Profile: Cecily Anne

as she travels, camera and kayak accompany her in an ongoing pursuit of photography from a unique perspective

Story by Kathryn R. Burke
All content © San Juan Publishing Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

Cecily in Alaska - searching for the perfect picture!
Cecily in Alaska, July 2013. Searching for the perfect picture in Glacier Bay! © Kathryn R. Burke

[Montrose, Colorado. 2014] “PHOTOGRAPHY, KAYAKING AND TRAVEL—these are my three passions,” Cecily says. Viewing her work  leaves no doubt. She is a gypsy artist, a kayaking photographer, and her impressionistic images, now evolved into Cecily Anne Reflective Art Photography combines it all. Like many of the artists I’ve interviewed, this woman is making her dream a reality.

It began with photography. Cecily studied photography in college and has a degree in Fine Arts from CU Boulder. Then a little wanderlust kicked in, and after college, life took her in another direction, as it often does. She became involved in other ventures including the restaurant business and horse training.

A couple stops down the road, while living and working in Taos, NM , Cecily discovered kayaking. “I wanted to do something different, to get away from the routine.” she explains.

She was on a day trip in northern New Mexico, when she found Lake Heron, which had a lovely, primitive campground. She bought a small kayak that fit inside her car, packed up her tent, and camped at the lake. And, there, she taught herself how to kayak. “I just had this urge to be on the water.”

Next stop was Mexico. She bought a bigger boat and settled in Quintana Roo. There she established a business, a line of clothing featuring the embroidery style favored by the local people. At this point her photography was commercially oriented—photo shoots of the Maya women who created the embroidery and models wearing the finished product.

Cecily Anne PhotographyBack in the US again, she settled in Montrose, Colorado, where she found numerous kayak locations that fit her calm water needs. All provided the perfect setting for scenic photography. “I bought a serious camera and started taking a lot of photographs.” She laughs. “Hundreds of them!”

A favorite spot to kayak and photograph is Ridgway Reservoir. “It’s totally inspiring,” she explains.”Great scenery, calm water and available almost year round.” Wanting to share that experience, she established, a service site that provides information about kayak conditions on the lake, as well as providing her with the opportunity to share photographs depicting the lake in all seasons.

While building her home in Montrose, Cecily nurtured her free spirit by traveling back and forth to Mexico and to other scenic spots with calm water. A favorite is the Tetons in Wyoming. As she travels, camera and kayak accompany her in the ongoing pursuit of photography from a unique perspective. “It’s about as close to the water’s surface as you can get without being IN the water,” she says.

From the cockpit of her boat, Cecily became intrigued with just the reflections. “I was at Emerald Lake in British Columbia, Canada, taking pictures, and I thought: ‘ OK, I’m just gonna photograph the reflections, and see what happens with that.’ These were close-up images, looking down at the water, seeing a reflection of what I would normally be photographing as a mirror image. It was a totally different perspective.”

Back home in her studio, working with her growing collection of reflective images, Cecily began experimenting. It was a true artistic process for me,” she explains. “The transformation was like making an abstract painting of the reflection, bringing about images I had never even considered, using a camera instead of a paintbrush. Very exciting!”

Finding what images would print well, and of those, the best medium for displaying them, was a major journey for her. She experimented with paper, canvas, masonite, and finally settled on high gloss metal plate. “The photographs just ‘popped’,” she says, “they appear almost three-dimensional, some seem to move toward you right out of the frame.” As her work began to be shown and sold, she established Cecily Anne Art Photography.

Viewing her colorful, evocative images leaves no doubt that at heart, Cecily is a gypsy artist, who shares her unique view of the water world she loves so much.

Photographs (in slideshow) Limited Editions of 25
036 Jimi Sphere. Estero River, Naples Florida
037 Fall Wall. Ridgway Reservoir, Colorado
038 Aloha Sphere. Kauai, Hawaii*
032 Yoho. Yoho National Forrest, BC Canada
041 Icy Red. Ridgway Reservoir in January. Colorado
009 Under the Sea. Grand Tetons, Wyoming
039 Flower Sphere. Kauai, Hawaii*
All photographs are available, framed in 18″ x 22″ or 26″ x 32″
except Icy Red, which is square, and available only in 18″ x 18″

* Hawaii images were taken at Papakolea Fall in the Hule’ia National Wildlife Refuge, Hule’ia River, Kauai, Hawaii