Fifteen years of one subject.

I moved to Jacksonville in 2003. In 2004 I started photographing one of the cities most iconic pieces of statuary. It’s called “Life” and it was unveiled on Christmas Eve in 1924. It is dedicated to the 1200 Florida men and women who lost their lives in WWI. For an interesting read about the park and statue:

My first photograph of this statue was the start of my art photography business in 2016 and my very first sale.

As I look into the future and moving out of state and away from this beautiful and moving object, I wondered why I am still taking pictures of it- why it draws me so. I literally tear up every time I tell someone the story behind the statue. I took the final one in the sequence just days ago. I also wonder what I will find in my new home to replace it and the feelings it stirs in me.

All Images are original art work by Vivienne Frankel of Still Life with Cat Studio. All Rights Reserved copyright 2016-2019. To purchase visit

Life in 2004 at sunrise with Venus and quarter moon.

After that I discovered a fascination with the statue and all of its personalities. Day time, sunrise and sunset. In costume and in storm.

Spectrum of Life
Surge of Life
September 2017 after Hurricane Irma
Life at High Noon 2016
Pride of Life
2013 The day after the Pride Parade
Guardian of Life 2017

Red Sky at Morning 2017
Life and the Day Moon 2016
Life Clear as Day 2018
Life After the Storm 2017
Life and the Guardian at Daybreak 2019

A new chapter. Welcome Graham Hickling to Still Life with Cat Studio!

Graham Hickling is trained as a Wildlife Biologist in New Zealand before moving to the United States in 2002.  He lived in Michigan for several years before moving to Knoxville, Tennessee, where he teaches at the University of Tennessee. Throughout his career he has combined his interests in photography and videography with his wildlife research activities.  His primary interests are nature photography and macrophotography, however his eye for the quirks of humanity in the Southern landscape has led to a growing enthusiasm for street photography.

I’m looking forward to sharing his passion for photography with you soon as we grow his new collection.

G reflectionsSpringfield House

Beauty in destruction

Hurricane Irma left so much devastation in my city.  More than we have experienced in over a century.  Yet in the midst of all the destruction, there is still beauty.  The power that water holds over us mortals is felt in a visceral way when we see what it can do.  These images are from a city park near my home.  I have been walking to and around this park for almost 14 years.  I have seen the park and it’s central winged statue at all times of the day and have photographed it often in many different settings and light.  In many ways the statue (called Life) is an integral part of my life as an artist.  I sell more art photos of this statue than any other local icons.  So when I heard the park had flooded, and that the seawall had breached, I was devastated.

The worst of the storm had passed and the storm surge was beginning to recede when I walked down to see what was left.  The following photos were taken within the first 48 hours of the storm passing.  The most beautiful dawn light comes after a hurricane and I did my best to capture it and the power of the water still crashing into the 100 year old balustrade surrounding the statue.

Memorial Park Jacksonville

Sunrise of Life after IrmaLife with chessmen WMbalustrade sunrise2 WMChess pieces vibrant WMBroken Dreams WMChess pieces sunrise best WMSunrise WV BW WMBroken wall of Life WMRiverside Avondale Preservation

The good news is that the park will be restored.  the city has already begun some work and the Memorial Park Association and the Riverside Avondale Preservation group is also involved.  Many of the marble pieces have been salvaged for restoration and many of the balustrade “chessmen” are now in safe keeping for the day they rebuild the sea wall.  The statue itself was not damaged, in spite of being up to his ankles in crashing waves at one point.

Verona Cityscapes

Verona has incredible views all round the city.  Everywhere you look there is beauty, majesty, history, elegance. There is also the wonderful shabbiness of an old, old place with few pretenses.

The Roman ruins here tend to insert themselves into everything. There is a little something around every corner. A pillar, a door medallion, a piece of wall or an entire arena. The city just begs to be photographed. Over ten years of coming here and I still can’t take enough pictures. The light on this day is better or the clouds more interesting.  I see things all the time that I have missed as I walked by dozens of other times. I still walk around looking up with my mouth open as if it were my first visit.