Old-Timey Still-Life Stuff

I’ve been in an uncharacteristically thoughtful mood lately … typically I get this way in autumn when the year is drawing to a close and Mother Nature is putting on her last burst of glory before we all head indoors to hibernate. Certainly not in the heart of summer when I should be concentrating on butterflies and flowers and peeper-toads and beaches and sunshine!  But oh well … maybe we’ll mess with those on my next blog posting.

Today, it’s all about nostalgic and old-timey-looking still-life images.  I think the new digital painting techniques I’ve been playing with in Corel Painter 2015 add a bit more interest to these than they would have had just straight from the camera.

I named the first one “Specs” …

Specs ... © Lois Bryan Photography and Digital Art
Specs … © Lois Bryan Photography and Digital Art

It’s a classic still life of an everyday item … a pair of glasses resting on a table. Boring and universal, right?  Come on, you know you can hear it.  “Honey, have you seen my glasses?” The eternal nuisance of wearing glasses is the contradiction of the impossibility of finding the glasses if you’re not wearing the glasses. It’s the question most of us have been faced with more than once … and if you haven’t yet, believe me, you will.  This one’s based on one of my own original photographs (of course) which I took in October of 2013 with the Nikon D7000 and the 70-200mm f/2.8 at 1/30, f/2.8.

“Spinning Wheel” …

Spinning Wheel ... © Lois Bryan Photography and Digital Art
Spinning Wheel … © Lois Bryan Photography and Digital Art

… is from one of my visits to Old Bedford Village, in Bedford Pennsylvania.   I discovered this wonderful old wooden spinning wheel and couldn’t resist taking a snap.  That place is loaded with cool stuff. The original pic was taken in October 2009 with the Nikon D300 and the 18-200mm Nikkor lens.


Checkers ... © Lois Bryan Photography and Digital Art
Checkers … © Lois Bryan Photography and Digital Art

was captured on the same trip through Old Bedford Village’s shops and houses as “Spinning Wheel.”  On that cool autumn afternoon, I found myself standing inside the old general store … to my left was an ancient cast iron stove, glowing with warmth, and before me was this very cool old checkers set. To my untrained eyes, the pieces looked handmade, which made them even more beautiful. Of course my imagination went sailing off immediately, imagining the folks who had spent lazy summer afternoons and cold winter nights gathered around the board … wondering who its champions had been … and how much fun they had had back in the day.  The original base photo was taken with the Nikon D300 and my trusty 18-200mm vr Nikkor lens in October of 2009.

In each of the above cases, my original photographic images were edited in Photoshop CS6, then digitally hand-painted in Corel Painter 2015, and, back in Photoshop CS6, treated to a texture from one of my all-time favorite texture masters, Jerry Jones (aka Skeletal Mess) of Shadow House Creations.

I guess the thing I like best about antiques and vintage pieces are the unspoken, unseen but surely felt stories they tell when we take the time to listen with our hearts.


As always, a click on the images above will whisk you to where they can be found on my Website, with a much nicer watermark and lots of product-type options.  And also, as always, would love to hear your thoughts on … checker games you remember, a spinning wheel story … or even how you manage to keep from losing your glasses!!


I'd love to hear your thoughts!