My process for originals starts with a truck and usually a dirt road. I grew up in very rural South Georgia so most of my memories consist of wild flowers, muddy ponds, fishing, picking blackberries and red clay roads. I find that I'm inspired by these memories and the focus of my photography is close ups of south Georgia life.
So when we ride I bring my camera. We live in town now; I'm a country girl turned city girl. But this city has a population of about 5,000 and there's a pecan field a short walk away. In our free time we love to fish. Instead of picking berries now I'm trying to set up the perfect shot.
Pecans are significant subject in my art. I spent most of my childhood picking pecans, shelling pecans or running through pecan fields.
I worked briefly in my early 20s for a professional photographer. There I learned about levels and curves and I've always edited my own photos. My style has definitely evolved since I started painting from my own reference photos.
I like to keep several edits of the same image. I paint what I see. I'm more confident now with colors but I still rely heavily on the reference pictures. I send my reference photos to the local Walgreen and order 8x10 same day prints. Sometimes I am able to start right then on a painting. More often I will save them for a later date. Currently I have 4 portfolios filled with pictures from the past 5 years. 100s of ideas waiting for the canvas. When I'm lacking motivation I flip through these images. It fills with me inspiration and the urge to create.
I bought my camera, a Nikon D7000, off of Facebook market place a few years back. It came with one 18-140mm lens. Since then I've added a Yongnuo 35mm Prime lens. It's nothing fancy but still one of my most prized possession. I use auto more often than not but my focus is creating great reference photos and I don't often share my pictures. The ones used in this post are my most recent edited pieces. Its such a huge part of my process and our lives. I carry this camera on every vacation and most golf cart rides. Some weekends are planned around Momma taking pictures if I'm looking for a particular subject. We hunt blackberry spots and will check every few days to see if they are ready. When I show locally I enjoy sharing the story behind each painting. I've had several people recognize livestock, farms and even trees.
My most favorite part, the Process.
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Almost 20 years of art success and struggles now in writing for your reading pleasure.