This is a portrait of the vivacious and beautiful Valerie Hamilton taken by Textile Artist, Eric Olson. Valerie is a cancer survivor and a boundless champion of the CANCER FOUNDATION FOR NEW MEXICO.
And this is the portrait of Valerie after Eric did a bit of swirling and twirling digital magic. A beautiful border was added and this scrumptious image was sent off to China to be printed on silk, and finally to wend its way back to Santa Fe - fifty of them - to be donated to the foundation's annual SWEETHEART AUCTION.
T H E S T O R Y
Q. Eric, how did this project come about?
A. After I met Valerie for the first time and learned of how vital the Foundation was to both she and her husband Bud, I got the idea of contributing a work of art that would embody the spirit of survival and hope and exemplify the work of the Foundation - making cancer treatment possible for New Mexicans who need help.
Q. Why the portrait?
A. I have been doing scarves for some time, but have used photographs of food as a starting point. I felt that Valerie had so much life energy and so much style that the 'origin' photograph of her would create a vibrant direction for the scarf design.
I asked her to stand in front of her favorite art piece and she dressed accordingly. I got her to relax and captured that wonderful smile that carried her through her cancer and personifies a "Celebration of Survival".
Q. What is your design process?
A. I take the 'origin' photograph and manipulate it in photoshop, duplicating/repeating the re-designed image until it looks like this.
The digital design is then sent off to Hangzhou China - The historic center of China's silk production - where it's skillfully printed on silk and the edges hand-rolled and stitched.