Ojibway Art Show 2011

Two weeks ago I participated in the Ojibways Annual artshow (Pointe-au-Baril) and by far it was my best year!

I decided to do something different over the previous years where I had been showing straight photography. My pictures were well received and were different than those of the other photographers out there in terms of content and style. Which is a good thing because who wants too many artists with the same style!! In any case, I still wasn’t satisfied. I wanted to show something really different and offer the cottagers in that area something unique. First, understand that this artshow caters to cottagers on Georgian Bay and what sells in Toronto doesn’t necessarily sell in cottage country. So this is really a different market and it is up to me to adapt to it.

Over the winter I decided to take some of my pictures of the Bay and try my hand at digital painting using Corel Painter software. I soon realized that this was what I was looking for. Something different, something real.

Through digital painting I am able to add movement and depth into my photographs thus moving my two dimensional photo into a more vivid and dynamic one. I begin by editing my picture and once I am happy with the results I prep the photograph for digital painting. This is where I choose my colour palette, paintbrushes and start with an underpainting. Once completed I begin the painting process.

What I found interesting though was what makes a great photograph doesn’t necessarily automatically translate into a great painting. Just like a great athlete doesn’t necessarily make a good coach! Some of the photos I used were really boring to look at, but when I painted them they came to life!

Take the above photo for example. It’s of the PaB Lighthouse. I took this on a very windy evening, a storm was approaching, the sun was beginning to set and the boat was rocking like crazy!!  We were out in the open and David was tyring to hold the boat steady for me.  So the original picture didn’t turn out all that well and I almost deleted it a while ago. It was out of focus, and really not that exciting to look at as it had no depth. Basically, it was ‘flat’. After bumping up the colours a bit, working on the clouds to bring out some definition and finally did some dodging and burning on the rocks and building I came out with a better picture. I gave the photo the digital treatment described above and voila!! So all in all, a LOT of work went into this. A lot of experimenting too. But with digital all I have to do is hit the ‘undo’ button to get back to the original photo. No messy paints, or brushes, turnpentine etc. Which is just as well with two little kids running around. It’s not like I have my own ‘art studio’ where kids aren’t allowed to roam free and not touch things 🙂

So over the past few weeks I’ve been busy taking pictures in all sorts of weather, and time of day so I can paint over the winter and prep for next years show!! My Photo Art now has that extra texture, creativity and look that I was after!!

Finally, thank you to those who purchased my images!! I still get that warm, fuzzy feeling everytime someone buys my art, as art really is an extension of who you are and you really are putting yourself out there for people to either like or hate!



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