winter solstice, 2012. 

the longest nite of the year. i have learned in this life to sit with the darkness, the stars and the moon and breathe in their beauty. here's to celebrating the lovely nite. i look forward to new gifts coming to light and riding the wave of the coming year!


autumn issue of butterflies and anvils is here!  to preview or purchase an issue, go here.

also, i'm excited to offer 2013 yearly subscriptions, available now to your right!


sneak peak: fall issue. 2012.

"I think the best work is when I show the joyful celebrations. In the midst of all the chaos, people carry on with great dignity. So I feel like being creative is also looking for those pieces that give a much broader view of the world."                                                         - Ami Vitale 


Lecture at B&H Event Space:

I will be speaking at the B&H Event Space in NYC on Dec. 10. This event will be sponsored by my favorite backpack company - Kata.  Topics discussed are listed below. These lectures are free, so if you're in the area, come check it out!

10am - 12: Fostering Creativity

4pm - 6:  Art Movements Through
         Photographic History


daily haiku:

the shadows. i see.
what you have become today.
close my eyes to it.


girl power.
regardless of who you voted for tonite....

so far they are reporting:

most women ever voted into the senate.

first asian woman in the senate.
first buddhist voted into the senate. (also a woman)
first openly lesbian voted into the senate.

forget party. welcome diversity.
over 100 years after women won the right to vote - it has taken this long.

girl power.


daily haiku:

small girl. i held on
to you for balance. today,
untethered, i reach. 


another photographer from my class, Art Movements through Photography - one of the greats, Laszlo Moholy-Nagy. this week we talked about him in the context of Abstract photography - not a movement per se, but an influential visual style. he was a highly prolific and versatile artist, working with photography, sculpture, drawing, painting and kinetic and light art. he heavily influenced many movements and rarely adhered to just one set of ideals, but he was a devoted advocate and visionary for the young medium of photography and its importance in our new visual communication and culture. he was also an innovator in photography education and was faculty at the Bauhaus. 

'The enemy of photography is the convention, the fixed rules of 'how to do'. The salvation of photography comes from the experiment."    - Laszlo Moholy-Nagy

Moholy-Nagy. 1936


edward weston - one of the most influential photographers of the 20th century. he was highly prolific and had an artist's spirit - always searching for inspiration, change and growth. he would often forsake the practicality of earning a living with his images to explore new projects, places and ideas. he was what we now consider a california modernist, rejecting the painterly aesthetics of the pictorialists, the modernists used the camera for its inherent visual characteristics and placed great emphasis on reality, technique and form.

"I see no reason for recording the obvious."  - Edward Weston


from the epitome of anarchist artists, the non-artists making non-art in the non-art movement, (as they referred to themselves) the surrealists. frenchman rene magritte was an illustrator and painter whose work was uncannily contemporary. here's an image of his from 1937.

"To be a surrealist...means barring from your mind all remembrance of what you have seen, and being always on the lookout for what has never been."                 - Rene Magritte.


i'm currently teaching a class that's been brewing in my head for quite some time now.  it brings together several of my favorite topics - photography, art and history. it's tracing art movements through photographic history. i am once again humbly reminded of the amazing artist/photographers who have come before us. i'd like to share a few here...

"The mission of photography is to explain man to man and each to himself. And that is the most complicated thing on earth."
                           - Edward Steichen

Edward Steichen.1905. from the Pictorialist movement.


exciting news! i have been accepted into my first juried printmaking exhibition! i have been incorporating printmaking techniques in my photography and working process for about five years now. i find the long process and imperfections extremely satisfying. this piece is the first i have entered into a printmaking contest, so i'm super proud that it was selected. it's great validation and has stoked the fire to continue to work with these methods and materials.

Thanks to Print Zero Studios.

the traveling show will appear in seattle, chicago, miami, lafayette, louisiana and managua, nicaragua. below is the print. 

old memories. new dreams. (photo emulsion silkscreen, inkjet on watercolor paper) 


it's here! the summer issue of butterflies and anvils. featuring photographer doug johnson. check it out! for single issues, go here. enjoy!


daily haiku:

consult the ancient
seer. difficult beginnings.
wait for ease to come.


sneak peak. summer 2012. yes. summer.


"do tears not yet spilled wait in small lakes?" - Pablo Neruda


"with which stars do they go on speaking, the rivers that never reach the sea?"  - Pablo Neruda


daily haiku:

magic, silver wood.
curled around the path we walked.
words between us. float. 


daily haiku:

saw you from the car. 
your garden. watered so well.
a girl i don't know.


daily haiku:

fire crackles hot.
morning light dapples this place.
simple joys ahead. 


i have a few thoughts today.

first - butterflies and anvils, the blog is going to shift in content a bit. i still intend on having inspiring images and creative writing, haikus, etc. but i would also like to talk a bit more about what interests me most, the artistic process, our photographic paths, struggles and small celebrations (as my dear friend page calls them!).

last year i took ‘a break’ from heavy artmaking to focus a bit more on my career,  you know, the stuff that makes money and pays the bills. fortunately all of that for me is still in the sphere of photography. however, in hindsight, my advice would be to never, ever take ‘time off’ from our creative work. small breaks from production are healthy, but a full-on hiatus is just too large a break in the stride.

