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As soon as I saw this photo I knew I had to have it. I don’t know the woman or child or who the photo belonged to but maybe one day the little girl (who is now probably older than me), may find it. Then I’ll reunite her with her photo.
When I first saw it I thought it was shot against a grass verge just off a pavement on the side of a road, but it looked to me like the flowers were planted rather than wild. Then I noticed the reflection in the wheels (which I’ve very lightly coloured in the top version) and realised it’s a park.
In Wales, daffodils appear all over the place, it’s the first sign of spring, here, and it’s the country’s national flower. But is this Wales? Or England? Or some other country?
I was puzzled by the pushchair. It looks art deco by its shape and wicker has certainly been popular for a very long time, but I’m not sure that it’s 1930s as a lot of resources online seem to suggest. Rather, I think it’s late 1940s or 1950s. The wheels are a dead giveaway to that sort of period, and if you look closely you’ll see the trim round the wicker looks like plastic. Likewise the rubber covering on the handle.
I’ve seen similar pushchairs (baby buggies) online, some were made in Germany but the ones closest to this one were American, so I’m wondering if this woman and her baby were visiting friends or family in the UK.
Originally I’d decided that the wicker would be white – as a painted type, but then thought that it looked better with a slight tint. Having lived through the 1950s, I don’t recall having seen very bright whites, from that decade or the previous one, but there were certainly plenty of creams, and off-creams. Things when new were certainly bright, but not as ‘in yer face’ as they were from the mid-60s onward.
I’d wanted to give this photo a clear, bright, happy look so I deepened the contrasts and picked out the centres of the daffs in a deeper, orangey yellow.
I made the woman’s skirt brown as it gave it a nice contrast to the grass and flowers. In some photos, the clothes call for bolder colouring, bright colours, but this is bright enough in the flora.
The woman’s skin and the child’s skin are slightly different tones, but that might not show very well because of all the high colour elsewhere in the photo.
I’ve done quite a bit of ‘cheating’ in my coloured version. The purple/lilac flowers (which might be Spanish bluebells or grape hyacinths or just ‘ordinary’ hyacinths) have received a gentle blob of colour here and there (and a few rather ungentle blobs) If grape hyacinths of course those blobs should have been deep blue! Many of the daises are missing their centres. What look like pansies are yellow and might be a different type of flower in a different colour altogether, but it seemed right for this photo. Most of the distant trees are lacking additional colour in their trunks and there’s not a great variation in the foliage, but that doesn’t matter as it’s the impression that’s important here.
I added a few bits of paler, warmer green to some of the leaves on the hedge, and no, I didn’t individually colour each leaf! That said… I did colour many individual daffodils and their leaves…
Sometimes I think I must be crazy!
On a separate note, I’ve recently done some work for a fellow blogger, Luanne Castle, and you can see a couple of the photos I’ve coloured for her, in her post Isidore in Living Color, which is in her family history and genealogy blog, Entering the Pale. She has another genealogy and family history blog which is The Family Kalamazoo.
And – just a word about my colouring and restoration work. I’ve recently lowered my prices (which now start at £25) so if you would like one or more photos coloured, please do get in touch via my contact form.
I still need to re-write my info page but I’ll give you more information when you contact me.