Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Shellhunter365's World of Whimsy and Wonder

Here at Red Poulaine, we always delighted to learn of the artistic ways in which so many of our wonderful customers make use of the cards and photographs we sell. Some of them use the images they buy from us as inspiration (muses, if you will), for writing projects, others in connection with their music, and of course the graphic arts possibilities are endless. One of our customers, shellhunter365 on Etsy, is one of these graphic artists. Her works can be found at La Sirena Antiques and Skatter, both in Santa Cruz, California. As you will see, shellhunter365 has a wonderful eye for magic and whimsy. She uses vintage images, many of which she has purchased from Red Poulaine, as the basis for some of her pieces, and has been kind enough to share with us some of her art, as well as her process:
I use . . . alcohol tints, often mixing them, make a copy of the original and tint that (I like to leave the originals alone; they survived this long without adulteration...), then I apply everything from vintage ribbon, flowers, glitter, even shells around the image which is mounted on mat board, and hang them from more vintage ribbon.
In the side-by-side that follows, we have a before and after shot, showing the first step in the process. The image on the left is a postcard shellhunter365 purchased from us, of Mlle. Santori wearing a remarkable headdress. (You can read more about this image in the original listing in our shop.) The image to the right shows shellhunter365's copy after she had applied her hand-tinting. We love the wonderful earthy tones she used to enhance this image, emphasizing the woodland spirit motif created by the headdress that is the focal point of the image.

Mlle. Santori, before and after hand-tinting by shellhunter365
Here's another side-by-side comparison of an image, showing shellhunter365's tinting, this time of a mermaid from Reutlinger's Les Ondines series:

Les Ondines, before and after hand-tinting by shellhunter365

The following three images are all based on postcards shellhunter365 purchased from our shop, but have yet to receive their decorative frames. Where possible, each is linked back to the original postcard from our shop.

Rena Varty — La Jolie Bohemienne
Elizabeth Firth as Natalie in the Original English Production of the Merry Widow, 1907

Stacia Napierkowska Russian Star of French Silent Film circa 1910s/20s

Of course, shellhunter365 doesn't stop with merely hand-coloring and mounting her artwork. After each piece is mounted, she adds a number of decorative embellishments to complete the work. Following are a few of the pieces she has shared with us:

Cute Flag-Bearer on Rocking Horse
Q is for Queen of the Dancers
Gisèle Gravier in Art Nouveau Egyptian-Inspired Headdress and Necklace

Sea Nymph Asleep in a Clam Shell Cradle

YES! You Are a Moon Goddess

Enchanting Child with Ribbons and Flowers