The best kind of writing tends to show rather than tell - it makes you feel without having to explain itself. Colorado Springs-based nature photographer, Wil Armand (@wilarmand) captures that essence through his work. His detailed, close-up photographs of various elements in nature are very much visual poetry. His work is distinct; perfectly capturing the earth's time-worn patterns and textures.

Wil's photographs immediately make you feel as though you were there when they were taken. It's as if you can clearly follow your eyes along the imperfect grooves of Colorado's iconic sandstone formations, run your hand along the ridges in a tree's bark, or feel the give of the sand beneath your feet as you walk about Great Sand Dunes National Park. Each photo is like witnessing a different moment in time - an intimate experience of nature's stillness and beauty.

For more of Wil's work, follow along on Instagram @wilarmand.

From the Artist:
"My artistic gift is one of seeing, and the photograph is my craft. I've always been aware of patterns, particularly in nature. The combination of elements in a scene, the placement of objects and natural patterns are, to me, very high art. What I do in a photograph, is to pause, consider what my gift of seeing notices, then gather the light of a fragment of time and hold it still, giving others the opportunity to linger in those moments.

I've been making photographs for almost 60 years. In my teens I turned my artistic attention from drawing and painting to the photograph because I wanted to capture nature as it was, in all its glorious detail, not interpret and abbreviate it. My early work is black and white, primarily large format. When I started with large format work, I began by photographing sweeping landscapes, but also captured the details. As digital cameras became viable, I began photographing in color. Today, the subject matter of my work is primarily details.

Residing in Colorado Springs, I have a variety of both mountain regions and city parks close at hand. I often find myself pausing on a trail and capturing the beauty in what most people step on."

Photographs courtesy of Wil Armand. Photo credit: All images ©Will Armand, various dates.


"We can love ourselves by loving the earth." Wangari Maathai

Six years ago we attended an intimate Winter Solstice gathering hosted by Deepak Chopra at ABC Carpet. The event was a conversation between Deepak and Wangari Maathai. It was a magical night and Wangari's spirit illuminated the room.

In honor of Earth Day on April 22nd, we wanted to share the story of this amazing woman and the legacy she left behind.

Wangari was the founder of the Green Belt Movement and the first African woman to receive the Nobel Peace Price. She dedicated her life and courageously fought for environmental conservation, democracy, peace and women's rights. Her Green Belt Movement was a grass-roots movement that encouraged women to plant trees in their local environments and to think ecologically. The movement spread throughout Africa, contributing to the planting of over thirty million trees.

What stood out to us in reading her memoir, Unbowed, is how deeply connected she was with nature and her natural surroundings. She profoundly chose the tree, a symbol of growth, wisdom and life, to carry out her mission.

Sadly, Wangari Maathai passed away on September 11, 2011 but her legacy lives on in every tree planted. If you've not had a chance to read her book, its a good reminder of the power of trees and a great read for Earth Day.


“Kelly blurs the line between photography and painting. His subject matter, ranging from images of the natural world (flora and fauna), to urban and residential landscapes and focuses on the individual’s place in a given environment. 'New York Artworld' Magazine

British fine art photographer Pete Kelly sees the beauty in nature and has traveled all over the world documenting his surroundings. His photographs capture moments in time - drawing the viewer into that moment. Nature's quiet stillness comes through in his work. In addition to his landscapes, he also shoots cityscapes, flora and fauna, animals and people outdoors connecting with nature.

Capturing the image is just the beginning of the creative process for him. He creates his painterly style using a complex process of layered photographs and found textures which he prints onto watercolor paper using museum-quality digital pigments. He then mounts the print to board adding an encaustic wax surface which is an ancient Egyptian crafting technique - a technique he is considered an authority on. Using beeswax in his work is a passion of Pete's. The more he learned about bees the more he was in awe of their pivotal role in the pollination of plants and the importance of bringing awareness to their declining population.

Pete is represented by Robin Rice Gallery in New York, as well as, several galleries in London.
Photo credit: ©Pete Kelly. All rights reserved.

Photographer Pete Kelly

Pete Kelly Goyt Valley

Pete Kelly Matlock Derbyshire

Pete Kelly Lyme Cage

Pete Kelly Lyme Park

Cheshire Plain

Pete Kelly Derbyshire

Pete Kelly Goyt Valley


We recently received a request from the Sea Turtle Conservancy to donate product for their annual holiday silent auction. Although we were very aware of the exquisite patterns found on sea turtles, we were not familiar with the Conservancy so we did some research.

Below is what we discovered about this wonderful non-profit and the incredible work they are doing.

The Sea Turtle Conservancy was founded in 1959 by world-renowned sea turtle expert Dr. Archie Carr to save sea turtles from eminent extinction through rigorous science-based conservation. Formerly known as the Caribbean Conservation Corporation, the Sea Turtle Conservancy is the world's oldest sea turtle research and conservation group. Their mission is to ensure the survival of sea turtles within the Caribbean, Atlantic and Pacific through research, education, training, advocacy and protection  of the natural habitats upon which they depend.

Sea turtles are among the most important indicators of the health of the world's marine and coastal ecosystems. The conservancy has a free Turtle Migration Tracking Education Program on their website where people and educators can view regularly updated maps showing the migratory movements of endangered sea turtles being tracked by satellite. If you want to find out more about the conservancy you can visit their website.

Hawksbill (Eretmochelys Imbricata)

Leatherback (Dermochelys Coriacea)

Green Turtle (Chelonia Mydas)

Sea Turtle Patterns


Water Org

To get the word out there on great non-profits devoted to helping people and the environment, each Affina customer order shipment will feature a reusable postcard that can be mailed off to friend.

Our current postcard initiative is with’s vision is to see the day when everyone in the world can take a safe drink of water.  We applaud in their efforts to help end the global water crisis.

ABOUT WATER.ORG is a non-profit driving the water sector for new solutions, new financing models, greater transparency, and real partnerships to create lasting change. Co-founded by Matt Damon and Gary White, has transformed hundreds of communities in Africa, South Asia, Central America and the Caribbean by providing access to safe water and sanitation. Photograph ©

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