BLUES ALONG TAMIAMI TRAIL | Niki ButcherBig Cypress National Preserve © 1990
It is one thing to visit the swamp, but it is an entirely different experience to live in it. In 1992, Clyde and I had the unique opportunity to purchase thirteen acres nestled in the middle of nearly a million acres of wilderness in the western Everglades. Highway 41, also known as Tamiami Trail, runs through the Big Cypress National Preserve and has gorgeous, expansive views on each side of it. This photograph was taken on the side of the road as clouds gathered for a summer storm. Hand-painted black and white photography is a way for me to express myself more specifically, to make my work more personal. I like to take an image and then add color that might not be entirely true to the original scene, but helps me elicit an ambiance, or a fleeting feeling, that I want to capture. I also delight in the idea that I‘ve revived a photographic technique that once was popular, but now is nearly forgotten. -Niki Butcher The Art of Hand Painting Black and White Photographs Niki prints her images on fiber-base black and white mat surface paper in the darkroom, then using Q-tips and cotton balls, she applies a thin coat of oil paint over the surface allowing the image to gently be seen through the oil paint. Archival Print Making Niki’s open edition gicleé artwork is printed on Sunset Bright Velvet Rag matte finish paper using eight archival inks. A state-of-the-art Epson Stylus Pro printer creates deep, rich dark values that hold subtle detail in the shadows as well as bright vivid colors that are truly tropical.