I just recently finished up a personal photography project of mine that I enjoyed quite a bit. It began with the inspiration to take a photograph of my four daughters. I wanted something unique and a little different from the common pose. As I was brainstorming, I was reminded of a painting by John Singer Sargeant, “The Daughters of Edward Darley Boit”. That would be interesting, I thought, to pose my daughters like the painting but change the surroundings, make it my own. From there, I set in motion my idea of emulating (and I emphasize, not recreating) famous paintings. The purpose was to stretch myself as both a photographer and a photo editor, by learning from masters of the past and drawing out my own creativity to put a personal spin on my emulations.
I posted these photographs first on Facebook, weekly, and requested that my fans guess was artist and possibly what painting I was inspired by. Pleasantly, this ended up being a success, as many of my fans began anticipating the next one in the series. I had a lot of great guesses, and most of the paintings were accurately figured out rather quickly.
The first in this series ended up being (not the Sargent emulation) but rather an inpiration from Johannes Vermeer’s “Girl with a Pearl Earring”. Though the first, this one did end up being my favorite in the series. Mine, on the right, is entitled,”Blue”. The Second one in the series was my original plan for emulating John Singer Sargents “The Daughters of Edward Darley Boit”. I call mine, “Andrew’s Daughters”. (Yes, my husband is Andrew!) I then set out to do something from the beloved Mary Cassatt. I am very happy with this one. It is a little closer to the original painting than the former ones, but I like it! “Breakfast in Bed” by Mary Cassatt aside my “Comfort” on the left: This next one was the hardest in this series for my fans to guess. I emulated a painting from a wonderful artist, though maybe not quite as renowned as the former artists, William-Adolphe Bouguereau. His work is stunning! I am happy with my photograph, but I do feel that it fell short and did not quite capture the mood in Bouguereau’s “Moissoneuse (Harvester)”. I call mine “Humility”. I was very impressed with my little five- and three-year-old for posing in this next photograph for me! I think they truly captured the grace portrayed by Edgar Degas in his “Two Ballet Dancers”. Mine, I call “Bella Ballerinas”. “Beyond” is the name of my final painting emulation. It was inspired by Andrew Wyeth’s “Christina’s World”. I learned a little more about the history behind Wyeth’s painting in the process. Wyeth was inspired toward his painting as he watched Anna Christina Olson (known to have suffered from polio) crawl across a field. I had fun with this one and was excited to find a local field and house that fit (what I thought of) as a perfect backdrop for this photograph! I learned a lot from this exercise. I have always enjoyed art, and I hope to continue to emulate an artistic and painterly style in my future photographs. I was particularly inspired by many of William-Adolphe Bouguereau’s works. The mood and feel in his art is something I would like to work on in my own personal art. Mr. Bourguereau often included fruit in his paintings. This is something simple but classic, and I would love to develop this more in my art too!
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