art. Quite literally, this editorial is an expression of my life, with many branches. I love it for that reason, I didn’t have an exact plan for it, I just wanted to express a romantic vision I dreamt about and over the span of a year I watched my own life story unfold and develop into the final details of “Watercolor Love.” I watched how my own Creator, the artist of life itself brought my story together. Through memories, heartbreak, restoration, family and friends… it all came back together. When the shoot was finished, I looked back and realized it was my own story; A story of healing and many colors.
Lab: Richard Photo Lab / Coffe Shop: Brew / Swimsuit: American Apparel / Hair, Makeup, Floral: Kristina Moss