Liz West


When I was a kid, I wanted to be an artist. I spent lots of time drawing and cartooning. However, after years of art classes I decided that the art that I created was not the art that I loved, so I switched paths and majored in English at college. Afterwards, I became a writer, which made sense, since I am an absolute language nut - books, type, print, words, and wordplay all fascinate me.

In the early 1960s, I bought an Asahi Pentax Spotmatic and fell in love with photography. I was wedded to that camera until I moved to an old house in the country that needed lots of work. By then, I also had two kids, so photography sort of dropped by the wayside.

Three decades later, I'm still in the house, the kids have grown, and after much prodding by them I now own a little group of digital cameras:my first, an Olympus point-and-shoot; my second, a Canon 30D; and my third, a Canon Elph, which I won in a contest. I'm as nutty about them as I was about my old Pentax, which has now found a new and loving home with a friend.

I enjoy being a community member of UTATA, which melds my two passions: words and images. I particularly enjoy its generosity of spirit, as well as its insistence on civility.


This testimonial may easily be categorized as "jumping the gun," because I have only just posted my membership info for Utata after dragging my feet about it for months, and don't have a 'member page' yet, but finding you here -- in what at first glance might seem a random fashion -- is such a reflection of the six degrees of separation of which I am so aware, that I simply must write a testimonial for you!

Hooray to Liz West, whose images of flowers and cats and misty mornings reflect a seasoned eye and whose love of words and images combine to make her Utatabite "To Show or Not to Show" an interesting window into the life of a woman who prefers to share her vision here, rather than in public exhibitions.

The six-degree part, you see, is that I think I know you, Liz. Well, indirectly, perhaps.

Because although I am living on the west coast now, I still remember quite distinctly the afternoon in Rockport, Massachusetts when I picked up a science text for review and felt that the handwriting on it was so familiar that I actually called Publicom to find out if it could possibly be the handwriting of Kathy (Spendlove) Talmadge. The rest is history. Kathy and I grew up together in Pennsylvania...and I believe you two worked together. Perhaps still do. If you are in touch with her, please give her my info.

Your images are lovely, you are clear-eyed and painterly in your approach. The gift of viewing your work is a moment of respite, a delightful transport, a particular ease. I'm glad to have found you and look forward to viewing your images yet to come.

More, please.

Testimonial written by six degrees