Colour Me In

He found the colours to paint her when the world had left her grey….Atticus

It’s not hard to pick that I’m a colour person.  I can admire black and white images but I never feel quite right doing them.  I love colour.  It makes my soul sing.  It brightens a dull day.  I wear a lot of black but in my art I do a lot of colour.  Black, white and grey are an amazing backdrop for colours and that’s what I usually use them for.

I’ve often spoken about the romanticism of old photos.  The ones I especially love are the ones that were hand coloured.  Someone would painstakingly paint every detail in a soft wash of colour to recreate as naturally as possible the reality of the image.  There is an old wedding photo of my mum and dad’s  which was hand coloured and it is simply beautiful.  So I’ve been trying to teach myself hand colouring using Photoshop.

I’ve watched a few tutorials on Youtube but so far haven’t really had a go at it until today.  I got a photo that I’d done of the beautiful Libby in an Audrey Hepburn inspired shoot.  I did it in black and white as I wanted to recapture the old Hollywood glamour.  I loved it but it wasn’t really me.  So I decided to try my very first digitally hand coloured image.  The dress she was wearing was originally a beautiful burgundy satin  but I decided to change it to green.  Her eyes aren’t green but I wanted them to match the dress.  Getting a good skin colour is probably the hardest of all as it’s so hard to recreate.  But I just had a bit of fun with it really and I’m really pleased with the result.

I’m sure as I practise on a few more I’ll do a better job but for the first time, I don’t think it’s too shabby.  Time to get a few of the old family photos out I think to  really help hone this particular skill.

hand coloured vs bw

 

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Try One More Time

When the world says “give up”, hope whispers “try one more time”…… Author Unknown

I had a memory pop up on Facebook this morning.. I hardly ever look at or share these pop up memories as I figure I’ve lived that day…..onward and upward, don’t look back.  You know the drill.    However this morning, I was a bit taken aback to see this particular one.  You see, it was two years ago that I posted an image that I’d just made of a mermaid.

It wasn’t a new photo that I’d worked on.  I had taken this photo of the lovely Hannah much earlier while I was still at TAFE.  I had already edited it and loved the slightly cartoon effect I had put on it.  I had already stepped out of my comfort zone when I edited it first time and it was one of my favourites from my time at TAFE.  Obviously two years ago, I wanted to try something a bit different again.

I had known for a long time that I wanted to make art from photography but really didn’t have the nerve to step out of my comfort zone and try it.  Then late one night, I gave it a go and Hannah turned into Hope, my mermaid.  I have to be honest, when I’d finished it, I was quite overwhelmed.  I felt like I had finally proved to myself that I could create what my mind imagined.

In all honesty, it was a fairly simple fantasy image but it will always be one of my favourites as it was a turning point for me and my belief in myself.  I named her Hope to match the quote which suited me so well.  Hope has become my muse.  She whispers words of encouragement in my ear when I doubt myself and tells me to keep going when I sometimes want to give up.  She is more than an image.  I could probably rework the image with all I’ve since learned but I won’t, as to me she’s perfect as she is.

It amazes me that it’s really only been two  years since I started to  create what I was imagining, but then it was only in 2013 when I started studying photography, having never picked up an SLR or DSLR in my life.  All of my photos up until that point had been taken with point and shoot cameras.  It certainly has been an eventful 4.5 years but they are years that have brought me much joy.

So now, it’s onward and upward again.  I am already working on a new mermaid shoot which I’d planned before I realised this was two years ago.  Now it’s time to create lots more art as my mind imagines new worlds and scenarios.  Time to take my work up a notch again as the learning process never really ends.  But right now, I’m having a glass of wine and drinking a toast to my muse, Hope….

Hope Whispers

 

When the Artist becomes the Art

Youth is a gift of nature… Age a work of art….Stanislaw Jerzy Lec

A few months back, my wonderful friend Pennie had a big birthday.   It’s not up to me to tell you what the number was as it’s a woman’s prerogative to be ageless.  But I have to tell you, for this lady, age is completely irrelevant anyway.  She is a bundle of energy and radiates incredible grace.

Pennie is an artist who creates amazing work.  Her passion inspires me to continue trying to be the best creative I can be.  Both Pennie and her husband Brian are soon to expand their gallery space but until they do, you can view their work by clicking here.  Trust me, it’s worth having a look.

One of the most important things I concentrate on when making images of people is to make sure there is a connection with the image and that it represents who they truly are.  So with this talented lady,  I wanted to make the artist into the art so asked her if she’d pose for me.  She said yes and we had a lovely morning getting the shots I needed to create the images I was thinking of.  My plan was to take a photo of her and make it into a painterly style image to represent her artisan soul.  I got the shot I wanted and then as luck would have it, the plant on the side of the brick wall was covered in the most amazing, vibrant red autumn leaves, meaning I got more than I bargained for.

We also got a few laughs when we went for a burger for lunch afterwards and realised halfway through that we’d left the tiara in her hair.  Ah well.  Every queen deserves to wear a crown don’t they?   And make no mistake, this lady is a queen who I am privileged to call my friend.

Queen of Lurline

Queen of Lurline

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A gift of Nature

A Colourful Life

Mere colour can speak to the soul in a thousand different ways……Oscar Wilde

I love colours.  I love vibrant colours.  I love pastel colours.  I love neon colours.  I love dark,  moody colours.  I just love all colours.   While you won’t find a lot of blue or grey in my house as they aren’t my favourites, I can’t deny the beauty of a  spring sky or the soft strands of a grandma’s hair.

