Tuesday 9 February 2016

Preserving Memories

There are more photographs taken today than there ever before. Now that our phones are also cameras, everyone can be a photographer. We record our every action, every meal. We record the sunrise, the sunset, a storm, a sunny day. Parents take thousands of photos of their kids at all stages of their lives.

We take these photos to remember; to record; to preserve. The reality however is a little different. A high percentage of these images remain tucked away on a computer and seldom see the light of day once filed away there.

When I was growing up, family photographs were taken, developed and placed lovingly in albums. A lot of these prints succumbed to early photographic processing and have faded and became yellow. Some families only took a few photos and often not many remain to preserve family memories.

 Mother – watercolour on paper © Carol Lee Beckx 2016 

Such was the case with a family who commissioned some watercolours at the end of last year. My client's husband had only three photos of his parents. Although these had been kept safely, the photos had faded considerably. I was asked to re-create the photographs as watercolour paintings. These paintings would be a special, secret Christmas present.

Dad and friend with Chevrolet Impala (with the iconic Aussie Hills Hoist)  
watercolour on paper © Carol Lee Beckx 2016

I borrowed the photos, scanned them and returned the originals. Modern technology facilitated my task of enlarging the images and boosting the clarity and colours. The aim was not for bright, vivid paintings, but rather a gentler enhancement.

A little detective work, thanks to Mr. Google, allowed me to establish the make and model of the car in a couple of the photos. I could also use images of 1950's chairs to help with the drawing of the chairs.

Mother, Father, son and friend - A picnic under the trees and again the much-loved Chevy is in the frame  watercolour on paper © Carol Lee Beckx 2016

I'm told that the present (and the surprise) was a great success and received with more than a little emotion on the part of the recipient.

I don't like to make people cry but in this case I'm rather pleased that I did. 

If you have some photographic memories that you would like to preserve, please let me know how I can help.

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