Melanie West's blog

Looking Closely

Bee in flight and Spanish lavender

I hope you are all faring well and perhaps enjoying some time of focus on the home and the interior world. This photo I took recently in my garden and catching a bee in flight is challenging but delightful. Looking closely to go deeply.

As we also stay mindful of the worldwide situation and human rights, here are some thoughts I've shared with open minded folks about the current madness in the world.

In these times, as always, we can choose to remain calm, alert and wise. Dropping fear and narrow points of view, we can welcome expansive vantage points and stay centered and present.
False dilemmas will be offered by the dominant cultural mindset but we are not forced to choose their path. I ask for broader conversation in these times. Checking our blind spots, multiple times, can aid us in more complete vision and a new/ancient, regenerative way of living in the world.

I simply request calm, diverse, nonpartisan perspective as it is good practice for the multiple issues we are facing.
-Melanie, July 2020

Number 47 in Lao Tzu's Tao Te Ching, rendition by Ursula K. Le Guin

You don't have to go out the door
to know what goes on in the world.
You don't have to look out the window
to see the way of heaven.
The farther you go,
the less you know.
So the wise soul
doesn't go, but knows;
doesn't look, but sees;
doesn't do, but gets it done.

Molly Ivins Film

Molly Ivins Film

Several of my photos are in this documentary film about Molly Ivins premiering at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival! I am very pleased that they are also using one of my photographs for the poster and publicity. This image was a joyous one to make and, in these intense times, a dose of Molly's tough humor and wisdom is mighty good medicine. Congratulations to Producer/Director Janice Engel and her fabulous team!


Santa Fe portrait and wedding photos by Melanie West

There is an art to living in this world. This journey can be full of connection to others and to our vast, timeless being. I do return to appreciation of how photographs can hold some of that expansiveness along with the memories of the moment. A current cinematic highlight is that some of my photos are part of a film about the writer Molly Ivins that will premier at Sundance. In various ways my work goes out into the world and I am grateful to know all of you.

Joy and peace to all in 2019,


LOVE Art Show

LOVE art show in Santa Fe, New Mexico

I had one brand new photographic art piece in this group art show. My image was from my Essential Nature series.

The opening was on February 11, 2018 from 2-6pm. Hat Ranch Gallery is at 27 San Marcos Rd. W. which is off of Highway 14 on the Turquoise Trail in Santa Fe, New Mexico.


Santa Fe portrait and wedding photos by Melanie West

Joyous greetings to you all!

In such intense times I do reflect upon the profound and simple pleasures of our days. One such delight is my work with photography and the time I spend helping tell the stories of families and our commitment and connection to others. Since I come from a large and lively family I enjoy sharing the exuberant times but I am also aware of the strength and fragility joined together in all relationships. The quiet, contemplative state underlies activity and expands the bravery, diversity and love that all of us share.

May we carry that engaged stillness forward and bring wisdom, levity and peace to 2017 and beyond.


Santa Fe Women in Photography

Art show in Santa Fe, NM

I had a photo in this group exhibition
with Santa Fe Women in Photography.
The show was in support of Girls, Inc.

Counter Culture
930 Baca St #1, Santa Fe, NM

Opening reception: July 10, 2015
Show ran through July 30, 2015

Axle Indoors at Peters Projects

Art show in Santa Fe, NM

I had two photographs in this group show with Axle Contemporary that opened at Peters Projects. I showed an older image and a brand new piece! It was quite a Santa Fe party with a wide variety of art.

Over 140 artists from the past five years of Axle's exhibitions.

February 13 - March 21, 2015
Opening Reception: Friday, Feb. 13th, 5-7 pm

1011 Paseo de Peralta, Santa Fe, NM

Santa Fe Radio Cafe aired an interview about the show.
The interview

Here is a link to see the work.!indoors-t-z/c216p


Santa Fe portrait and wedding photos by Melanie West

Greetings and happiness to you all! This has been a full and creative year.

In a world of many images and chatter I so appreciate the opportunity to slow down and create work of joy, distinction and stillness. Happily, the beauty and celebration of weddings is increasingly a more inclusive and legal option for all couples. It was a banner year for all kinds of gatherings and spirited family portraits. The year also included food related work with Edible magazine and Delicious, plus architecture and design events with ShowHouse SF and the Old Santa Fe Association. From doctors to yoga instructors, modern dancers to orchestra conductors, new babies to graduating high school seniors I enjoy the photo sessions and diversity of my work. It's always a pleasure to end the year documenting the lively holiday party at Salon Del Mar.

It is a delight to see the creativity and commitment and to help tell the stories. The invitation to see and share with others is an honor and I thank you for your friendship and support.

Here's to more artistry, fun and times of peace in 2015!

Photographs in Edible Santa Fe Women and Food issue

Photographs in Edible Santa Fe Women and Food issue

I have several photographs in the Spring 2014 issue of Edible Santa Fe, Albuquerque and Taos. I enjoyed doing portraits of some women restaurant owners for the issue dedicated to women and food. Edible is a wonderful magazine with a focus on local food, season by season. This regional magazine is a member of the larger, national Edible community of magazines.

Here is the link to read the current issue and check out the three portraits that I took. My photographs are on pages 29 and 49 of the link document.

Autophotography Show

Self Portrait in Autophotography Show, Santa Fe, New Mexico

I was thrilled to be invited to show my work in this diverse, group show at Axle Contemporary Art Gallery in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Self-Portraits by 84 New Mexico Photographers
Exhibition and Book

Opens in the Railyard (Farmers Market shade structure, Santa Fe)
5-7 pm, Friday, October 4th, 2013

Booksigning at Photo-Eye. Friday, October 18th, 5-7 pm.
Photo-Eye is at 376 Garcia Street, Santa Fe

Exhibition continues through October 23rd. Daily location always at

For Autophotography, Axle Contemporary has assembled an exhibition which includes many of the most compelling photographers working now in the state. Artists were invited to exhibit works of self-portaiture. The walls of the small gallery will be hung densely with the work of over 80 individuals, creating a portrait of the photographic community, by the photographers themselves.

Odes & Offerings Show

Art and Poetry

I was selected to create a new piece of work for the lovely show Odes and Offerings. I was partnered with the poet Michelle Holland and I chose her poem "Daughters in Winter".

“Odes and Offerings”
A Collaborative Exhibit of Poetry and the Visual Arts
As Envisioned by the City of Santa Fe Poet Laureate, Joan Logghe

Grand Opening, Friday, March 23, 2012 5-7 pm

The City of Santa Fe Community Gallery announces “Odes and Offerings” is an exhibition in collaboration with City of Santa Fe Poet Laureate, Joan Logghe. This exhibit offers a rare opportunity for local artists working in all media to create original works that incorporate the written work of a local, New Mexico poet.

All selected artists were partnered with a local poet and given two works from that poets’ collection of poetry. Artists were then asked to choose a line, phrase, stanza or the entire poem to incorporate into their final piece. "The idea is not a poetry inspired piece, but a piece where the text becomes part of the work of art," states Logghe.