Pink is my signature colour while emerald green is my favourite.  When my kids were very young, they all chose a colour from a very early time and they stuck with it.  Aimee’s was blue, Lachlan’s was red and Stuart’s was yellow.  They really never veered away from those colours.

A lot of photography these days has returned to black and white which is stunning but I still prefer to shoot and edit in colour.  While I can admire the contemporary decor of today with it’s beige and grey palettes, I couldn’t live with it.  I need colour around me.  It feeds my soul.

So with that in mind, I asked a good friend of mine if I could paint her for a photo shoot.  Trish is always up for a challenge (how lucky am I to have friends who allow me to do this sort of stuff?) so I set to work with a paintbrush and her naked torso.  Now, to be fair, I’m not a painter but I was happy with it.  And here is the result.  My very colourful friend with her very colourful aura, soul and skin.

A Colourful Life

 

 

Stardust Baby

A baby is a bit of stardust, sent down from heaven to make this earth a magical place….Livonne                                                                                                                        

Once upon a time, long, long ago, when this writer was but a young woman, her friend Joanne gave birth to a precious baby girl.  That little squidgy bit of magic was named Cherie and I fell instantly in love with her.

Move forward (too) many years and that gorgeous girl still exudes magic everywhere she goes.  Luckily, she’s still a part of my life and I had the privilege of taking some photos of her while she was pregnant with a new generation of beauty.

Since she has always exuded magic and stardust, I thought her maternity photo had to show at least some of what she gives to the world.

PS.. She has since given birth to a beautiful little baby boy xxx

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Clowning Around

My brain is the creative equivalent of a car full of clowns.  It’s so crammed full of ideas that they sometimes struggle to find their way out unscathed……..Livonne

 

I realised today that I’ve been badly neglecting this site.  I’ve been putting stuff onto instagram and to facebook but haven’t been putting anything on here.  It’s been a busy few months with the birth of my first grandchild (a gorgeous little girl to make my heart sing) and a trip overseas but I’m now back to earth again and ready to throw myself into being the best creative I can be.  I’m busy   working on a movie poster for an upcoming film at the moment, so over the next few weeks, I’ll start to add some of the images I have created over the last few months.

2018 is going to be even busier than 2017 turned out to be and I can’t believe we’re only 4 months away from it.  I have an exhibition planned for the end of this year and 2 for next year so it’s a very exciting time of my life.  It’s amazing what can happen in your life when you start to believe in yourself.

In my life, I’ve had a bit of a love hate relationship with clowns.  As a child and teenager I loved them.  I even had a clown persona for fetes etc.  Her name was Marshmallow.  I loved clowning and to see excitement on children’s faces and smiles from adults.  I adored the wistful nature of Pierrot clowns and was drawn to the eyes of sad clowns.  Over the years I built up quite a collection of them.  Then I saw Steven King’s IT and the love affair ended.  I wish I’d never seen it.  I hate horror movies.  But I did and it affected my    relationship with clowns.

Recently, I decided to finally put Pennywise the evil clown behind me and get back to the joy that clowns can bring.  So, what better way than to create my own circus of them.  I asked the gorgeous Josie and Kirsty to be my models and the rest, as they say, is history.  I love the whimsy these beautiful girls brought to the photoshoot.  I hope you do too.  So, I’m sending in the clowns..

Every Leaf

Autumn is a second Spring, when every leaf is a flower……Albert Camus

Autumn in the Blue Mountains of Australia is one of the most beautiful times of the year.  The trees are ablaze with the most magnificent colours and the streets are carpeted with the falling leaves.  It looks, smells and sounds wonderful.  As you walk through the leaves you can hear them crunching underfoot.  It truly is a feast for the senses.

I love Autumn.  So of course, this time of year brings out the need to do lots of photoshoots.  In a previous post,  I had my beautiful model in a bath full of Autumn Leaves.  Loving those colours so much, I ventured a little further afield to Mount Wilson.

Mount Wilson is a delightful surprise.  The drive out there is a bit scrubbier than most of our local landscape and suddenly it starts to turn into a bit of a rainforest type of environment.  Just when you think that’s what you should be expecting, a quaint little English style village emerges out of nowhere, a little like Brigadoon.  It is always beautiful but in Autumn, it looks like a painting you would find on the lid of a chocolate box.  Don’t expect to be able to buy a lot out there.  There’s a little cafe but I think that’s about it.  Who cares?  You go there to soak in the beauty.

I had an idea which needed lots of autumn leaves, so I ordered some silk ones in from China.  Very cheap but very effective. I thought 400 would be heaps but when I started pinning them to the dress I chose there were nowhere near as many as I thought there’d be but I didn’t want to cover the dress, so it was enough.  I packed my lovely model Kirsty in the car and off we went.

Unfortunately I didn’t check the calendar to see what would be happening out there and it was open garden day on a public holiday, so it was packed and trying to get a clear spot to do a photo was almost impossible.  We didn’t let it stop us, we found a few spots that were almost clear and we did our stuff.

I was working on another image last night and had extended the canvas from 9 photos, recoloured, made adjustments and was just ready to add textures when Photoshop crashed.  Silly me hadn’t saved it as a PSD before I started, so I lost the lot..  Ahh well.  Lesson learned. Back to the drawing board.

These are a few of the (saved) images  we created.