This month’s featured artist, Michelle Harris, turns her love of nature and photography into a time machine, transporting you back to your favorite places and moments throughout the state of North Carolina. Her work submerges its viewer in the peacefulness that only nature’s beauty can bring.
How would you describe your work?
The best word to describe my work is realistic. I want those viewing my artwork feeling as though they are there beside me. Each photograph should be able to whisk the viewer away to another time and place.
What experiences and interests have influenced your work most?
I have always been an outdoors type of person from childhood on. Being in nature is pure and rejuvenating. The time I spent with my family and the memories made is really the driving force for my work.
How have you evolved, personally, as a photographer?
Over the years I have worked in sports, family, branding and even event photography. While working in these genres I have always taken nature and landscape images to remember where I have been and the memories created. As I have grown older I have grown to appreciate the little things in life and never take a moment for granted. Now, I get great joy capturing a moment in time for others to enjoy and lasting memories.
What are you working on that excites you right now?
What I am most excited about right now is my Pilot Mountain project. Pilot Mountain is such an iconic location to our area. The devastation that occurred during last year’s wildfire is deeply saddening to so many, with a little over 1050 acres burned away. While we know nature will heal herself, we can also help her along the healing path. I am tracking the progress of the regrowth each month for the next year. I am excited about following the regrowth and to see what type of changes will occur.
What would you like our community to know about the Pilot Mountain Project?
This project is dedicated to raising funds to help restore Pilot Mountain after the fire. 20% of the profit from the sale of each Pilot Mountain print will be donated to the Friends of Sauratown Mountain to help with the cleanup and restoration to the park. I created canvas, metal and framed prints in varying sizes capturing Pilot Mountain and included giftable items like note cards and even a mouse pad for this cause. I am really hoping this project will help bring more attention to our state parks and bring awareness to the importance of using safe fire practices when hiking and camping.
What is one piece of advice you’d like to share with fellow artists and creatives?
The best advice I can give is to never give up. Believe in yourself and follow your dreams. There will always be the naysayers, don’t let them deter you. Following the artist and creative path is never easy. The rewards you receive from those who purchase your work help you realize you are good at what you do and you are helping to create a path of joy for others. Just remember to do the work not just for yourself, but for those whose lives you are trying to change.
If you are interested in learning more about Michelle Dalton-Harris you can follow her on Instagram @daltonharrisphotography1. You can also check out her work this month locally at www.daltonharrisphotography.com.