I am thrilled to be able to share this month’s feature with you all! Marissa runs social and marketing for ARQ, but also is a very gifted photographer artist, and, (my observation, and not said lightly), friend. I see her as a really timeless, old soul, goddess/nymph type (yeah it’s a type - if you know someone like Marissa you get it!) when we are together, so this month’s theme/word, amaranthine, feels appropriate for her. I already knew that she loves great food, deep conversation, and being in the water, but when I learned through this interview that she has a deep love for and fascination with Greek culture I had to laugh! Goddess/nymph indeed! :) Read on to learn more about her creative process and her thoughts on good food, friendship, and the small pleasures in life. (Laundry!!)
One thing I have especially noticed in your images is that there is often an absence of random (superfluous?) objects and I find that so refreshing, but it also got me wondering about the objects that you treasure - heirlooms and treasures. What are your most beloved objects and why do they capture you so deeply?
I walk the line between striving to be more and more minimal and also having a really deep love for special and old things. When I think about what I truly treasure... objects that hold the most meaning for me are those that both bring life & beauty into my space and those that center and ground me. I cherish old things, things that are living and of the earth like plants and minerals, things that were chosen for me by a friend who knows me better than anyone, things that are functional AND crafted artfully...
I have some treasures around:
Let’s just say we have a rule that I’m not allowed to bring home any more plants. I have a lot, and perhaps I am most enraptured with our very old aloes. They are so magical, protective & beautiful.
I cherish photobooth strips, (it’s getting harder and harder to find non-digital ones these days), a Botticelli framed in gold from a big book of prints my best friend and I found in an antique shop and split the price of, a loose floral 90s dress I used to think looked so beautiful on my Mom, which she recently passed down to me... I am a complete sucker for wool rugs, and I have a problematically hefty collection of vintage wool sweaters.
To be perfectly honest, my washer and dryer are on the list! I LOVE doing laundry; if I’ve been swamped, spread thin with work, overwhelmed... there’s nothing I’d rather do than toss in a load, and take care of a basket of dishtowels or carefully launder vintage silks and woolens, hang dry my cherished ARQ undies...
You feature the humans (and cat!) in your life so lovingly. One can clearly see how important your people are to you.
I take a lot of pictures of the people and animals I adore - I love to hear that it's clear how important they are to me!
I find the people I’m close with (and my cat, TiggerBean) to be so stunningly beautiful that I simply cannot refrain from photographing them and enlisting them to help me create images. I’ve realized that for me, photographing is a way of loving.
I really understand how challenging it can be to be photographed, to be in front of the camera, so maybe my images capture both the beauty I see in the people I photograph and also my appreciation for them showing up for my work.
What are the kind of moments you long for in the conscious interactions you share with your loved ones?
I really only crave conscious and intimate interactions with people... I’d choose to spend time in that type of space with a handful of close friends OR simply at home alone simmering soup while a load of laundry is going.
There is a level of intimacy that has developed over the years in my closest friendships that I believe is the result of a willingness to be seen (no matter how messy & pathetic that may seem at times) and genuine hope for each others’ success that I’ve come to hold as a sort of gold standard for friendship. I love being able to brainstorm and share ideas and work on creative projects with the people I’m closest to.
My fiancé, who is also an artist, is always available to give me the most scrutinizing and loving feedback simultaneously. I feel him knowing me so well that he inherently understands my creative vision when I set out on any project and is willing to hold that for me as I work my way there. To me, that feels very close, very intimate.
In day to day life, I truly love our time at home cooking together, blasting music and dancing while washing the dishes on any day of the week.
When you dream about future places, people, and things that you want to capture in photographs, where does your mind take you and what do you hope to capture?
I NEED to get to Greece. I find everything about the rich history, mythology and aesthetic of that part of the world deeply resonant and inspiring. I would go with my best friend and blow through zillions of rolls of film documenting every little thing.
Another place that has called to me for many years is Iceland. I fantasize about taking photographs of the horses there.
I love the desert. Nothing compares to the light and neutral tones of an arid desert landscape and the plants that grow so beautifully under those harsh conditions.
I would describe you as someone who values “simple pleasures” (food, music, conversation, etc...) What is that rooted in, and how would you describe what the good life looks like for you?
I inherited respect for these things from my parents - they always displayed the importance of food, music, meditation, etc throughout my childhood. I feel lucky that cooking, art, music, spiritual practice, and communication were valued so highly by my Mom and Dad, and that I have an ingrained appreciation for these things. The power held in the act of lighting a candle with intention, of setting the dinner table, indulging in long baths... My Mom mirrored these things for me so well!
For me “The Good Life” involves lots of quiet time, fulfilling work, exploration, time for long salt baths and sunlight. One thing I’m wanting to manifest currently is the ability to travel more. When I was young, I traveled and moved around a lot - but the past few years have felt like a bit of a rut stuck in grey ol’ Portland. I have learned it’s truly important for me to shake things up occasionally - change up the routine, get out of my comfort zone. I feel my very best and the most comfortable in my body in warm climates where I can swim most days.
Calling in more fulfilling and creative work is always on my radar too. Working freelance can mean times of lots of work all at once and times when it feels sparse. Maintaining a solid flow of stable and inspiring creative work is definitely at the top of my “Good Life” imaginings!
Photos - Marissa Boone, Her husband Nathaniel Gallagher, and friend @edesiastable