Free Drop-In Make-Your-Own-Mother’s-Day-Gift Event During Open Studios on May 13th!

Thinking of dropping by Open Studios at Porter Mill on May 13 (the day before Mother’s Day)? Bring a small (2″x3″ or smaller) copy of your favorite snapshot to our studio on the 4th floor (95 Rantoul St., Beverly, MA, Studio 4-1), and we’ll help you hand-make a photo-art gift for your mom! Instructions and supplies are free, on a first-come, first-served basis. Space is limited, so we encourage you to sign up below.  Refreshments will be served and other gifts (scarves, handmade jewelry, artwork) and cards will also be available for sale.

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*Supplies subject to availability. Image is only an example and does not necessarily represent the supplies available during the event.

To sign up, please send us a message below:

Pre-Mother’s Day Randiart Jewelry Sale at Open Studios. One Day Only! May 13th

Looking for a handmade, one-of-a-kind gift for your mom for Mother’s Day? Come to our Open Studio event at Porter Mill (95 Rantoul St., Beverly, MA, Studio 4-1 (4th floor)) and enjoy 50% off all Randiart jewelry sales!

Mother’s Day cards and other gifts will also be available. Sale applies to jewelry only.

More samples of Randi’s jewelry can be found at her Etsy site.

 

Portrait of Us

Portrait of Us (Final)

Painting this portrait was a lovely experience because I knew I was painting a happy memory.  I recently finished the portrait of this couple on vacation in Santorini, Greece. My reference was a their vacation photo (shown below). It shows them them riding a motorbike along a coast road, and wearing sunglasses and helmets. I tried to capture the sense of the place:  the bright sun, blue water and sky of Greece.  I emphasized the scenery reflected in the sunglasses. Painting the helmets and sunglasses was a new challenge for me, but as I worked, I became increasingly convinced of the wisdom of choosing this snapshot for  a portrait because it is such a happy moment.  So above all, I tried to capture the happiness of the moment, and create a keepsake from this happy memory.

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Here is the vacation snapshot that I used for my reference photo.

Leni (Digitally Modified Photo)

Leni (Digitally Edited Photo)

This is an illustration for a book that I recently edited, about the late Leni Ohlbrecht, seen in the photo. The book, written by her mother-in-law Elaine Ohlbrecht, is about the experience of having breast cancer. It is based on Elaine’s interviews with Leni and her family and friends, but above all the book is Elaine’s tribute to her daughter-in-law. The image posted here began with a photo taken by Leni’s husband Tyler Ohlbrecht. Tyler’s photo showed Leni waving in the midst of a cure cancer fundraiser. In the image sent to me, filtering had already been applied so that the image was black and white with pink tones. It was already a great picture ! But because Leni was surrounded by other people, clearly identifiable but unknown to Elaine, it wouldn’t be possible to seek out permission to publish their images. So I said I would see what I could do. I opened Tyler’s photo in Painter and began by softening the focus on the other faces with motion blur and some posterizing, but leaving Leni’s face in clear focus. Then, where possible, I used some brush strokes in pink tones, taken from the photograph, to paint over some details. And then I used copy-and-paste to create additional balloons, positioning them to hide some of the other faces. This also highlighted Leni in the image, and reflects her positive spirit, so I was pleased with that. Finally, I cropped the image to get the composition shown here. It was an honor to collaborate with Tyler on this picture of Leni.

Thinking of My Dad on Veteran’s Day

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Dad in World War II with Army Tent (Digitally Modified Photo)

On Veteran’s Day, I usually post an image of my dad, taken from the snapshots in my mother’s old photo album. My parents met because of World War II; my father was born in Brooklyn but was stationed in Pueblo, Colorado, where he met my mother at a USO dance. They were married a few months later, shortly before he was sent overseas. While he was away, my mother kept a photo album of pictures taken back home in Pueblo as well as photos my dad sent back from overseas. Sometimes there are notes on the pages or on the backs of the photos. But in this case, nothing is written on the back, but from some of the other photos, I can tell that this was taken in an army camp somewhere in England, possibly close to a village because other photos show a pub and a telephone booth. Probably one of his army buddies took this picture. I am interested in this photo because it shows him at work in the army, something I would like to know more about. This year I got a copy of his army records and I know he worked in munitions. I was curious about the bicycles in some of these pictures and found out the army used bikes for messengers and communications. I would love to know much more, but what I do know is that he left his parents, sisters and brothers, and new wife and traveled far from home to do his bit to defeat the Nazis and stand up to tyranny. Today I scanned the original snapshot into my computer, then used Painter to add color with digital pastel and color overlays.

Here is what the original snapshot looked like:

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Dad in World War II with Army Tent (Original Snapshot)

Here is the original snapshot from my mother’s album. It is about 2″ x 3″ and black and white. He left home, joined the army, and did his bit to defeat the Nazis. So I post this to honor his memory, and in his honor will do my bit to stand up against bigotry. Because he didn’t go off to war so that I could stand idly by. . . .