Thank You, Viggo tribute pages: poems, photographs and stories full of thanks to Viggo Mortensen
"Art lets me take part in my own life."

photography by Sienna

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when my grandfather left me his beautiful, capable camera (along with more lenses & attachments than i know what to do with), i decided right away that i wasn't going to worry about taking too many pictures * i figured the more i took, the more chance i had of getting a few good ones * cost is nothing compared to capturing a memory visually * when i finally broke down & bought my digital camera (love love love it!) i was thrilled to realize that i can take a hundred -- 200! -- pictures a day at a very low cost * what freedom!

i've tried to describe (& i'll keep trying) how Viggo's photographs & the detail-loving, momentary, accidental vision behind them have inspired me in my own work * since that first time when he tapped me on the shoulder & pointed out the yellow growing on the bridge (i like to remember it like that, why not?), my vision has grown into something new, something much larger, more accepting * now if i stop to look at something & wonder if it would make a good picture, i take it * it catches my eye, it's a picture -- no further thought necessary * i don't delete anything & that's how i get some of my favorites: by accident *

content

select from the shows below (the show on top is the most recently posted) or for some of everything try the sample show (then just click the picture you like to see more from that show) *

slide shows

River Team -- click to this slide show: Desert Road Trip 2014
River Team

Desert Road Trip 2014

If a picture is worth a thousand words, a thousand pictures (2000 if you must know) don't do this 24 day binge on beauty justice. It's impossible to capture such gigantic gorgeousness in a photograph -- but what a delight to try!

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Usal Beach -- click to this slide show: Lost Coast, August 2013
Usal Beach

Lost Coast, August 2013

a beautiful week on the Lost Coast with my desert friend Dee

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9:17 am -- click to this slide show: nine twenny-five, 2011
9:17 am

nine twenny-five, 2011

happy birthday, Kyle!

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caprese -- click to this slide show: Firenze: Italy, September 2011
caprese

Firenze: Italy, September 2011

Part one of the September 2011 adventure in Italy with my family.

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Torre -- click to this slide show: Siena: Italy, September 2011
Torre

Siena: Italy, September 2011

Part two of the September 2011 adventure in Italy with my family. A trip to the city from whence comes my name (by way of a crayon). To honour the year of my birth, I've included 71 pickies.

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tortelli -- click to this slide show: Assisi to Milano: Italy, September 2011
tortelli

Assisi to Milano: Italy, September 2011

Part three of the September 2011 adventure in Italy with my family. Toscana, Pienza, Assisi, Dozza, Imola, Parma, Milano.

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3:58 pm -- click to this slide show: nine twenny-five, 2010
3:58 pm

nine twenny-five, 2010

happy birthday, Kyle!

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Upper Lake -- click to this slide show: Trinity Alps, July 2010
Upper Lake

Trinity Alps, July 2010

a lovely hiking trip up Canyon Creek in the Trinity Alps

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12:19 pm -- click to this slide show: nine twenny-five, 2009
12:19 pm

nine twenny-five, 2009

happy birthday, Kyle!

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11:08 am -- click to this slide show: nine twenny-five, 2008
11:08 am

nine twenny-five, 2008

happy birthday again my friend!

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7:41 pm -- click to this slide show: nine twenny-five, 2007
7:41 pm

nine twenny-five, 2007

happy birthday to Kyle * this year was the first time i was at home to make this show (& this is the only birthday show this autumn) * i took 400+ pickies & most of them were completely silly, but what a blast!

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red #2 -- click to this slide show: Easter Holiday: April 2007
red #2

Easter Holiday: April 2007

inspired by the Easter Holiday with Roy & Bean * we spent a little more than a week wandering the top end of the South Island, from the lovely West Coast through the colourful Abel Tasman & the stunning Marlborough Sounds, back down the East Coast, past a town where the snow-capped peaks reach right to the edge of the boisterous sea...

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Moeraki #5 -- click to this slide show: on the left: April 2007
Moeraki #5

on the left: April 2007

inspired by my wanderings near Dunedin * i braved the left side of the road (learning to drive all over again) to see the Moeraki Boulders & to explore the Otago Peninsula...

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Key Summit -- click to this slide show: Fiordland: March & April 2007
Key Summit

Fiordland: March & April 2007

inspired by a weekend trip in Fiordland National Park, one of the most stunningly gorgeous places in the world (& one of the wettest!) * i fell in love with it half a lifetime ago & now i've fallen in love all over again...

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Wanaka 2 -- click to this slide show: in the land of the kiwis: March 2007
Wanaka 2

in the land of the kiwis: March 2007

inspired by the gorgeous land of New Zealand, as shown to me by the delightful kiwi Roy...

