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kristianne koch riddle photography
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On making art

Clouded Bands

Pressing Blackness

Burnished Calm

Sea Walls

“At The Edge [2013] After the birth of my two children, I felt a severe loss of freedom. I previously spent days alone in the back country, summitted high peaks, and sailed across oceans. The messy responsibility of caring for two vulnerable babes left me yearning for transcendence. I have always felt I should have been an explorer and can relate to their adventurous spirit. My cinematic diptychs of the ocean express the liberation I yearn for as expressed by the ocean under different conditions while at the same time they capture my fluctuating emotions as a mother. ¬†I created these just yards off the beach near my home while my young children swam at arm’s length just out of frame.”

For the last couple of years, I was focused primarily on pursuing a lifelong dream of purchasing a sailboat. I was also distracted by family health concerns and other pressing life issues. During that period I had difficulty finding the time and emotional energy to focus on the creation of any work that felt like ‘art.’ However, looking back, I realize how important this time was to evolve my ongoing ideas and gain a better understanding of why I make the work I do. I discovered that even though it didn’t feel like I was doing the work, I really was. I found that I was journaling and creating unjudged daily sketches that were more significant than I gave them credit for. I began digging deeper into important underlying ideas as an artist just by solving personal problems.

I have been sharing new images from my At The Edge series on Instagram. I am so much clearer about why I created the series in the first place. I have been making images for this series since 2013 and the inspiration for it started in 2008. It always amazes me how long it takes for a body of work to take shape for me. I feel all of my work needs this time to develop and I couldn’t imagine it happening any quicker. I have also, after working with a coach, realized that integrity is a key part of my life as an artist. Everything I create must come from a place of honesty, authenticity, and sincerity.

I need to go back and forth between image making, sharing with others and writing out my thoughts to get an idea of what is going on in my subconscious. I don’t share my writing so the gaps between sharing work are silent. My At The Edge work seemed at first like an expression of me missing time on the ocean in a sailboat. What the underlying expression revealed that I was missing my freedom as an artist and an adventurer after becoming a mom. Because I was an artist first, I have found it extremely difficult to listen to my artist’s heart with the noise of children in the background.

I would love to hear about how you have adjusted as an artist with children vying for your attention. Were you an artist first? Please reach out!! I’d enjoy talking to you more about this process.


Lifestyle and fine art photographer specializing in kids, portraits, lifestyle, and travel for print and web.