“My camera remains my primary tool of communication, while my constant exploration of diverse ways of expression moves me to add several different layers using a variety of mediums. After a portrait session is complete, I typically digitally manipulate my subjects and unite them with other components to achieve a work that is a new expression. Often lending to them the eyes of someone their elder and wiser and almost always exaggerating and/or emphasizing their hair and features in a celebratory way. Thereafter, I may superimpose antique patterns and textures, collage vintage botanical and wildlife illustrations, or add hand-drawn digital illustration. If I feel I am not yet complete, after each portrait is refined and printed, I may combine paint and gold leaf adding ornamental elements. By experimenting with various art practices, I allow myself to follow no set of rules while creating instinctually and fluidly. Each layer serves it’s very own meaningful purpose.
It is my hope that with each theme I explore and with each portrait I create, something vital is etched into the memory of the viewer.”
Within the past 4 years, Tawny Chatmon has redirected her signature style of ethereal sunlit photography into mediums outside of just photography. Tawny is a self-taught artist who has been working in the field of photography for the past 16+ years. Born in Tokyo, growing up an ‘army brat’, she had the unique opportunity to take in the cultures of three different continents all before the age of 12. By then she was in the United States and elbow-deep in her aunt’s theatre company. She studied theatrical arts from the age 12 to early adulthood. After briefly attending a dramatic arts conservatory after high school, she switched paths and focused her interests on being behind the camera.
For Chatmon, her photographs are the first layer which she manipulates and unites with other photographic components often lending to them the eyes of someone their elder and wiser and almost always exaggerating their hair. Thereafter she often adds overlappings of gold leaf, paint, digital collage and illustration. Doing so, she produces a work that is more than just a work of photography but a new compositional expression.