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My mother April 10, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — panthergirl @ 2:16 am
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My mother had a job colouring black and white portrait photos. She had a great talent for it. After she had children she did it at home. She would sit in the sunroom, mix up the paint on the back of her hand and work away. She would always tell us not to thump around. I think walking was considered thumping. Of course I'd roll my eyes, but when you look at her work you can see why a step would seem like a thump. I think she used the stick end of a fine paintbrush with cotton wool twisted around it.

I've seen examples of other peoples work but I've never seen any as fine as my mothers work. You often see lips off mark and great round circles of rosy cheek and fairly shabby work in general. She put so much time into the details as you can see.

These first two are my sister. You can see all the strands of hair in the first and all the dots and flowers on the second dress must have taken some skill and patience. Papa took the photos. We sat for them every few years. Mum had a huge album of them but she pulled it apart recently and gave us our pictures.


The next two are me. Pink Teddy – love of my life. Again the detail is amazing. Good work Judith.


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31 Responses to “My mother”

  1. Aubrey Says:

    How perfectly, perfectly exquisite. I collect hand-tinted postcards; the ones from the teens only have the costumes colored – the skin remained sepia – and the ones from the '20's generally have fine skin, but the clothes are colored loudly and rather clumsily.
    These are just marvelous.

  2. Emjay Says:

    I think they used to make the photos sort of sepia to paint them. The job had a proper name "Photographic Artist". These are lovely!

  3. Snowy Says:

    There's a lot of love went into those, Cat.

  4. cat Says:

    thanks, yes they are beautifully done. Some of them as you say are not done very well at all. Not very natural.

  5. SweetMisery Says:

    These are fantastic. What a talent.

  6. Ninja Says:

    Amazingly true colours. Your mum was an artist. I've got an uncle who used to do exactly this when B&W pics ruled. But his colours were always a bit wonky and almost done in Soviet-styled propaganda.

  7. cat Says:

    lol – yes even though we were all there running around driving her mad while she was trying to do it.

  8. cat Says:

    yes – it's a pity colour film took over and put her out of work

  9. cat Says:

    lol – I've seen some shockers. There was one where the mouth wasn't even on the mouth and not a lot of blending at all.

  10. Waterbaby Says:

    Wow. Much much nicer work than most I've seen of this genre. People who tend to details like that rock my world.

  11. cat Says:

    Think she had a great love for it. Pity she had to stop. She's just started scrapbooking her fathers life and the book is wonderful. She has a good eye for things. Was the same with her garden.

  12. Candy Sparks Says:

    who really needs photoshop when they have your mom… i love them!! she did quite a wonderful job at it…


  13. Waterbaby Says:

    very cool. sounds like someone i'd like.

  14. So, so sweet and beautiful! I agree, your mom had quite a talent. Sounds like your mom & dad made quite a good team from the look of these lovely photos!

  15. cat Says:

    thanks tamzen – it was my grandfather taking the photos though, my mums father. My own father never had much of an interest in photography.

  16. cat Says:

    She's 73 now and has just bought a laptop and she's thinking about getting photoshop. She'd love it. I always think it's a shame my grandfather wasn't around to see the whole digital thing happen. He'd have loved it as well.

  17. Oopsie! Well, father & daughter made a good team then just the same. 🙂

  18. SweetMisery Says:

    She certainly has the knack of it down.

  19. NOOS Says:

    Wow These are lovely! Your mum was an aritist. I love them! Btw you were cute! ❤

  20. cat Says:

    Thank you Noos. And I still am extremely cute 🙂

  21. NOOS Says:

    Yup! Cute and sexy! ^__~

  22. The fabric in the dresses look amazing! You would never really know these were hand tinted! She was VERY good at what she did, even with little one's thumbing around! haha!

  23. june Says:

    Holy shit, your mother was insanely talented. I studied photography in high school and college and did a few hand-painted photos so I know how hard it is. The ones I did weren't even in the same league.

  24. WOW!! that is amazing!! and very beautiful

  25. cat Says:

    thanks they are good to have now.

  26. cat Says:

    She must have had a steady hand and an eagle eye. I have enough trouble keeping my hand steady to extract something in photoshop.

  27. cat Says:

    she kept them nice and natural. The top dress with all those spots on it must have taken some time. Lol – it's only when you grow up that you can appreciate things like that. When we were kids we couldn't have cared less what she was foing.

  28. What a wonderful talent! The tones are a lot nicer than a lot of the ones I have seen. We have one of my dad as a toddler and he looks like he is wearing lipstick.

  29. cat Says:

    lol – I don't think a lot of effort went into a few of them. They look like overmade up theatre actors.

  30. snoringKatZ Says:

    Wow. Just … wow. The Cat didn't fall far from the scratching post!Wait. Did that come out okay? It was supposed to be a compliment all the way around.

  31. cat Says:

    well it sounds better than – didn't fall far from the litter box.

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