Tomatoes on the Back Porch

I love this book. It's another thing to add to the list of things that make me swoon. I found it very much by chance in a sweet little shop on 5th Avenue in Brooklyn just around the corner from my old apartment. (Ah, Brooklyn. Sigh.) Anyway, it's full of photography by Susan Paulsen and I know I have a tendency to over-use this word, but this book really deserves it: lovely. This book is lovely. Completely lovely. Enchanting even. It's the perfect balance of rustic and romantic. Of charm and decay. Of simple and layered with hints of complexity all at once. It's bittersweet. My goodness, it's just damn beautiful.

I've tried to find information about the photographer online but aside from a few tidbits here and there, I keep coming up short. Regardless, here's a great link to the book equip with additional photographs, should you want to take a browse. Also, I admit, this photograph of her hand in the mirror inspired me to take this shot and this one too (which I dedicated to her). You can tell by the water-stained cover and gently bruised corners of my copy that I've certainly poured over the images more than once. And each time I immerse myself in Susan Paulsen's world, I end up swooning in yet another new and evocative way.

I'm somewhat obsessed with concepts of subtlety in art, as of late. Finding myself drawn to the subtle well-crafted moments that I just can't completely explain or understand but that tug and compel and engage on both intellectual and emotional levels. When artists, writers, performers, designers create a fine tension between elements and I'm left simultaneously satisfied and wanting more. This book is full of subtlety and yet it's also stunning. In Paulsen's own words, "More like my heart than my eyes, the camera has enabled me to express what I feel rather than what I see." Well done, Ms. Paulsen, well done.

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