I had no idea what to expect going into this project. On the first day of class this semester, each student in my class was assigned two elements to combine into a project. These elements came from a question on survey we took over the summer (with no knowledge that our answer would amount to anything). The question was "What are two things you are currently interested in?" I had spent the week or two before completely absorbed in tracing my stepmother's family tree and I had just received a set of watercolor paints, so I answered "genealogy and watercolor painting." In the span of the next week, I realized just how frustrating watercolor painting was, and put away the watercolor set without thinking much of it, so I was a bit frustrated by needing to bring it back out.
Original Photos
I decided that I wanted to focus on my own family tree for this project, so I contacted my grandmother who has a large collection of family photos going back to the turn of the 20th century. These are the scans of the original photos that she sent, which I would then print out on transparency paper.
Watercolor Tracings
I then loosely trace each photo with watercolor with the aide of a not so great light tablet. I assigned each color a number and used a random number generator to chose the color for each stroke as a way of giving up control of the outcome.
Photo Album
I combined the transparent prints of the photos and the watercolor tracings into a photo album, layering each photo over the corresponding painting. I added context to each photo, listing the names of the people in the photo and the year the photo was taken on the watercolor pages in Isadore, the typeface I designed based on documents from my family tree.
Riso Prints
I further explored the form of the watercolor tracings by translating them into Risograph prints. I split each image into 6 colors and then printed them on the Risograph with the corresponding ink colors. I later sold these prints at the Boston Art Book Fair.
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