I live and work in North Vancouver, British Columbia — five streets above the sea and thirty streets beneath the mountains.

My name is Nadine. I am the founder, curator, and sole contributor of  Walter Helena Photography. It is my arena to discard my thinking self, become my introverted self, and produce artwork that pleases me deeply.

While the bulk of my pleasure at being a photographer comes from the actual lens movement and shutter click, I also glean great joy from post production. I am a stickler for immaculate production standards. The fellow who does my printing onto heavy canvas at the other end of town knows me well for how frequently I visit to check up my orders.

Details interest me, the ones on the surface of a photograph as much as in the production of the photograph itself. I am interested in artists who diligently stray from normal or pretty, who create and commit to their own standards and themes. I strive to constantly challenge myself and never let ideas become dull. My newest endeavor is exploring large format, faux-polaroid printing of my abstract images. They wind up looking like modern paintings with an edge. I aim to be evolving always but to not move ahead before I’ve exhausted the options and lessons from a particular style.

I spend a lot of time in bookstores. My bookshelves at home are veritably swayed towards the floor from weight of books. I have one entire shelf devoted to writing journals. For the last decade, I have simultaneously kept a journal by my bed, in my car, and in my purse. I suppose I have a slight phobia of lacking a space to put a thought when it strikes.

You can imagine how many writing journals that requires me to have at my disposal at all times. And so you can probably also imagine that when I enter a bookstore, one of the first sections I look at is the blank journal section.

Paperblanks has delighted me over the years and they are peppered throughout my journal collection. The first Paperblanks book I tucked home with me is filled with ink stains and receipts and ticket stubs. I covet it because of what is inside, but also because of its quality. A writing journal is soundly made when it goes through the abuse of my lifestyle and comes out the other end just as strong as before it got dog-eared and stuffed full of me.

The insides my journals are as varied as my years. Some journals I committed to writing only fiction and ideas for stage plays. Some journals were only for transcribing overheard conversations. I’m in a period right now where I am basing most of my entries on fact. I have a bit of an obsessive hankering to catalogue and retain the details of my day: sharing what food at who’s table, what the river sounded like while walking the dogs, the letters that are sent to me, the gestures of my family. I appreciate the largeness that is contained in the small moments — I don’t want to pass them over and forget.

Creative works:

Koo and Poppet
The Artful Desperado

Our Artist Series features snapshots of the creative people who use our journals. From all parts of the world, and all walks of life, we celebrate the infinite number of ways in which creativity can be expressed. If you would like to have your story featured, email fmallett@hartleyandmarks.com.


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