but here i am, scraping and shoving and gnawing my way back. most of the time it feels awful, but two weeks ago, i  had one of those moments in the studio.....a full day of blissful working, production and satisfaction. aaaaaahh.... it’s like the first good run you have of the season. beautiful and much needed.

so now i’m focusing on setting deadlines for myself. mostly in the form of exhibitions and contests. that works for me. helps me focus.

my lesson from this one? i urge you to ride the ups and downs of the creative process and making your work. but i also see value in keeping that process going and moving forward one way or another. clarissa pinkola estes calls creativity, ‘the river that runs below’. if we neglect our creativity for too long, she refers to it as the poisoned river, there’s ways to take it back and get it clean again. but the first thing we must do is merely step in. that’s right - just step in. and keep stepping in. the working process itself helps cleanse the river. gets it good again. flowing again. raging perhaps!

so remember, it’s under there. the creative river that runs below. don’t neglect it. and whether you’re dipping a toe or taking a swandive, just get in. 

detail from latest piece. photo emulsion silkscreens and inkjet on watercolor paper. title: old memories. new dreams.


a wise and beautiful astrologer once said if i stay true to my nature, my path is one of radical independence. 

'not to be alone, eileen', she said. 'but radical independence in thought.' 

celebrating that on this hot and gorgeous holiday weekend.


read my latest article on the B&H blog! about finding your own style...


it's here! the spring issue of butterflies and anvils. featuring artist allison leach. for single issues click here. for subscriptions, look right! enjoy!


sneak peak...

Imagination is more important than knowledge.
- Albert Einstein


sneak peak... recently seen - el granada. 
coming soon in butterflies and anvils spring issue!


um...i don't know. where i live is okay....
except for the sweet dogs, dear friends and....

full on double flippin' rainbows!!!!!

to not find inspiration in this world is just, well - stupid.

images by athena photography.


where i've been...

have been away from the blog longer than i like, 
but life has been full.

enjoyed the last of the beautiful montana winter at 
lolo peak...quiet amongst the giants.

smelled spring elsewhere, long before it reached montana...

pretended it was summer on the california coast...

met my new favorite guy. i'm smitten already - with mister cash. i can't believe he found me. he doesn't even know how long i've waited for him.


blank.  blink.  blank. 


the language is leaving me. - annie lennox


to celebrate the end of winter....

winter issue of butterflies and anvils is here! featuring jill enfield and her alternative process darkroom work. for single issue and a preview go here. for 2012 subscriptions, visit here.


sneak peak..winter issue of butterflies and anvils, out soon.

meet featured artist, jill enfield... 

remember, yearly subscriptions are now available for 2012, here
(scroll down to the bottom of the first section.)

and as always, thanks for your support!


all the people i love...are here.
all the people that i love...can't hear.

all the people... that i love...aren't here. 
                                              - hot chip


new things for 2012!!!

i'm excited to announce some endeavors on the horizon for me 
this year.

1. my new site and business....www.eileenraffertyconsult.com

2. yearly subscriptions for butterflies and anvils for 2012! you can buy directly on site above! 

(to purchase or preview each issue at a time, please go here)

3. a few new workshops in new places! i'll be teaching for Maine Media Workshops and Pacific Northwest Art School. more information also on site above!

here's to a productive, creative and fun 2012...


ready to bolt like a horse...


i'm a list of everyone i have to lose. - roseanne cash


daily haiku:

difficult teacher.
what lesson do you show me?
i strain to see, know. 


daily haiku:

bright lights dance like stars.
which one are you? look closely.
one of many. shine.

talking with you.
about the state of the world.
and where we fit in.
crunching leaves...

moving through. simply.

airplane graveyard.
you stand among the ruins.
delicate and hopeful and young. busted up fuselage. your dress so fitted and pressed.
motionless. burned out wings.
not knowing if the remains are yours.
injured girl.
rusting yellow metal in heaps. lush green grass grows around you. as the bright country sun lights up your hair.
sun flare obscures your face and shoulder.
but you remain.
a giant among the battered pieces.
of this airplane graveyard.
and your world.

once we were best friends. without even knowing.
it's your turn to turn off the light.

once we were alike. without even knowing.
watching thunderstorms on the patio.

once we were confidantes. without even knowing.
we didn’t know what secrets were.

once we were happy. without even knowing.
that goodness meant we were together.

. you whispered. i heard it. i am sure.

grow. i whispered back. on the breeze that blew between us.

grow. i feel it. but i sit here in defiance.

grow. you know it. and you thrust out your shoots, without intention.

grow. i want it. but i am swimming in the thickest sea.

grow. you must. so you reach through the power lines for your sky.

grow. i can. but these tendrils hold me to this merciless earth.

grow. you will. and i’ll look for shelter below you.

grow. i will. but first let me rest my body against you.

grow. you have. and i cannot imagine this world without you.

grow. i am trying. but i cannot keep up with you.

grow. you show me. let me learn from your strength.

grow. i whispered. did i hear it? i am sure.