I stumbled across an old photograph taken in the 1980s. It was when I was just learning how to set aperture and exposure time to take low light photographs. I was using Ektachrome 35mm slide film at the time. All I have left of the slide is this very bad scan, also done on the first scanner I ever owned — the name of which escapes me.
I always liked the photo mostly for sentimental reasons, recalling my joy at being able to capture what the sun looked like and being able to position the shot to have the sun setting right on top of the dock.
I wanted to know what would happen if I tried to capture this same image as an acrylic painting – I needed some experience mixing colors in acrylics which has turned out to be a problem since I cannot mix on the brush for some reason.
I began the painting by using painter’s tape to mask off the horizon line, and used black gesso for the sky. After that was dry I painted in the sky and let it dry. Next was to mix a color for the water and add it up to the horizon line. The rest of the painting was done by mixing colors (very dark browns, very dark greens) and finishing the components, adding the sun highlights at the end.
Obviously I was not able to render the sun the way I thought I should have, and will mask if off leaving a white disk should I ever try this effect again. But all in all, I am not upset with the result, which I’ve titled ‘Boca Ciega Sunset‘ (click for full image.)
I had the pleasure of meeting Clyde Butcher at the Mainsail Arts Festival in St. Petersburg, Florida in the early 1990s I believe. Clyde was just beginning to get some exposure for his superb work in black and white capturing south Florida landscapes. Later I recall reading a comment by Clyde that when he first started as a photographer he realized his “art” work wasn’t selling, so he paired it up with a clock mechanism. I guess his theory was that a buyer did not necessarily want a fine art photo from an unknown photographer, but might be willing to buy a clock for the wall which just happened to have the photographer’s work in the background.
Now if you have read some of my posts, you realize I do not consider myself a practitioner of “fine” arts at all — perhaps I am more of a crafter, fashioning what I consider a pleasing image from both the camera work and the digital darkroom.
But I have stumbled on featuring the work I do on useful (more or less) decor objects: items like beach towels, tote bags, smartphone cases, and the like. I thought I might resent having to do that sort of thing, but it turns out I really enjoy it.
For example – I feature this image in square format for some objects and in 2:1 aspect for others. I think it makes an extremely attractive beach or poolside towel, and in square format a beach tote.
Some buyer interest has developed in decor items using my colorized public domain images of classic yachts. Click here to see an image of the Valkyrie, an America’s Cup yacht, as seen on a throw pillow. The image is one of my favorites.
The buyer can also manipulate the image somewhat with the slider so that more of less of it can be printed on the item.
I have several of these colorized yacht images, and in fact I personally print them on canvas mounted on a frame for my own gallery work.