From one end to the other – Norsk by Southwest – my heritage, home, and travels take my cameras and paintbrushes and pencils to places far apart by distance, but close together by association.
My family's roots are deep in Denmark and Norway and we still have contact with both sides of my family in the Norsk countries. I have traveled throughout much of Denmark and Norway by car and by boat, even driving from Bergen to Kirkenes on the Russian border, a distance of over 2,200 miles.
I love the water, boats and all the wide open spaces that the sea offers. By contrast, I equally love the mountains and the lakes and rivers of my home in Colorado and the Great Southwest. Photographic paintings are from my travels to Norway, Denmark, France, Mexico, the American Southwest and Colorado.
Wanderlust keeps the longing alive to travel to many glorious destinations abroad and stateside, always with my cameras in tow. The cameras I currently use are a Nikon F4S 35mm and a Rolleiflex 2 1/4. My choice is black and white film and the darkroom printing processes. The magic that happens when the image first appears in the tray as I'm developing it never grows old. It's like Christmas every time – a childlike surprise and wonder of it all.
The black and white images are printed on fiberbase paper which allows the application of oils and pencils to the surface. The color choices are mine, I don't shoot the scene on color film and replicate it, rather I select my colors as I like. All the painting is by hand, no computers are used.
The process of hand painting, tinting and/or coloring photographs was developed around 1860 as the method used to color photographs before color film. Recapturing a lost art, my photographs are made from a negative, with handcoloring on each individual print. The old technique takes on new dimensions with my approach to color choice, oftentimes bright and intense in hue.
Enjoy the paintings and let them bring a smile to you!
Mary E. Staby