I struggle to find the right words to describe Karen Johnston, the amazingly talented woman with the Arc Angel welding shield I met this past weekend. She partners with her wife Robin to run a unique AirBnB outside of Clovis, CA. That is how we met. As Robin delivered a couple of bowls to me, I mentioned I’d love to watch Karen work and take some photos. Karen agreed.
Friendly is not the right word to describe her. It’s not because she was not friendly, she most certainly was. She was just not friendly in a way I’ve become used to. I think it’s more accurate to say she recognized me. She was present for me and her work at the same time, which is the only way I’ve come up with to describe our interaction. It is an experience I’ve had before, but perhaps never so clearly. She was intensely focused on her work until she was ready to answer any of my random questions. And then, instantly, she was just as intently focused on answering the question. She answered clearly, directly, and without any pretense. She carried herself with such confidence, and despite the obvious talent, she never seemed boastful. It was refreshing. It was inspiring.
As I edited these images, I sat in the memory of these moments. I needed a break from my day-to-day and these moments watching her were the highlight of my weekend. It left me asking a few questions as well, questions about my own passions and dedication to those passions. Watching this amazing artist’s work was special and just what I needed. Thank you, Karen. And thank you Robin for making my stay safe, carefree, and comfortable.
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