For the Love of Art

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CHARLOTTE, NC – For the last few years I have been expanding my creative world and started working with oil paints on canvas.  The painting incorporates my love and expertise of photographic imagery and takes it far beyond what I can capture in my camera.  I want to share a little about this journey and my process.

My fine art incorporates two different mediums; both using a reference image from a studio portrait studio session I’ve captured or with an image supplied from my client.

Digitally Rendered:  I digitally paint on a computer via the use of a stylus pen and Wacom tablet.  I use a wide array of electronic brushes, mimicking real artist brushes, to create the image on the screen without the mess or clean up of wet paint.  Once my art is of the finished rendition I am creating, I am able to upload the digital file to a professional print lab who prints the image any size I desire as a finished piece of art.

Classic Oil on Canvas
Classic Oil on Canvas

Classic Oil on Canvas: The second medium is using a hard copy reference image that I captured in my studio of a subject. I sketch the image onto a specifically sized canvas with a pencil and charcoal stick to show a rough draft of the subject. Now it is time to start adding layer upon layer of paint; setting down detail, colors, highlights, and shadows. I like that I am able to make subtle changes as the painting nears completion because of the fluidity of the oils which makes the paint stay damp/wet for days.  Although this process takes months to complete, I love to see the painting come alive, layer by layer.

This oil painting was done by Sandy Harrison
This oil painting was done by Sandy Harrison

I began working with photography many years ago in a darkroom, rolling and developing my own film and enlarging prints. Although technological advances have dramatically shifted the world of photography, I fell in love with the hands-on process of developing my own photographs. While I appreciate and love current digital photography and all that can be accomplished on a computer, a few years ago I found myself yearning for an outlet to create with my hands again. Oil painting is truly a renewed way to create for me.  It is also a humbling way I can create a piece of history for someone of their loved ones to be displayed on their walls.

My grandson came to visit one day.  As he entered the living room, he noticed his framed painting was not up on the wall where it usually hung.  With a worried voice, he asked, “Grandma, where is my picture?”  I told him, with confidence, we had to use it to show at a vendor event and it would be back the next time he came to visit.  He was so eager to see his painting back up on the wall the next time he came to visit.  I didn’t know how important that painting made him feel until he showed me that day.

Show them how important they are… Call to inquire. 704.598.9099  I am currently accepting commissions.  

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Sandy Harrison
I am a classically trained portrait artist with over thirty years of experience. I reside in Mint Hill with my husband, Doug. Together, we own Photographic Elegance, the only brick and mortar professional portrait studio located in Mint Hill. I love travel, hockey, my two grown sons and spending time with my two grandsons. Happy Click’n!

Professional Photographers of America,
Mint Hill Arts, Vice President
Matthews Art Guild,
SE Art Council,
Mint Hill Chamber Board of Directors