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5:12 pm -- click to this slide show: 5th January 2007
5:12 pm

5th January 2007

happy birthday to Scott * my high school sweetheart & i used to wander around our neighborhood playing that trust game where one person pretends to be blind & the other one gets to lead * on his birthday i kept my eyes open, but i let the mood guide me through this show for that boyMan, truefriend o' mine *

read more about the adventure behind this slide show: 5th January 2007    click for this slide show of photographs by Sienna M Potts
stormrider -- click to this slide show: 3rd October 2006
stormrider

3rd October 2006

happy birthday to Dirk * my river trip took me from one dear leftie Libra birthday to the next * our last day on the river was Dirk's birthday, so here's a show for you, brother, jetboat pictures, how funny is that?

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#44 -- click to this slide show: nine twenny-five, 2006
#44

nine twenny-five, 2006

happy birthday to Kyle * this year it was the first day on the river & i have included every picture that wasn't a repeat * here it is, friend, my day, how was yours?

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5:30 pm -- click to this slide show: ten twenny, 2005
5:30 pm

ten twenny, 2005

for a second year i set out on 20 October to record a few Viggo-ish visions with the idea in mind to step back & let the pictures come forward * not to look for them, simply to pay attention *

read more about the adventure behind this slide show: ten twenny, 2005    click for this slide show of photographs by Sienna M Potts
self-portrait -- click to this slide show: return with new eyes
self-portrait

return with new eyes

inspired by the headlands i've always known, headlands i meet again everyday because they are never the same twice in a row -- & neither am i...

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sun sets on September -- click to this slide show: beyond Canyonlands (the way home)
sun sets on September

beyond Canyonlands (the way home)

inspired by the journey home along the stunning loner roads of southern Utah, dipping into some of the juicy treats along the way, showered (not literally, & i smelled worse off river than on, believe me) by sudden gems of camp spots that popped up just as i asked for them... & also, i must admit, so saturated by the seeing of Canyonlands that it took a real vision, like those sleeping rainbows, to pop my eyes back into focus *

short on time? ponder sleeping rainbows *

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7:21 am -- click to this slide show: nine twenny-five, 2005
7:21 am

nine twenny-five, 2005

inspired by Canyonlands & by Kyle's birthday * last year i started the ancient tradition of putting together a birthday slide show * i don't know if it's a promise to myself or to him, but Kyle will always get one * on Kyle's birthday this year. . .

read more about the adventure behind this slide show: nine twenny-five, 2005    click for this slide show of photographs by Sienna M Potts
shadow dance -- click to this slide show: Canyonlands 2005
shadow dance

Canyonlands 2005

inspired by Canyonlands, a place which is deliciously impossible to photograph, perilously tempting to describe, & which has utterly stolen me back into myself *

short on time? see a sweet sixteen *

read more about the adventure behind this slide show: Canyonlands 2005    click for this slide show of photographs by Sienna M Potts
twelfth #35 -- click to this slide show: spring brings inspiration
twelfth #35

spring brings inspiration

last Tuesday out on the headlands was one of those days when it just really feels like i'm in exactly the right place & enjoying exactly the right time * i'm lucky enough to feel like that most of my life (it's all about the attitude) but i hadn't felt quite so right since the night we camped below Turks Head * i saw all kinds of pictures all over the headlands & for the first time in weeks wished i had my camera with me * when my feet hit the wet sand down at the beach i laughed out loud... this is it!

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long walk #17 -- click to this slide show: Caspar: November 2004
long walk #17

Caspar: November 2004

inspired by the headlands & beaches to the north & south of me * the walks to be had, near & not so far, are an endless source of entertainment & inspiration *

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c
c'm'ere #13

ten twenny: birthday wishes for Viggo

inspired by Viggo, all the way * in honour of Viggo's birthday, on 20 October 2004 i did what i always do, only with less thought, more open to the accidental magic of lens land light * i took the same photograph over & over, hundreds of them, in different places angles moments, snapped & snapped as if i was blind, as if the camera was my only eye *

read more about the adventure behind this slide show: ten twenny: birthday wishes for Viggo    click for this slide show of photographs by Sienna M Potts
circle #1 -- click to this slide show: Caspar: October 2004
circle #1
 -- click to this slide show: Caspar: October 2004
circle #3

Caspar: October 2004

inspired by the land... that's what it's always about * i'm always trying to capture my surroundings so that i can remember better later, experience it all more fully over time * i'm trying to wring a little bit more life out of each precious moment, appreciate each individual beauty -- piecing the whole together -- more carefully * i've taken over a thousand photos of this patch of land & if i'm not underestimating that number already (how many photos in a lifetime?) it's going to get outdated fast * once in a while i drag out the pictures from years past, remembering the way things used to be (& the way i used to see them) * i can see the bones of the place better the next time i go out, discovering a new series of photographs to keep me entertained, wondering once in a while about the future views & viewpoints to be created revealed inspired ...in all honesty, mostly i take pictures because it's fun, because i love to catch them as i walk -- reasons enough for me (as you know by this site) -- but sometimes it increases the enjoyment to pin down a more explicit motivation * i love this land... these photographs are the remnants of my worship *

