When I got back from Paris, I quickly got to work printing, coloring and sharing images. These first pieces were all small prints that I worked on. Since that first burst of inspiration, I have only enlarged, colored and scanned two images - “Morning in the Park” and “Bateau à Giverny”.
For the last several weeks, in between workshops and other events, I have been combing through all the files from that trip and revisiting the ones I had already worked on, trying to find something that excited me enough to complete. I made quite a few large prints, started to color them, and with frustration, put them away unfinished. Something was missing, nothing was working. Why was this happening?
Two weeks ago, in another attempt to find something to work on, I kept coming back to a couple of images from our first day in Paris. Our plane had landed early and after unpacking and washing up, I grabbed my camera bag and walked over to nearby Luxembourg Gardens. As soon as I walked through the gates I took out my camera and decided to just have some fun.
One of the images from that day, “L'auteur Grec”, had caught my eye more than once. This time however, it hit me that the reason I had never printed it was because I could not see where hand-coloring would add anything to it. In fact I felt color would detract from the composition. Then I had the most interesting thought – what if I printed it and did not hand-color?
At first I dismissed that idea – I have colored every image I have shown in the last 15 years. However, the more I thought about it, the more excited I got. I started looking at my other images with a different eye.
With this shot of inspiration, I am excited to announce that I am working on a body of work from my trip to Paris that will be black and white, toned, but not colored.
It’s been liberating to make this decision. Of course I still love hand-coloring and will continue to do it. Some of these new black and white images may even end up hand-colored some day. (On the flip side, some of them have already been colored but will be shown as black and white images.) But right now I am looking forward to stretching myself a little bit and I have a feeling I will have more to share about this experience…….