I’ve been a photographer, I’ve been a painter. I’ve been paid for both. Once upon a time, in what you might call the “Dark Ages”, I had a dark room. As a little girl, I shot in black and white with the brownie box camera that my father handed down to me (the camera at the top of the photo above). Then there were the instamatic camers. I had a green Kodak one my mother got for me by sending in labels for one thing or another. Then there was the pocket instamatic. I used to carry that in my purse when I was a little older. In high school, for Christmas, I was given the choice of ski equipment or a 35mm camera. I went for the ski equipment. For a while there I was stuck with less than fabulous photography goods.
During my high school years, I also took up painting. I started with a set of oil paints in a nice wooden box. The box is long gone but the book I received along with the paints remains with me, even though I never liked it much. A couple of years later came a watercolor class after school. Then there was the watercolor class in college. And so I was always waffling back and forth between the two from the beginning.
My first 35mm came after I was married and used some of the wedding gift money for a camera. Which of course led to a gazillion pictures of the kids growing up and every landscape scene that caught my eye. As a part-time photographer for the local newspaper I got yet another perspective on picture taking. Alas, my lack of information gathering about said newspaper photos was a hindrance. Eventually the kids were old enough for me to move to full-time work and there was no time for painting. But, that wooden box of oil paints followed along with me with every move I made. First, college in Boston, then an apartment in New Hampshire, a house in Florida and 3 more houses in New Hampshire, it was indeed well-traveled paint. My camera was being upgraded all along and my paints remained in their box.
In a sense, photography became my quick and dirty painting until one day I looked around discovered the kids were grown. I’d quit my full-time job as a graphic designer to help with my ailing mother and I discovered a most unlikely scenario. I had time to myself. I didn’t see that one coming!
Down in the basement, I dug out the paint box. There was nothing usable in there, save the box. The paints were hard as rocks and the brushes equally so. A trip to Boston for art supplies was in order. It was a most liberating, if not expensive, trip. From then on my photography took a back seat to painting. Photography was the way to capture an image in order to paint it, not a means in and of itself. That is until now. Some things are better as paintings and some are just better as photographs. I’ll just leave it at that with gallery pages for each.