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Viv Halliwell - Artist of the Month


Every once in a while you meet someone who is exceptionally kind and just makes a positive impact on you. I have to say I feel this way about Viv Halliwell. I met Viv last year through a blogging class given by Kim Klassen. Viv is not only an amazing photographer, she is a wonderful blogger and somehow still finds time to visit other peoples blogs sprinkling her thoughtful words.

Viv lives in Taunton, Somerset England with her husband. Both her children, Joanna (known as Jo) 29 and Tom 23, are out on their own in homes in Taunton. I asked Viv where in England Taunton, Somerset is located.

"Somerset is in the south west of the UK our nearest big city is Bristol we are about 160 miles from London...We are famous for our cider and Somerset is the home of Clark’s shoes. quite a few of the Jane Austen films like Sense and Sensibility were filmed only about half an hour from where we live."

Viv was trained as a History teacher but never actually taught. She worked in the local government which in her words was "soooooo.... boring".  In between, she was a stay at home Mum until Tom was 5. Then she had here dream job in a bookshop and also worked in a craft shop and in Lush.

Incredibly, Viv has had no formal photography training.

    "No, no formal training just picked it up as I went along. My first camera was a Kodak Instamatic.... that’s why I so love my camera phone... Recently with the advent of the World Wide Web i have done classes with Kat Sloma and Kim Klassen and also Somerset Studio magazines which are an amazing source of inspiration.."

    I asked Viv how she got into photography and what she enjoyed most about it.

      "I suppose as soon as the digital camera became affordable.... The first digital camera we had had less megapixels than my iPhone !!. From there I have gradually upgraded.

        Oh hard question.. I love everything from the setting up to the downloading.. I suppose my favourite part is the processing, playing in Lightroom and Photoshop."

        I was curious about how Viv determined her subjects for her photos.

          "I don’t really set out with any firm ideas  I am very impulsive... But I have discovered that I love setting up still life shots. And architecture both very different subjects I know..."

          Viv also works in digital scrapbooking. Here is what she had to say about how she got started in this creative art form:

            "Well I started out about 10 years ago playing around with altered art taking old books and turning them into shadow boxes . From there I discovered Tim Holtz who grunges and stamps, well you either like what he does or you don’t. Traditional scrapbooking never really appealed because I hate straight lines so digital was a natural progression and then Art Journaling... For me it is the ideal to be able to combine photos with beautiful products. No glue and you don’t have to worry about storage( except on your HD)"


              Where does Viv see her photography going? What are her dreams for the future?

                "Well, I would love to be published in somerset Studio magazine ,to attend a Shutter Sisters camp or similar so I can meet some groupies but really I would just love for people to read my blog and be part of this wonderful world which is the art community on the web."

                You can read more about Viv and view her beautiful photography at her blog Desktop Dreams, her Flickr photostream, or her Instagram.

                Viv loves quotes, so today I'll close with a quote that Viv would like to share with all of you.

                Live your life each day as you would climb a mountain. An occasional glance toward the summit keeps the goal in mind, but many beautiful scenes are to be observed from each new vantage point. Climb slowly, steadily, enjoying each passing moment;  and the view from the summit will serve as a fitting climax for the journey.” — Harold V. Melchert

                Thank you so much for joining me on another Artist of the month adventure. I hope you enjoyed getting to know Viv and her photography.


                      Reader Comments (17)

                      Thank you for sharing Viv's story. She is so inspiring and you have created such a wonderful post that let's us look inside her window. Love!

                      February 1, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDonna M.

                      i really enjoyed learning more about Viv...a great interview Stacie..looking forward to reading more of these x

                      February 1, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterchelle

                      Hi Stacie so honoured thanks for highlighting me....

                      February 1, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterViv

                      Viv is a beautiful and humble soul who does beautiful work. It is such a pleasure to read more about her journey. I love how she combines photography with other art forms to make compelling composites. Thank you, Stacie, for this great profile.

                      February 1, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSherry G. at Still and All

                      Wonderful article on our Viv!! It was great reading about her life and seeing her creative works!

                      February 1, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJulie

                      What a beautiful and inspiring post. Well done Stacie. So nice to read about Viv and her work. Lovely photos

                      February 1, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMary Underwood

                      I loved reading this and seeing some of Viv's art posted. What a great story. Thanks for sharing ladies!

                      February 1, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBeth

                      Fun to learn more about Viv and see her wonderful photos!

                      February 1, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterRobyn Greenhouse

                      Thanks for sharing this interesting insight. Yes this sums up Viv well - a very kind, inspiring and talented lady!

                      February 1, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterHelen

                      Thanks for sharing Viv's stories. She is so inspiring. I love her blog too.

                      February 1, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAngela

                      Thank you for asking the question that I would have asked Viv over a cup tea. Thanks to Viv for sharing with Stacie and to Stacie for sharing with the rest of us.

                      February 1, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCarol

                      enjoyed this. great photography! first was my favorite

                      February 1, 2013 | Unregistered Commenteryour sister

                      So wonderful to lern more bout Viv. Her photos are soooo good. I especially like that first one.

                      February 2, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterRoxi

                      Great Post love the pics and quotes chosen - well done to you and Viv

                      February 3, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBarbara Evans

                      Stacie, wonderful interview with Viv, such an inspirational artist/photographer! So glad to be in this group with you!
                      Excited about the adventure!

                      February 3, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterandischroeder

                      Viv, I loved learning more about you...your creativity inspires me. All of your work is so lovely...and I would love to live in your quaint town! Thanks so much for sharing a little bit of yourself with us. Stacie, thank you for the interview!

                      February 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSherri B.

                      A beautiful post about a beautiful lady that does really lovely work.
                      Thanks for sharing.

                      February 4, 2013 | Unregistered Commentercheryl c.

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