Through June and July The Governor’s Cup, always a supporter of Salem artists, will host the work of  Recinda Jeannine, a recent transplant from Los Angeles.  A photographer whose love of photography began at age nine when she was given her first camera, Jeannine characterizes her art schooling in photography as “purist, in the sense of the use of film.”  Much of her work was in black and white, and concentrated on people as subjects  in order to tell a story which generally revolved around emotion,  the human condition, love, angst, or the beauty of being human.

TreeLife–One photograph merged with abstract oil pencil image on watercolor paper

Recently her interest changed substantially,  from people (b&w photography), to  exploring the power of color and nature’s still life set against man-made textures.  Her show, titled “New Work,” reflects this change.  Jeannine says,  “with the advent of digital photography, which I resisted for some time, I plunged deep into the possibilities of manipulating imagery. I thought that as long as I jumped into the digital age, I would use it more as a tool to create something visually enticing.”  Color has become the focus of her current projects, but this does not mean simply changing to photographing images in color. 

Although she did double exposure with her film work, the move to digital media has vastly expanded the scope available.  “Now I am able not only to essentially create a double exposure but I can work within available software to create new ways to see every day beauty.”  This  is a multi-step process which includes generating a digital photo and a second image on paper using oil pastel. Describing  the process she says;  “I start with a digital photo and separately create an abstract onto watercolor paper using oil pencil pastels. I then rifle through photos and abstracts to determine which two I will blend digitally via a computer software app. Since I don’t particularly work in a linear pattern, I mix and match photo to photo, or photo to watercolor print from varying points of time each individual image was created. Once I have decided on a final merged image, I then have a professional print test done, approve (or disapprove) the proof, and have the final piece printed onto watercolor paper to give it a more textual feel than a photograph would.

The results are striking multi-layered and color-saturated images, where abstract bursts of color and recognizable forms and textures merge and interconnect in pieces that Jeannine says are more about evoking feelings than telling stories or sending messages.  “Right now my hope is that people can escape into the color palette I have created with each image and feel a form of happiness or remember a wonderful memory. “Although she is no longer focusing on stories,  Jeannine’s  work is still about recognizing beauty.   She hopes people will “experience flushes of happiness mixed with meaningful thought-memories that are exclusively theirs and that remind them that beauty is right outside their door.”