Thursday, May 28, 2009

Painting Photos = Paint By Numbers

An old tinted photo in an oval frame with curved glass came to live at my house a few years ago. I'm not saying how many years, just a few. The little girls, my Mom and her friend, Lucy strike a typical pose. My Mom has a satisfied grin, and Lucy is scowling, unhappy because my mother got to hold the doll for the picture.

The tinting of the old photo, probably taken around 1920, always interested me. Of course, at that time, photos were black and white or sepia. Color was added by carefully painting the print.

Ways to create more realistic painted images to stitch have been rolling around in my head. As I looked at that picture of Mom and Lucy, it ocurred to me that if they could tint photos in the 1920s, I could paint the images printed onto fabric using the computer and simplify the whole process. I'd get the realistic look I was going for with minimal effort. I'm not exactly being lazy, I told myself, just efficient. Depending on how much I play with the photo before I print it, I'm probably not being efficient either. I could produce more copies of the an image, change the colors, change the stitching, etc. Endless possibilities.

Usually composing the image has already been done with the camera, and whatever I don't like can easily paint over with an opaque paint. Creative license! Transparent paint can add color while still leaving the photographic image underneath. It's a win, win! It's almost like sitting with a 96 crayon box of Crayolas and coloring away. Way too much fun. Try it sometime!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

New Work

My solo show in July and August at the Adirondack Mountain Club headquarters in Lake George, New York has inspired me to create pieces more realistic than what I usually do and that are reflective of our beautiful surroundings.
My camera goes with me when hiking or on morning walks and the photos have become the basis for a new series of work. The combination of photography, painting, and stitching has endless possibilities whether bound in the traditional quilt manner, mounted on gallery wrapped canvas, or framed.
I have years of photos to choose from, so many in fact, that I have to periodically burn them to CDs just to keep the computer from groaning under the load. And that's after deleting a lot of them! They are divided in to categories such as trees, leaves, flowers, rocks, architecture, etc. Some really niggle at me to play with them. So many pictures, so little time!
This picture of baby leaves unfurling is one of the latest in my new series of small pieces that will be at the Adirondack Mountain Club Gallery.