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Hotel Congress 10-11-2018 {self-portrait series}

Last week, I took a short-and-sweet trip south to Tucson to see the incredible singer/songwriter, Erica Wennerstrom.  I stayed at the Hotel Congress in Tucson, AZ.  It is in this kind of place where I unleash my passion and intensity in the form of self-portraiture.  I was lucky to be assigned room 216-which had incredible golden light coming in through the window for about 30 minutes just before sunset.  I beyond appreciate the history, vibes and spirits in this hotel, and I think I will always hear them calling me back…

So, I wrapped this up photo session quickly…I had a show to see!!  I saw Erika Wennerstrom (Heartless Bastards) open for Wilco many years ago in Pennsylvania and have been admiring her singing and songwriting skills ever since.  “Searching for the Ghost” is one of my most favorite songs ever!  She has put out a new solo album this year, “Sweet Unknown,” which primarily explores the discovery and importance of self-love.  I found great and deep connection in this album because I have been embracing/tackling self-love head-on in my life and art in self-portraiture.  The show she performed that night at EXO Coffee Roasters (this venue!!!)  was a solo acoustic set, and it was wonderful!  Erika’s artistic energy is contagious and she is so down to earth!  After the show I bought her new record, on vinyl, and she signed it.  We spoke a little bit and I recieved not one, not two, but THREE Erika Wennerstrom hugs (yeah I counted) ! I am still riding the wave of music and hugs from that night…maybe from the art-in-a-glass Mezcal drinks too…

 

Oh, and I have begun a new project that I will start sharing soon.  I found additional inspiration outside of self-portraiture from the vibes here in Tucson–so I will say it’s where the project officially started–but it’s one that may go on for awhile. Stay tuned…

 

Natalie resides in Peoria, Arizona, with her husband, two children, and two dogs. Her artistic journey has taken many twists and turns but photography and writing have become the primary outlets for her artistic expression. She is an artist at Offset.com, Lensdrop and Adobe. Her work/photography has been published by National Geographic Your Shot, Lensbaby, Beyond the Wanderlust, and has been licensed for ads by Samsung and other companies for advertisements. Her best days are filled with loving and guiding her offspring and pups, music, reading, creating photographs and writings, hiking, yoga, cooking, and sky-gazing. In the social media world, she can be found on Instagram @natalie_a_wheeler, and as a moderator for @theechoesinside, a hub for self-portraiture.

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