Snowflakes Series

“The snow-crystals …come to us not only to reveal the wondrous beauty of the minute in Nature, but to teach us that all earthly beauty is transient and must soon fade away. But the beauty of the snow is evanescent, like the beauties of the autumn, as of the evening sky, it fades but to come again.”
Wilson A. Bentley

On December 18, 2020, Vermont received 20 inches of snow. One of my favorite things to do is to snowshoe through the woods. In 2014, I created Walk To The Water. This walk through the Italian countryside included placing snowflakes, made from magazine pages, in the landscapes. On my snowshoe adventures in 2020, I placed paper snowflakes made from magazine pages in the landscape. After one of these walks, on returning home, I cleared a place on the kitchen table for a cup of tea and a snack. The table was full of photographs. As I freed up some room on the table, one of the paper snowflakes landed on top of one of the photographs. This chance occurrence led to a series of photographs.

These images were not created in Photoshop.  They are photographs of actual snowflakes made from paper illustrations; placed on top of photographs or placed in the landscape and photographed by me.

Photo Collage

“George Sand, dreaming beside a path of yellow sand, saw life flowing by, “What is more beautiful than a road?” she wrote. “It is the symbol and the image of the active, varied life.” Each one of us, then, should speak of his roads, his crossroads, his roadside benches; each one of us should make a surveyor’s map of his lost fields and meadows. Thoreau said that he had the map of his fields engraved in his soul.”
– From The Poetics of Space by Gaston Bachelard

These photo collages are my way of creating images of the natural and man-made world engraved on my soul.

Alternate Process Photography

photograph title: Twisted

I started making cyanotypes after seeing the exhibiton: Blue Prints: The Pioneering Photographs of Anna Atkins and the companion exhibition Anna Atkins Refracted: Contemporary Works at the NY Public Library in 2019. “Anna Atkins is an exception during the 19th century. She’s a female photographer, and one who’s working shortly after the medium had been invented. Because she is a pioneering woman, she is a model for many contemporary female artists. Atkins is also influential to contemporary eyes because her imagery is simple and beautiful.” Elizabeth Cronin, Assistant Curator of Photography, NYPL.

Photographs © Phyllis Odessey

Bits and Pieces

“Look at the bark of a redwood, and you see moss. If you peer beneath the bits and pieces of the moss, you’ll see toads, small insects, a whole host of life that prospers in that miniature environment. A lumberman will look at a forest and see so many board feet of lumber. I see a living city”.
Sylvia Earle

“I said, I don’t want to paint things like Picasso’s women and Matisse odalisques lying on couches with pillows. I don’t want to paint something I have never seen before. I don’t want to make what I’m looking at. I want the fragments”.
Ellsworth Kelly

Perfect for a Moment

When you live in a northern climate, it’s possible for it to snow in May. Flowers in bloom are a precious thing. As a photographer and gardener, I appreciate the impermanence and transience of a flowering plant.
Deep in their roots, all flowers keep the light.” Theodore Roethke

“Flowers seem intended for the solace of ordinary humanity.”
John Ruskin

2019 Cerdeira – Home for Creativity

photograph title: The View from Two Chairs

2019 Cerdeira: Home for Creativity
Artist in Residence
Lousa, Portugal

”I think it makes a huge difference, when you wake in the morning and come out of your house, whether you believe you are walking into dead geographical location, which is used to get to a destination, or whether you are emerging out into a landscape that is just as much, if not more, alive as you, but in a totally different form, and if you go towards it with an open heart and a real, watchful reverence, that you will be absolutely amazed at what it will reveal to you.”  John O’Donnohue

Photographs © Phyllis Odessey

2018 Puglia

photograph title: Blue Skies

Rebecca Solnit: “…The rhythm of walking generates a kind of rhythm of thinking. This creates an odd consonance between internal and external passage, one that suggests that the mind is also a landscape of sorts and that walking is one way to traverse it.”

Photographs © Phyllis Odessey

2017 American Academy in Rome

Visiting Artist

2017 American Academy in Rome

Rome, Italy

photograph title: Roman Spirals

My baseball cap says “Home from Rome.” The working title of this project was “Rome to Home.” I collaged images together resulting in what Jean-Jacques Rousseau called “alert reverie.”

Photographs © Phyllis Odessey

2017 Guillkistan, Iceland

2017 Guillkistan
Laugarvatn Lake, Iceland

photograph title: Stairway to Heaven

This work is a journey for the imagination. Some photographs are single landscapes. Some photographs are collaged together. After I have the collage process, I pass the photographs on to my sister, Sheila Odessey. She adds another layer to the photographs by sewing on top of them.

Photographs © Phyllis Odessey

2016 France

Project Title: Field Notes

Photograph: Labrugiere

The evolution of the Field Notes project finds its genesis in the Italian passaggiaata or the French flaneur. This project uses the act of walking to activate thought and emotion.

Photographs © Phyllis Odessey

2015 Obras Foundation, Netherlands


2015 Obras Foundation

Renkum, Netherlands

Photograph title: Verticality

For this project, I created a series of photographs, which when combined resulted in a kind of psychogeography. Psychogeography is an investigation of the nearby landscape, which maps the effects of the environment on the individual.

Photographs © Phyllis Odessey

2014 Studio Ginestrelle


2014 Studio Ginestrelle

Regional Park of Mt. Subasio

Walk to the Water was an immersive walk in a rural landscape. The objective of the project was to interfere with the landscape. To place/create objects in the landscape that would focus the walker’s attention creating a kind of “hyper-awareness of the walker’s surroundings.

Photographs © Phyllis Odessey

2013 American Academy in Rome

Visiting Artist
2013 American Academy in Rome
Rome, Italy

photograph title: To Be As Still As A Needle

Most travelers hurry too much…the great thing is to try and travel with the eyes of the spirit wide open, and not to much factual information. To tune in, without reverence, idly — but with real inward attention. It is to be had for the feeling…you can extract the essence of a place once you know how. If you just get as still as a needle, you’ll be there.” – Lawrence Durrell

Photographs © Phyllis Odessey