The Quiet Power of Seeing// Narrative Photography//2014-2015
"The Quiet Power of Seeing" 2014-2015 is a tribute to the connection between vulnerability, life sharing and space cultivation that I have as a creator with my co-creator and partner, Bethany. I wanted to share the vibrant shots of how I connect my muse and inspiration into a narrative story-telling about the personality of my most constant muse.
This series is a conversation with themes of curiosity, understanding, comprehension, inspiration and being complete and active in another human's life force and daily battles. The way we live, B and I, and how we connect and are present, engaged and fascinated with the world creates a constant sense of wonder, inspiration and a need to go deeper within me. This is easily a love letter in pixels.
B and I co-create concepts, worlds of concrete details and urban fantasy. We flow within the pace of the city magic, knowing our bones are made of dirt and to dust we come from and to dust we return. We are both hedonistic, forest creatures in a world of concrete decay, disarray and chaos. We each use our tools, bringing perspectives, visions, cameras, color and movement to our collaborations. I use my abstract vision and need for adventure against her kin-esthetic body, so expressive, grounded and willing to play, create and work hard for what she believes in. I admire Bethany. I am attracted to her vibrations, I love her soul and I lust after her spirit and body. She drives many of my ideas and is often the background force of creation for me.
In this graphic narrative we meshed what it is to be alive, queer and searching- both on a quest for a full, well-lived, thriving life using all the resources we have at our disposal. Her comfort in her own skin is legendary.
I am grateful to my muse. I am grateful to my collaborator. I am grateful to my partner and our ability to create a story of narrative photography and "The Quiet Power of Seeing."
Watercolor is probably my favorite medium. Next to calligraphy, photography, writing and acrylic of course. I love the lack of control and the sweet spots found in creating watercolor illustrations. I find my brain settles and turns off, leaking into the color and letting the movement of the brush lead me down paths of vibrant, curious imaginings.
I reach for my watercolor paint when I want to sketch, communicate, relax, conceptualize. These are my thumbnails of observation. My hummed moments of thinking that I want to save for later. These are also, the type of work which flows most easily on the surface of my creative river. When I turn my brain off and float- these dash themselves to the top.
First Foxes and Myself
Fox Acrylic Painting Prints.
Tree Illustrations//Mixed Media//2014-2017
Tree Illustrations by Finn Graves
Trees are another one of those thematic elements in my life. I am constantly searching for the next gorgeous tree to photograph, draw and paint. I see trees with bulbous protrusions, gals and tumors and I feel comforted by their un-standard beauty. For my process, the roots, trunk and branches represent the flow of energy. We humans are constantly on-on-on, go-go-go to our deep detriment. But the tree, the tree has obvious seasons. It goes dormant in winter. Buds in spring, flowers and decorates its crown in summer, and drops it's leaves in fall to again, go dormant for winter. Trees are a lesson of my life. I see much within them.
An Episode of Becoming//Narrative Photography//2014-2016
An Episode of Becoming//Narrative Altered Fine Art Photography//2014-2016
An Episode of Becoming is one of my most personal photography series. It's narrative and all of the photographs were taken over a very, cold winter in 2014. 4 months of intensity and images were wrapped up in my mind and connected to very visceral sensations, reactions and adjustments I ended up having to make within myself.
The life of an artist isn't linear. We don't climb steps, or ladders in our career- and in fact I would suggest that there are more tornadoes and whirlpools within the work than expected.
This was a blackout phase of my life. I came to with an entire body of work, an aching heart, tender soul and a sense of loss. Don't worry about my narrative though- walk through what you see in the pieces.
This series redefined my photography.
Comics and Graphic Marker Illustration
Comics and Graphic Marker style Illustrations. Whimsical, colorful, vibrant and dreamy, these narrative comics tell stories of what could be, rather than what is. What are you looking for? Where are you searching? What will you give up to find it?
I work with acrylic primarily to get an emotion off my chest. As such, the work is loose, playful, emotive and curious. With acrylic I never force myself to be: adult, responsible, polished or specific. It's my free form place of expression. Think folk art meets childhood.
B's Garden//Narrative Garden Photography.
B's garden is a magical trans-formative space where slugs frolic, ants climb grape vines and beans curl their green tendrils around sticks and scarecrow toes. We've lived in the same Dollhouse for nigh on 6 years now, in Portland, Oregon and each year- B's garden grows more lush, transcendent and engaging. She feeds the soil and the earth grows darker and rich with worms and beneficial bugs.
This, is what happens to soil when you tend it. When you touch the earth as she does, breaking apart clumps with bare hands, squatted down to weed and breathe out stress and CO2 at the light kelly green of the plants.
I have admired my partner's garden from every angle over the years. Save flat on my back, staring up. Where Bethany goes, fertile lush growth occurs. Plants, humans, pets and trees sprout up vibrant and quivering. The very air itself turns towards her cupped healer palms.
She's got them dope- Kopi moves, meant for gardening, touch, healing and sensational experience. Though, as with all of us flawed, ordinary human beans- B doesn't always see what she brings to life, what springs forth around and behind her dancing feet. But, she always catches my hand and brings me out of my head-down-work-harder space to show me what changes have been happening in her garden. To show me off to her plants as they nod their colorful orange and maroon heads. As they weave their way, climbing into the sky.
I am grateful for the way B tends her urban garden plot. I am grateful for her backyard dreamings. I am grateful to spend time with my favorite healer, dreadies pushed back from her face- with dirty hands and dirty feet. She's often streaked in dampness, sand and grass. She smells of the roots underneath the forest, of moss and shade. I am grateful for her strong, capable hands- so good at massage, shiatsu, touch, or soothing a wounded heart.
I am grateful for her harvest, abundance collected in collanders and bright, plastic bowls. But mostly, I am grateful for the glowing orb of her tender, compassionate heart. Chief of which she brings to her magic healing spaces- out of which, all our gardens grow.
She is: chief namer, Kopi, lover, dog-parent, partner, massage therapist, The Lovers Card, healer, landscaper, coffee-slinger, and my favorite creature-human playmate. Thank you for your love dear one.
May we all learn to dig deeply and fertilize the soil of where we've been planted. Grow, and the cracks will expand to embrace you.
The ScrapbinKillaz are a collection of adorable ragdolls, available for adoption, handmade and created by Finn Graves and Bethany Kunselman, beginning in 2014. ScrapbinKillaz are available for sale, commission or custom order.
All custom orders start at $100 per doll, and you get a creature, with your choice of hair color, personality and basic background story. Shoot us a message at: email@example.com to get your little sweetie on it's way. Feel free to check underneath the picture for available dolls. There will be a price if they are available. If there is no price, the dolls are already sold.
Plan on 4-6 weeks for delivery.
Also sold regularly in person by B, at Anna Banannas in St. Johns.