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New Work/Covers

March 30, 2016


Art Director:  Strick&Williams     Publisher:  Catapult


White Rage

Art Director:  Patti Ratchford   Publisher:  Bloomsbury Publishing


Brave New Weed

Art Director:  Milan Bozic   Publisher:  Harper Collins   Stylist:  Wendy Schelah/Halley Resources



Faint Evidence

January 21, 2016

ShellsI recently returned from 5 weeks at The Rauchenberg Residency in Captiva, Fla. While there, I was struck by the abundance of natural beauty; not the expected colorful and verdant landscape in that part of South Florida, but the rich brown hues in the flora and fauna of the preserve in which we resided. Despite frequent rains and high humidity, which aids in the growth of lush vegetation, the weather of the island of Captiva is quite punishing. The high heat, often strong winds and the harsh relentless sun that seems to permeate the smallest of crevices, all work toward rapid aging of everything in it’s path.

It was this particular beauty that inspired the traditional still lifes for this project.  I find poetry in the moments where youth is clearly absent, where the elements have frayed and the color is spotted with subtle shades of brown, a sign of resolute fruition . Everywhere there were reminders that life is constantly moving forward without regard to creation or its demise. I found this inspiration in a dried palm that seems to lean to a direction in sad decay, a large seashell ravaged by time looking more like bone than shell, the insect stopped dead in it’s tracks by the overwhelming heat or lack of hydration; the impermanence reflecting the beauty of all that nature will endure.

This centuries old concept was derived from Buddist teaching in Japan and is called Wabi-Sabi: “the aesthetic centered on the acceptance of transience, imperfect and incompleteness of life”. Characteristics of the wabi-sabi aesthetic include roughness, irregularity, simplicity, economy, austerity, modesty, intimacy, and appreciation of the ingenuous integrity of natural objects and processes. Wabi-sabi images, although it can be difficult to explain, asks us to contemplate our “own mortality and evoke and existential loneliness and tender sadness.”

See more work on my recently updated site:

shells and flowers

©Tamara Staples

Coconut and BoP

Bird of Paradise Palm 2

Washingtonian Palms

Cabbage Palm 2

Voo Doo Doll

July 26, 2015

Voodoo 1

For a still life photographer, there’s nothing better than finding something unusual to photograph.  This was found outside of our apartment building in the South Slope, Brooklyn.  We happen to live across the street from the nearly 200 year old Greenwood Cemetery making it all the more creepy and interesting.

Voodoo 2

Voodoo Detail 1

Voodoo Detail 2

Voodoo Detail 3

Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge

July 23, 2015


Summer excursion to Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge  CF045463

Clouds 26

Clouds 12






Clouds 29

Clouds 32

Clouds 8



March 16, 2015

Cries for Help

I was thrilled when the newly formed design dynamo, Stick&Williams, called me to work on a project.  The design problem was unique in that they wanted to put together a teaser for a book cover, instead of the actual cover.  The solution was, just like Charlotte and Claire:  beautiful, smart, creative.   Looking forward to seeing what else these ladies produce!


Adventure To Southeast Asia

March 4, 2015

Ta Prohm 4

Ta Prohm, Siem Reap, Cambodia

I’ve been woefully neglecting my blog these past few months.  But fear not, I am still making work.   In November I moved studios from Chelsea to Gowanus in Brooklyn, I traveled to Vietnam and Cambodia for a month at the beginning of the year and most recently I’ve been working on some personal projects.

Today I’m going to share a few of my travel pictures.  We traveled south to north in Vietnam, then took  a week to spend time in Siem Reap, Cambodia touring the 1000 year old temples.

You can see the full trip here.  Enjoy and feel free to share your travel stories!

Prasat Kravan 6

Prasat Kravan, Siem Reap, Cambodia

Preah Khan 19

Preah Khan, Siem Reap, Cambodia

Bayon Emmett

Bayon, Siem Reap, Cambodia

Cambodia Countryside 1

Cambodian Countryside

Cambodia Countryside 5

Cambodian Countryside

Cambodia Countryside 7

Cambodian Countryside

Siem Reap 2

Siem Reap Market, Cambodia

Halong Bay 30

Halong Bay, Vietnam

Ninh Binh 11

Ninh Binh, Vietnam

Hoa Lu 1

Ninh Binh, Vietnam

Mekong Delta 10

Mekong Delta, Vietnam

Mekong Delta 3

Mekong Delta, Vietnam

Hoi An 1

Hoi An, Vietnam

Hoi An 2

Hoi An, Vietnam

Hanoi 11

Hanoi, Vietnam

Hanoi 9

Hanoi, Vietnam

Hanoi 7

Hanoi, Vietnam

Saigon Side sadle

Hanoi, Vietnam

Adventure Time Crafts

October 22, 2014



I am proud to present Adventure Time Crafts.   This book  was not only a fun project with a great art director, but also it impressed my 8 year old son.   He’s informed me that I’m to make all of the crafts within.   Buyer Beware!

Art Director:  Stephanie Huntwork  Prop Stylist:  Derek Ellis  Publisher:  Potter Craft


Jake Hug



Finger Puppets



Adventure Time #2 275

Adventure Time #3 309 1

Adventure Time #3 114

Adventure Time #3 181

Adventure Time #2 289

Adventure Time #2 137