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Arrangement in Black and Grey, No 1 (aka Whistler's Mother)
Arrangement in Black and Grey, No 1 (aka Whistler's Mother)

Photograph Information Photographer's Comments
Challenge: Famous Paintings (ARCHIVAL) (Standard Editing)
Collection: Portfolio
Date: Oct 3, 2020
Aperture: 8.0
ISO: 4000
Shutter: 1/30
Date Uploaded: Oct 4, 2020

[Oct. 12th, 2020 01:01:03 PM]

I knew this one would take a lot of work, but it was WAY more trouble than I thought it would be, both to prepare for (setting and costume) and to take . . . and retake . . . and retake . . . ad nauseam.

But I'm soooo very pleased with how well this has done all week.

I went to all this trouble for personal reasons. Briefly, when I was pregnant with our daughter, we chose not to know the sex of the baby. To avoid saying "it" or "the baby" all the time, we called her "Whistler". I, of course, was "Whistler's mother". Many of the gift cards and notes I got before she was born have that name on the envelope or in the message (and no, we did not eventually name her Whistler).
Fast forward many years. Our daughter died in 2014 just after our grand-daughter turned three. Our grand-daughter loves stories about her mama, and this is one I've told her. So I decided to do it for her - a little family history, a little art history, a tie between the past and the present.

Setting is our grand-daughter's bedroom (because of covid-19, she's no longer visiting); curtain is shower curtain hung on broom handle; picture on left is a bw print of a photo of mine, toned in processing (no glass, both to eliminate glare problems and to reduce weight), on right is just one I had around; wainscoting is brown wrapping paper; footrest is an old photo album.
Costume is a black dress I already owned, worn over a long-sleeved navy t-shirt because the dress is short sleeved; lace at cuffs was too short to go around both sleeves, but I just put the "open part" on the inside; handkerchief is a small lace doily; skirt is a large piece of black fabric I use for backdrops when I do still lifes (dress was neither long enough nor full enough); hat is a circle cut from a white, paper-cloth bag, gathered and trimmed with a piece of wide lace I got from a neighbor; shoes are brown. Thank goodness Whistler's painting is basically black and white!!

I know the "shape" isn't right, but I had very limited room for the set-up and for camera placement plus I only have one lens just now - coming anywhere close to original composition proved to be one of the biggest challenges. I'm also apparently nowhere near as tall as Whistler's mother AND I cannot sit up as straight as she did and . . . and . . . and . . .

Place: 7 out of 33
Avg (all users): 7.0000
Avg (participants): 7.0625
Avg (non-participants): 6.9565
Views since voting: 122
Views during voting: 105
Votes: 39
Comments: 12
Favorites: 0

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10/14/2020 09:44:41 PM
Such a wonderful tribute and you did a terrific job on this. It sounds like you had some of the same experiences I did while making your image.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
10/14/2020 12:47:11 PM
Oh, what a tribute... such a heartfelt image. Worth every minute of planning, from inside to out. Congratulations!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
10/14/2020 12:45:30 PM
double post, sorry!!

Message edited by author 2020-10-14 14:17:11.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
10/14/2020 09:45:31 AM
What a moving story to go with this amazing image! I bet your granddaughter would consider it an heirloom... it is!!!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
10/14/2020 08:28:41 AM
Well done, and what a sad story about your daughter.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
10/14/2020 07:54:03 AM
wow - what a touching story behind that entry.
And you did a great job - your work has payed off I'd say.
Huge Congrats, Nikki!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
10/14/2020 06:57:25 AM
Fabulous work, Niki and so wonderful for your family.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
 Comments Made During the Challenge
10/13/2020 10:52:15 PM
Excellent! Bump.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
10/13/2020 09:23:20 PM
Looks like the real thing! Top 3.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
10/12/2020 11:55:03 AM
hey Mama can I have your number? Hmmmm you look familiar .... do you come here often?
  Photographer found comment helpful.
10/08/2020 03:53:51 AM
You did a very nice job.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
10/07/2020 11:39:24 AM
This is fabulous! Such a great model and clothing/setup! Wow!

The 2020 version of this in the challenge nailed the rectangular composition of the original one, so that will give you a fight for placement, but I really love this!

I can't wait to see how they both finish.
  Photographer found comment helpful.

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