Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Love Letters

My new series of artistic photography features a group of florals I'm working on called Love Letters.  The inspiration began with my neighbor's gorgeous garden and the beautiful flowers within.  To further inspire me, however, is the story of this delightful couple who lives next door to me.

Earl and June have been married over 60 years now.  Their son told me their story.  It began when they were very, very young.  Earl was 16 and June just 14.  Both still in school, but they had fallen in love. They decided they wanted to get married -- but they didn't want to tell their parents just yet.  So they eloped for the day.  To their parents, they were just having a normal "date".  When in reality, they ran off to find a justice of the peace who would marry them.  They had their ceremony, and came home, marriage certificate in hand.  They each went to their respective houses and continued on with their lives, as if nothing had changed.  But they knew in their hearts, their commitment had been sealed.

It wasn't long after, June's mother discovered the truth.  If I remember correctly, she found the marriage license June had hidden in her room.  Her mother and father had a sit down with June in the living room, and told her quite frankly, "You're a married woman now, you must go live with your husband and be a wife."  So Earl and June moved in together and began living as husband and wife.

Fast forward 60+ years.  They're still together.  Two children later, grown grandchildren, the passage of long careers for both of them, and they're retired now.  They still act like teenagers sometimes.  They always speak to everyone with respect and kindness, and they still speak to each other that way too.  June's passion is her flowers and her beautiful garden.  Earl loves to work in the yard and he also makes the most beautiful hand carved wooden canes in his shop behind his home.  It's a joy to watch the two of them, and even more precious is the love, dedication, and commitment this couple has for one another.

This series "Love Letters" features my artistic photographs of June's beautiful blooms.  And it features the handwritten text of antique love letters, some dating back over 100 years.  Each piece of art in this series is a tribute to true, long lasting, beautiful love, which seems to be a scarcity in our world today.  My hope is that by viewing these works of art, you will know, it's not an impossibility.  There is a chance for true, romantic love to prevail.


P.S.  Watch the series unfold by following my Artistic Photography board on Pinterest.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Is it a painting? Or a photograph?

Actually, it's BOTH. Hello there! Thanks for stopping by, and I apologize for neglecting my blog again. It's wedding season, and almost time for graduation and I've been super busy creating new invitations for my Artful Memory Shop. I've also been working on an Iris photo project for my website, and I've just completed it. The series is called Garden of Irises and will soon be published as a photobook.

And....I've been learning some new and cool techniques to make my photos even more unique.  I just recently purchased a new lens and am getting fabulous photos with it -- BUT -- some photos don't always have the look or the feel I imagined when I shot the picture.  I have learned some new techniques using a combination of textures, multiple layers, color altering, and digital painting and have finally started uploading some of my new works.  The question I hear most is "Is that a painting? Or a photo?"  Well, it's BOTH.  It's a photo which takes on the characteristics and feel of a painting by the time I'm finished.

Today, I want to share an example with you.  Below is my original landscape photo, taken at the lake at Cypress Park here in Jackson, TN:

Not. Very. Exciting.  While it's a beautiful place to go, the water was extremely muddy (due to flooding not long before I visited), and the water also took on the green of the trees, making everything way to green for my liking in this landscape.  I prefer warm, rich oranges, reds, and golden yellows in landscape paintings.  Light.  I like light...especially the glow of the sun.  While it was sunny on this day at the park, my camera was just so overwhelmed with the greens and brown in the water, it didn't pick up the sunny warmth I wanted.

So I went to work and created the work of art below.  I call it a "paintograph" - combination of a photo and a painting.

NOW - this is much better!  There's my sunlight, my warm glow I'm looking for!  I brought a sense of impending Autumn into the trees, and I added a warm, glowing texture over the entire photo.  I brought the yellow and orange glow up to the sky.  I added some ducks I'd photographed at a local pond, because I thought they'd make an interesting addition to the art.  This is actually how I FELT when I was at the park - an overwhelming sense of wonder and awe at the beauty and the peace.  So I took what I felt and painted it into this photograph.  I enjoyed sitting on the bench out on the walk out bridge when I was there, but now, I feel I can step into this new vision and enjoy it even more.

This is just one of the artistic photographs I've completed lately.  Stop by my gallery on my website to see more.  Also, follow my Artistic Photography Board on Pinterest to keep up with the newest works of art.  I have many more landscapes I'm working on, as well as my traditional florals and birds and animals I love so much!