Original photos are necessary for any artist to use for reference.  Sometimes images are so good that they can stand alone as fine art.  Finding an interesting focal point, perspective or angle makes for a great shot.  Having the right sense when to shoot, how to compose it and what to leave out is what separates good from great images.

Three Sentinels at Glacier Ridge 11 x 14

I rarely take “touristy” photos, but like to focus on cultural, geographical and natural phenomena.  Once I’ve uploaded and adjusted the image, I then decide what to do with it. That’s where the fun begins!  After years of experimentation, I may enhance, alter or embed the photo in a variety of ways.


The surface on which to print the image makes a huge difference.  If enlarging a piece, or wanting to display it without glass, I love printing it onto canvas.  It can be varnished with the right medium and stretched or directly framed very easily.  It can still be matted and framed behind glass with lovely results.

Heavely View

By using hand-enhanced techniques, I can also transform photos into a more painterly piece.  After many years of practice and experimentation,  I’ve used Marshall’s Oil Paints to add lusher coloring or make a piece look vintage.  When it’s on canvas it is easier to apply the paints, and they use the same principals as when they tinted photos in the 50’s.  The paints are transparent, so they are not hiding the image or any color underneath.  I usually apply them to black and white or sepia images.  Click here to see examples of before and after.  Below is a very large work commissioned by Corazon Health Spa back in 2008.

BAGisthisSepiainapaornapoli NapaOrNapoli

Photos on certain papers can also be enhanced with colored pencils and paints.  Marshall’s Oil Paints have corresponding colored pencils that add a hint or opaque color to a piece.  They even have metallic colors to add sheen when needed.  Click here to see a variety of surfaces and effects that can be gotten with them.

BGT Wrapped in Wisteria BAGwrappedinwisteria

The last way I’ve been making my images into unique functional artforms is to have them printed on weather/UV resistant vinyl.  I’ve had several 16″ x 20″ images printed and then permanently attached to a PVC surface for outdoor use.  I’ve had one on my back porch for over a year now without any fading, warping or water damage.  (It is a covered back porch, but it has been out all winter and in the Southwest sun all afternoon in the Summer.)  The surface does not need glass, and has a gorgeous glossy sheen.  I’ve made coasters from them too, attaching them with velcro so they can be used in a horizontal OR vertical format.  See below.

Vertical Stack

Horizontal Set Images mounted on PVC