Story by Stephanie Hounsell with Photography by Deborah MacEwen
Deborah MacEwen is happiest when she’s trying something new — whether that’s embarking on a trip to Africa or mastering a new computer technique.
“I get bored easily. I’ve got to keep challenging myself,” says the Saskatchewan photographer.
Two years ago, MacEwen travelled to five countries in Africa on a dream photo trip with her husband. The five-week-long journey, which included several safaris, left her with enough photos to last a lifetime — and a renewed desire to learn how to create a painterly effect in some of those images, as well as others from her extensive portfolio.
With the launch of her new website, and a desire to focus on wall art, it was obvious the time was right. So recently, MacEwen gave herself the hours she needed to dabble and learn, adding textures here and colour there.
To say she’s excited by the results is an understatement. “It has been on my mind for a long time and it’s actually the vision I’ve had for my photography — as (having) more of an art feel to it,” she says.
From the online feedback she has received so far, the response has been “amazing,” she says.
MacEwen and her husband were on a private safari as part of their African adventure when she spotted these impalas and was struck by their orderly formation. “I never imagined doing a painterly effect on them. I think it’s a nice photograph on its own,” she says. But she decided to give it a try, and she’s happy with the results. “I just loved what happened with them. This technique is going to work for landscape, it’s going to work for wildlife, it’s going to work for still life, flowers… It’s going to work for anything if you have the right image.”
MacEwen took the photo of the large vases outside a hotel in Mexico. Since taking it a number of years ago, she knew she wanted to do something different with it. She wasn’t disappointed in the finished product, and says she can see it hanging in a restaurant or a contemporary-style home.
MacEwen photographed these rock formations while in Valley of Fire State Park, Nevada. If you look closely, she says, you can see “faces” in the walls. When she first caught a glimpse of them as she was working on the image, she decided to do what she could to bring them out, and was excited when other people also saw these faces.
Playing around in Photoshop is nothing new for MacEwen, who says she can get lost for hours on end. Some of her photos receive very simple treatments, while others are artfully altered to the point where the finished products barely resemble the original images.
With her background in interior design, MacEwen plans to work with clients to assess their spaces and then help them choose the perfect piece of art from her collection to suit their homes.
To find out more, visit www.facebook.com/deborahmacewen