Color has been an important part of my life for as long as I can remember. I pursued many creative endeavors and thought myself a jack-of-all-trades and a master of none. I wanted to narrow my focus. I took a litany of courses through Raleigh Parks and Rec., Meredith College, and NCSU College of Design where I learned how to draw and discovered colored pencils, watercolor, pen & ink, and photography.
Photography has become my passion. Through photography, I can express myself without the stress of drawing. Over the last few years I’ve gained the expertise needed for converting digital color images to black and white, for making professional black and white prints, and I’ve found the perfect combination of tools to create lovely hand colored, inkjet, black and white images.
Hand painted photographs have been around since the invention of photography. They lost favor when color photography came on the scene but have had a resurgence since the 1960s. The original intent was to add life to black and white portraits. Contemporary artists have moved beyond traditional uses. Hand painting takes a photograph from the realm of modern machine-age precision to the soft, expressive life of a painting.
There are many things I love about hand painting photographs. I love the way color can be used to intensify depth and lead the viewer through the image, drawing their attention to aspects I want to be sure they don’t miss. I have total control of the color scheme and mood and whether or not I want to heighten the realism. I shoot mostly candids so I particularly like that the photograph doesn’t have to have razor sharp focus or the Zone System range of grays. Images that are soft and printed on the light side make the best painted photographs!
In my art, I look to the natural world for subject matter. I am drawn to folklore and fairytales; I tend to search for the perfect “wee ones” habitat. Right now I am photographing mushrooms, toadstools, and interesting tree shapes along with botanical specimens. I also enjoy travel, documenting our discoveries. I am working on a long term project derived from a trip to Spain to discover the roots of flamenco. It’s a wonderful combination of hand colored images, pen and ink drawings, and souvenirs used to explain the history of flamenco and to document the trip my daughter and I made in 2007.