The Pleasure of Imperfection
A series of Tea- Stained Handcolored PhotographsAs an accomplished hand colorist, I wanted to do something new, different and more challenging. Coffee and tea were my choice. I read that years ago, the Chinese used tea to help create a brown background in their paintings and on fabric. My main purpose was to create an old-look in my photographs by using the brown warm color of tea and coffee. Preferring to use monotone colorations of brown in my photographs, I also mix watercolor with coffee in some paintings to create colors that blend into the brown. It is harder to paint in monotone and still make the image interesting; adobe, ancient wood or building scenes lend themselves well to this effect.
I can control the depth of the color and the darkness of the photo, I cannot control the patterns the tea leaves behind as it dries. Sometimes I let the tannin, in the grounds, remove some of the image to create a faded appearance. Like an old memory, these images have a familiar look and feel to them. Each piece is varnished five times, to create permanent character and aging. People seem to enjoy the stains left in the margins of paper and the unique quality that it produces. I like to present each piece in a deep frame that allows the paper to show the unpredictable stains, waves and wrinkles. It has a very charming earthy effect. This work is influenced by the Japanese aesthetic of wabi-sabi, the design element that celebrates the beauty in the imperfect and the unconventional.
Each photograph is printed, toned, and "distressed" by hand. So while the image and printing method is modern, the final result is reminiscent of the photographs of the mid to late nineteenth century.18"x24" 24"x30" framed $1600 plus shipping
Cashe and Bricks
Waiting for Love
Table for One
Basket and Gourds