Friday, May 22, 2009

Photos for reference

I was looking at a basket of orchids that were given to me 2 years ago when my dad died. They were so beautiful, I was hopeful they would survive. They have thrived outside my studio window. In the deepest shade, getting all the humidity Florida has to offer. I photographed them for reference for future paintings. Several years ago I started photographing our kitchen concoctions. I would then add the photo to our family cookbook, makes it seem legit, hard evidence.
This spring our vegetable garden has produced such a variety and quantity of foods that I wanted to record it. The camera has been in the kitchen taking pictures of green beans, peas, herbs, ruby chard, and tomatoes. Photo! A dear friend brought a pot of parrot tulips to us for our graduation party. Photo! After Christmas I painted a picture of the fruit that arrived from an aunt in Phoenix. Some pears and apples, instant still-life, but I can't paint as fast as it ages! Lemons, limes, oranges from the trees in the winter. Photo!
I am not always in sync with the garden or with whatever would lend itself as subject matter. (I found out during a painting class that tulips open when exposed to light. The still life kept changing over a two hour period. A Disney nature film before our eyes.) I may not need the reference for years, but I have it recorded. A photo!
P.S. If you have an store keep it going. This morning Good Morning America did a story about artists/crafters who have had great success on the site. Free publicity for the site and your work. Must get that updated myself.


  1. Wonderful post. I'm with you on the photos. Now that photos are 'free' (no film to buy or pay to process), I take a lot more photos. Sometimes 50-60 a day.

    Also like that you showed your photo and your charming painting. Nicely done!

  2. Thank you. Sometimes the only memory I have of an event is the image I see in the photo. That sure is telling.

  3. Digital sure has made it easier, I too take many more photos now. Love the cat portrait and your style of painting the floating people.

  4. Wow, I don't think I knew that about tulips - here you'd think a flower would hold still to be painted!

    I have envy of your vegetable garden. Mine is just getting started this year.

  5. Thanks for showing the painting that came from the photo. I love what you did with it.
    Tulips actually keep growing after they are cut. They are one of my favorite flowers to photograph and once after spending a day photographing some tulips, I came back the next day to find them longer and even more expressive than the day before. I confirmed this with a florist friend. Amazing!