Susan Mathison: Worth A Thousand Words

January 22, 2013

As most bloggers do, I always include a lot of photographs in my posts to illustrate an idea or topic of interest. A picture, after all, is worth a thousand words. Having written several blog posts (such as “Picture This!“) on the subject of creating gallery walls using photographs and art, I truly appreciate the importance of determining not only the correct size and proportions, but also the appropriate subject matter of the photos used to tell your story.

Photo by Susan Mathison

In a recent post on her blog Restyling Home By Kelly, designer Kelly Bernier of Rhode Island and New Hampshire discusses options for creating a visual focal point. Citing the use of oversized photographs and artwork, Kelly illustrates that by changing proportion and scale, you completely alter the feel of your space.

Photo courtesy of Restyling Home By Kelly Bernier

And Arkansas designer Toby Fairley pins a variety of gallery walls and art collections on her Pinterest board Art Smart, including some amazing spaces by such notables as Charlotte Moss and Kate Spade.

A study by Charlotte Moss. Photo courtesy of Pinterest

Kate Spade’s New York shop. Photo courtesy of Pinterest

Whether large or small, a full gallery or a single print, the one thing these all have in common is the use of pictures and photographs to set the tone and define the sense of style in the space. However, I can attest to the fact that it is not always easy to find the perfect pic to tell your story. Oftentimes, I find myself searching online for photographers with extraordinary pictures to use in my blog and in the spaces I design, ones that will catch the eye and spark the imagination.

One such local photographer, Paul Granese of Paul Granese Photography, captures and creates amazing images like few other contemporary artists. His diverse portfolio includes landscapes, nature, architecture and people in both natural and altered images.

Morrow, June 2008. Photos courtesy of Paul Granese

Johanna, August 2012

Humphrey Family Portrait, June 2012

In Boston Studio Photography in the South End of Boston and a refurbished mill in Clinton, Paul utilizes the architecture and natural light, both inside and out to his advantage when shooting his subjects.

In Paul’s words, “My approach to photography is a focus on the creation of art rather than a realistic representation of the subject. I collaborate with my subjects to attempt to develop something that can stand on its own as an art piece rather than simply a visual history of what the eye saw. My strongest medium is natural light, as this allows for both more powerful and more subtle shadings and textures. My favorite subjects are the unexpected, when I am traveling somewhere in the world and I suddenly see something that most people would walk right past, but that I can see it in a frame hanging on my wall.”

Autumn Turns, October 2012

Heavenly bodies, July 2012

Fall Fowl, October 2011

 Model’s T, March 2010

Children of Manaus, May 2011

Using these photographs as wall art opens an entire spectrum of choices to designers who may want to try a different approach to using treasured family photos, but in very unexpected ways. Any of these photos would be right at home in a gallery collection, but could certainly stand alone as the extraordinary focal point of any space.

-Susan Mathison

Susan Mathison is a lifestyle blogger from the north shore of Boston. Although her life’s work has been in the health care industry, her life’s passions have always been art and design. She is a folk artist and quilter, an avid D.I.Y.’er and presently studying interior design at North Shore Community College. In her blog, Country Design Home, she writes about the joys and trials of owning and refurbishing an 1850’s farmhouse and barn while decorating with a simply casual country style.