“It’s a light bright group of images, and together they form an amusing record of hairstyles from the past few decades. The more dramatic effect, however, is one of transforming something common and ephemeral, such as school portraits, into a sprawling family portrait like no other. It’s a thing for the ages, in which the individual vision of the artist in the family becomes an integral part of future memories.” The Columbus Dispatch Visual Arts, Sunday, December 18, 2011, Melissa Starker, Preserved Portraits, The Springfield Museum of Art, Springfield, OH.
While sorting through family memorabilia, photographs, and yearbooks of youthful images before the sale of my parents’ home, I decided to preserve these images in wood portraits. The process for my wood pieces is to make a black and white negative, print the image on a wooden surface coated with emulsion, and then paint with oils and carve into the wooden surface until each piece comes to life. (Fifty portraits in this series with all my first cousins included).