I originally coined the phrase photopaintings for the marriage of my passions, photography, and painting. Handpainting or hand tinting is a technique as old as photography itself, one I rediscovered back in the 1980s and helped bring back to the spotlight with my best-selling book, The Art of Handpainting Photographs (Watson Guptill: Amphoto) The name photopaintings also nods to the late Henri Cartier Bresson, an iconic favorite, when reading his book, PhotoPortraits.

Why paint photos? When I decided to become a visual artist, I was concerned about the short life of color photography, it faded. To overcome the limits of the technology of the time, ironically, I stepped back in time and rediscovered the art of handpainting photographs. My Photopaintings begin as traditional darkroom hand printed gelatin silver b/w fiber print, a rarity these days, which are then enhanced with glazes of transparent oil paints and other artist’s mediums. As the New York Times says,

Cheryl Machat Dorskind applies subtle color to black-and-white prints to amplify the romantic feeling of mist-shrouded coastal landscapes…her hand-colored photographs celebrate natures’ misty moody character. Her deserted harbor, with its empty boat and unruffled water, seem to imply that human use would interrupt the spell. Pale pink and blue tones give the images a delicacy and an aura that suggests an uncommon moment.”

In the early 1990s, I quickly jumped on the digital train embracing the new technology. I adore all things digital and work with the Adobe Creative Cloud Suite, using a digital brush (with the help of a Wacom Intuos 5), blending colors and painting with light.


Photopaintings: A photo art exhibit by Cheryl Machat Dorskind

The exhibition presents a selection of my favorite handpainted silver gelatin photographs and a grouping from a current ongoing body of work (archival pigment prints) that celebrate the light and colors of the Hamptons.

The show will remain on view through August 11 at the Remsenburg Academy (130 South Road, Remsenburg, NY 11960). Gallery hours are Thursday – Sunday, 12 – 5 and by appointment 888-395-1666. The artist reception is on Friday, July 26, from 5-7 PM.

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