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rock 39 -- click to this slide show: nine twenny-five, 2004
rock 39

nine twenny-five, 2004

inspired by Canyonlands & by Kyle's birthday * one year, the year he made a big deal about it (roasted a pig & everything), i missed Kyle's birthday * this year i swore to him i wouldn't miss it because it was another, erm... important number * wouldn't you know the next day my dad invited me to run the Green River at the end of September * i did try to reschedule, really i did, but there's no turning down a river * so on Kyle's birthday...

read more about the adventure behind this slide show: nine twenny-five, 2004    click for this slide show of photographs by Sienna M Potts
Jasper Canyon #9 -- click to this slide show: Canyonlands: September 2004
Jasper Canyon #9

Canyonlands: September 2004

inspired by Canyonlands, the Green & Colorado Rivers & by the people involved in my river trip, this is the longest slide show in my virtual art gallery, with 62 of my favorite photographs from a 7 day taste of heaven in Canyonlands National Park * we went 52 miles by canoe down the Green River to where it joins the Colorado * if you've been to Moab (or, better, live there) you'll laugh at me when i say i never thought i'd want to move to Utah... if you've never been, see the sweeties at Tex's Riverways to arrange a trip *

short on time? see 12 of my favorites *

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swim 174 -- click to this slide show: swim: Willamette River
swim 174

swim: Willamette River

inspired by Viggo? the swim series is just like the walk series (inspired by the Ride series) but it all takes place in the same place, a good gravelly chunk of shore along the Willamette River * this series recently broke 200 to become my longest so far -- sadly enough, it's also the first one to end * not by my choice or Pippin's mind you, but because some idiot had to throw his bottle in the rocks at the side of the river & Pip stepped on it & sliced open his foot * we're to stay out of the river for 2 weeks * severe punishment for both of us at any time, but especially in the hot middle of the summer when 2 weeks means the rest of our time living along the Willamette * hopefully he'll heal quickly & we can disobey the vet with one or two more hours of stick-chasing, photo-snapping fun before we move * next stop? the Pacific Ocean!

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mariposa 62 -- click to this slide show: mariposa
mariposa 62

mariposa

mariposa was the first word i learned en español & it's still one of my favorites * butterfly is a great word but it's got too much humour in it to match the delicate beauty of the creature it names * in the last year my friendship with Julia Alvarez has brought a new depth & strength to the word * the art is all mixed in with the living... for this series i'd have to say that i owe the greatest debt to my digi for giving me the freedom to stand on my porch watching butterflies & come in 20 minutes later with 65 photos *

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walk 36 -- click to this slide show: the walk series
walk 36

the walk series

inspired by Viggo? totally: walk is the first series i started after reading The Horse is Good * yes, i know it's mostly just pictures but i read every word (although every time i see more/differently so i guess i haven't read every word -- & never will, isn't that great?) * originally it was only pictures taken while Pippin was on leash but they name themselves (really, the name flashes through my mind as i snap the photo) so some without the leash got in (one mustn't be so strict that it sends away the muse) *

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red #13 -- click to this slide show: the red series
red #13

the red series

inspired by Viggo? Green #2, Painter, Blue #2, Green #13, Ride 4... i love Viggo's love of color & his knack for seeing it & naming a photo for it whether the color is 99% of the picture or 3% * color me inspired *

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shake 11 -- click to this slide show: shake: Willamette River
shake 11

shake: Willamette River

inspired by Viggo? this is another series roughly inspired by his Ride series * i've almost given up on it a time or two because i waste a lot of pictures to get a few treasures -- even now it may be a series only a mama could love * but some of my favorites of Viggo's photographs don't have obvious mass appeal & so i am inspired to follow his example: just do it because you love it, who cares if anybody else does?

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flower 30 -- click to this slide show: the flower series
flower 30

the flower series

inspired by Viggo? the sharing is all inspired by Viggo *

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cookie 9 -- click to this slide show: the cookie series
cookie 9

the cookie series

inspired by Viggo? that Ride series, that way of mixing a new viewpoint &, especially, motion to see things in a new way... that really rocked my world *

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9:20 am -- click to this slide show: tree time: Willamette River
9:20 am

tree time: Willamette River

inspired by Viggo? very much so * in Recent Forgeries there is a series of photographs of Henry at various moments in a day (many days?) in 1998, though it's obviously an old idea * the first (not the first, i'm sure) is my favorite: 6:10 pm, 1995 *

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Thank You, Viggo tribute pages: poems, photographs and stories full of thanks to Viggo Mortensen

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Sienna Moonfire Designs: West Coast Picture Stories and Website Design ThankYouViggo.com is a labour of love & gratitude
by Sienna Moonfire Designs: SiennaMoonfire.com
last updated 11 January 2006 :: 4:20 pm Caspar (Pacific) time
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copyright © 2002-2017 Sienna M Potts, all rights reserved, thank you