A Mural Project for the Birds … and the Bears and the Gators, Too

Photographer Brian Hampton had been shooting the wildlife at the Audubon Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary in Naples, Fla., for years before an idea to collectively capture many of the creatures came to him.

While individual photos of the animals were stunning, Hampton had a different visual in mind: A collage of 20 different species that live in the Sanctuary. This “masterpiece mural,” as he calls it, could become a signature piece of art in the main visitors center at Corkscrew, which has approximately 100,000 annual visitors.

Sanctuary print

Hampton, and his wife, Donna, donate photography and video work to several organizations and wanted to do the same for Corkscrew. Hampton commissioned artist Tom Heflin to paint the original 30-by-60-inch collage. Once complete, Hampton had it scanned digitally, then he printed the 7-by-14-foot mural in 3-foot-wide panels on Sunset Select Gloss Canvas using his Canon imagePrograf 8400 printer. The panels were applied to a custom wall panel installed in the center.

“I was looking for a canvas that would show the mural’s brilliant colors,” Hampton says about his choice in Sunset canvas. “Sometimes canvas can look really flat, and I wanted a more saturated look.”

The Hamptons created a video that gives a look behind the scenes of the project:

The mural was installed in early February 2015, and since then Hampton has used the same image to make T-shirts and posters, which have sold well at Corkscrew’s gift shop. “I’m hoping others will want to do something like this in their towns,” he says.

Prints that Win: Dream World

Electronic Imaging Fine Art by Elaine Hughes

Elaine and Robert Hughes made a dramatic shift in their photography and art about five years ago. Highly decorated and certified professional photographers who used to specialize in high-end wedding photography, the pair now specializes in creating surreal digital artwork.

The pair’s work is an anticipated addition to the various competitions they’ve entered. This past year, Elaine Hughes won a LexJet Sunset Award at the PPA North East District competition for Illustrative Artist. The award-winning print, called Dream World, is a wildly colorful example of Elaine’s original art.

“Lately I’ve developed a series connected with water and dreams. It’s chaotic, disconnected and fun, with symbolism you can’t really put your finger on, like in your dreams. I left it open to your own interpretation. The door, for instance, could be the girl’s next journey, your next journey, or you could go in and out of the dream through that door,” Elaine explains.

Elaine says developing the art is quite time-consuming, but it’s what she loves to do. It’s a bonus that the art sells, she auctions it off for charity and it wins awards. The images combine photographs Elaine takes when she’s out and about at various locations across the country with color and abstract work in Photoshop.

“Bob’s art is edgier, while mine is happier and dreamier,” Elaine says. “I create backgrounds all the time with texture and color. About half the time I have an idea and the other half I experiment. It just doesn’t happen; I work on these for a long time. I go to a lot of Photoshop classes and watch Bob do his work in Photoshop. I wish I had started doing this a long time ago.”