Story and Photos by Carolyn Marks Blackwood


live on the edge of a cliff, overlooking the Hudson River. The scene is different every day, every minute. It changes with the weather, light, and seasons. I have a big sky here, which is rare on the East Coast, unless you live on a mountain or near the ocean. How lucky I am to have this 180 degree view, to be facing west with views of the Catskills across the Hudson River. The sun sets in the west. The storms generally come from the west, and I can watch them as they roll over the mountains and cross the river.


There was a reason The Hudson River School happened here. I used to think that those painters like Frederick Church exaggerated the drama of color and light in their paintings, and now I know they did not. People travel to this place to paint and photograph. I am lucky to be able to live here and observe from this spot every day. This is my backyard, and it affords me the time and pleasure of making a study of this place.


My landscape work is informed by abstract painting. I don’t have the objectivity to characterize them in words. The expression of them is visual, but also very emotional for me. My work is my passion. I don’t think while I am shooting. Its visceral, a-fly-by-the-seat-of-ones-pants feeling.

There are amazing patterns in nature that are there for all to see, but few do. I didn’t for a long time. Because my work is informed by abstract painting, when I see things now, I see abstraction.

I think art helps people see things differently- even the things they see all the time.


Carolyn Marks Blackwood is an American fine art photographer, film producer, writer, screenwriter, and singer-songwriter. She was born in Anchorage, Alaska, moved to New York State as a child, and finally to the Hudson Valley region in 1999.

Blackwood’s photography has been featured in solo and group exhibitions in Brussels, Los Angeles, New York City, and across the Northeastern United States, in addition to several book covers.

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