As soon as I saw this photograph, I knew I had to have it. Look at these people! I don’t know what they were celebrating or where. A birthday party? I wonder if it was in a nursing home, some of the people look a bit ‘out of it’, don’t they? Maybe just too much wine… or sherry.

All dressed up for their celebration, wearing party hats. The woman in the middle is holding a bouquet. Is it her birthday? She seems unbothered.

I had great fun doing the patterns in the dress fabrics though I’m sure that a few of my colour choices may have been a bit out of period. What period is it, do you think? I think it’s probably 20s or 30s. The woman sitting at the left has a striped dress with a lace collar and a – probably velvet – bow ribbon.  The man’s suit could be from nearly any time. The collar isn’t high enough for early in the century. The woman sitting on the ground at the far right is wearing a print dress and rather nice shoes, as is the woman seated to the right and behind her. I chose dark blue for her shoes, even though it might not be correct, as I thought she looked like the sort of person who would have worn colours that matched.

Then there’s the woman at the back nearly in the middle who I think of as ‘Elf-woman’… I did her clothes blue, then changed them to yellow, and then to pink, but she was calling out for pale blue and white!

The rug gave me some problems. At first I couldn’t perceive that it was one as, until zoomed in closely, the difference between the strands of it and the grass weren’t terribly noticeable.  Then when I realised what it was – and that it was in fact a rag-rug (usually made from torn fabrics pulled through an openweave base and knotted), it was easy to do… but still not easy to choose the colours for it. In the end, I decided that doing it a fairly neutral green and greyish blue, would keep the balance in the photo.

The seated woman in green at the far left and the one at the right in a patterned dress with alternating-colour triangles are, I suspect, sisters. So it must be a family ‘do’ of some sort, I think.  Though the one on the right seems to be away with the fairies… maybe she’s just tired.

What a smile the bespectacled woman (next to the one with the bouquet) has! I wonder what she was thinking about as the shutter clicked.

And what is the paper or cardboard that is beneath the man’s pipe? Is it to keep the ash from it off the rug? Or is it a treasure map?

18 thoughts on “Party

  1. I think by the hats, it may be Britain. They look like the sort of hats made of tissue paper that come out of “crackers.” I agree that it’s probably the middle to late 1920’s as even the older women are in drop-waist dresses. but their skirts are still quite long. Notice the number of men in the picture, another reason I think it is in Britain, as WWI took out a whole generation of men. The young man would have been too young to serve, and the older, standing man, probably too old to serve. There was a whole generation with a significant number of women who never married simply because there weren’t enough men to go around. You will also notice there aren’t any really young women. The one who looks the youngest is standing by the older man, and she looks late 20’s. Interesting demographic.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s almost certainly Britain as that’s where I am and I bought it from an English seller. That said, I’ve got French and German photos from English sellers too and, coming up in a future post one from an American phtographic studio. A few of the hats are certainly made of paper but the rest are fabric. (I’d intended putting the full-size version of this in the blog but didn’t. One day I must do a post showing these photos zoomed in so that the detail can be seen.) Also the hats that came out of crackers were very flat and small. I think the paper ones were probably hand-made, which is what many people did up until the 1960s here. Very easy to make.

      Yes, it may be that the rest of the men are missing because they’ve been killed in action, and the ones remaining are too old or too young too have gone into the forces.

      Thaks, WOL (and I love that name as I’m a fan of A.A.Milne!)


  2. Your restoration and photo coloring of this photo is amazing. I’m an amateur digital artist myself, which basically means I can appreciate those with genuine talent.

    Love that you’ve brought this already interesting photo to life (and I have to agree, something looks a bit off with the expressions of so many of the “models” here)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Gabe and, from what I’ve seen of your digital paintings they’re very good, do you do them with filters or with the brush tool or both? I started off my digital work with paintings though I did them from scratch using the brush on paint, dodge and burn. A few people who follow this blog and know me from years ago will remember those. Yeah… some very odd expressions these people have!

      Liked by 1 person

        1. Oh, I’m unfamiliar with both of those as I don’t use Apple – had been thinking of getting it but can’t face learning a new system also, out in the sticks here, no service places for Apple products. I do all my digital work on a Windows Desktop – am just about to upgrade as my pc has pretty much died in the last few days! Had a look online at Apple pencil (not yet looked at ProCreate – that’s an app for it, is it?) and it looks good. I’ve been thinking of getting Cintiq Companion which is similar but plugs into a regular desktop computer so any onboard graphics program can be used with it.


  3. What fun–of course you were drawn to this! My favorite of your color choices is on the green-and-yellow dress worn by the third-from-left woman in the back row. My favorite expression is worn by the second-from-right woman in the second row. And the paper? Absolutely, definitely, a treasure map.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha! Don’t I know it! From time to time I do a google search on my name to see if this site is appearing in search engines yet and they will keep showing me variations of Val Verde! (I have to use a minus sign to avoid it). 🙂 Nice to see info about the actual place, though. Erde (my married name) is German for ‘Earth’. I’ll give the Mahler a listen, I enjoy some of his music. Thanks, Steve.


      1. I know the German cognate for earth, not only from Das Lied von der Erde, but I think from before I’d heard of Mahler’s piece. I took one year of German in college a long time ago, and that may well be where I learned the word.

        Now you know a little about Val Verde in Texas.

        Liked by 1 person

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