tuesday painterly photo art – harrison

Tuesday Painterly Photo Art
Sandy Harrison

The Artist

“As a child, I was always intrigued with the old black and white photos my dad shared with me about his experience in WWII and how each image told a story of a time before me. My dad gave me my first SLR camera when I was in middle school. My love of photography took off! I was hooked and drawn to capturing landscapes, flowers, and bug pictures. Together, we used the darkroom equipment in our basement. I was in awe as I watched images appear on the glossy white paper right in front of my eyes.

© sandy harrisonPainted Image – © Sandy Harrison

© sandy harrisonBefore Image

I landed a job at the local 6 Hour Film Lab. Instead of sending the small cassette of film off to be developed, I was able to develop and print in the small re-purposed gas station. I spent mornings in the dark cracking open cassettes and hanging the film on big reel hangers which mechanically dipped the hangers into the developing bins and through the big dryers. Afternoons were spent viewing the film. Once the film was printed, I gathered the big reel of paper and started it on its way through the paper developer machine.

Didn’t know then, but later was amazed that my Lab experience helped me in my photography business
with such things as color, density, and over and under-exposed negatives.

© sandy harrisonPainted Image – © Sandy Harrison

© sandy harrisonBefore Image – © Sandy Harrison

I loved to work for the owner’s of the lab at their Camera Store/Portrait Studio. I would spend hours watching the owner take portrait sessions. She encouraged me to learn.

I’ve studied under some amazing talented masters but a few who really touched my heart throughout the years are Van Moore, John and Mary Beavers, Colbert Howell and Rick Alexander.  Without the teaching and giving of themselves, I would not be who I am today.

I have welcomed the digital era diving full force in 2000 converting to one hundred percent digital medium from film and have never looked back. I love the flexibility of the digital darkroom aka the computer! I continue to learn and move upward with the flow as the digital medium is in constant change.

© sandy harrisonPainted Image – © Sandy Harrison

© sandy harrisonBefore Image

With the switch to the digital era, came a glimpse of something new again. I sat in a class taught by Marilyn Sholin teaching Correl Painter. It was the vibrant colors and uniqueness of her portrait art that caught my eye. I told myself that day; I needed to learn more about this amazing technique. She was offering workshops just two hours from Charlotte. I enrolled in one of her workshops and again was hooked! The creativity I hoped to accomplish with painter was that of what I see on the walls in museums! I have continued to grow as a photographic artist the past six years or so with the help of Marilyn and her workshops and private tutoring.

© sandy harrisonPainted Image – © sandy harrison006-beforeBefore Image

Myself, being a photographer, I was inclined to stay in the lines and make a photographic print. She has taught me to be loose, messy and think outside the lines. She encourages her students not to copy but to create a style of their own. In doing so, Marilyn directed me to another Master Artist, Heather Michelle. Heather’s style of painting is more of a traditional approach as well as teaching color theory. Just what I needed as a classically trained portrait photographer. After studying under both of these Master Artists, I’ve tried to take both styles and techniques
and make something of my own. Every painting I do is a work of art from my heart.

I would encourage you to always continue your education. Embrace the new! Accept the challenge of change and make it your own.

Take your craft and your experience and be open to share it with one another.  Looking back on my successful career of over 30 years, I am so thankful to those that shared their knowledge with me.

One Moment, One Click of a Shutter and Time Stands Still Forever…

Happy brush strokes!”

To see more of Sandy’s work. www.PhotographicElegance.net


Sandy Harrison was born in Port Huron, Michigan. She started her career in photography at the age of 20, just newly married. She continued living in Michigan while starting a family and pursuing her passion for photography until moving to Charlotte, North Carolina in 1988 where it
would be a reality and full-time employment in a portrait studio. There she learned the art of classical lighting and posing from Master photographers at the local and state conventions
and workshops.

Sandy embraced her craft and was hired to photograph well-known dignitaries such as Michael Gorbachev.  She was hired to photograph basketball star, Larry Johnson’s wedding along with many of the Charlotte Hornet basketball families in the 1990’s. She was also the first to be featured on the Carolina Bride Magazines cover adorning Lisa Cooley, Charlotte’s premiere news person. Sandy’s keen eye and ability to capture the true essence her subject makes her a sought after photographic artist. Her work continues and hangs in many homes in Charlotte and the surrounding area.

Sandy pioneered the digital era in the Charlotte area being one of the first to make the transition to
the new digital media.  In doing so, she surpassed many of her associates and got a head start
in the digital world in 1999 and has never looked back.

Keeping true to her passion and drive wanting to learn new things, Sandy started painting portraits in
2009. She continually studies under several Master Painters and is always expanding her knowledge in
yet another medium.

Yours in Creative Photography,          Bob







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