Contemporary Antiquity: The Art of Bromoil by Elise LaJeunesse

tags: Art Exhibits

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Contemporary Antiquity
The Art of Bromoil by Elise LeJeunesse
Reception: Tue, Sep 23, 6:30–8pm

The art of bromoil is an early labor-intensive photographic process that was developed around 1907. It is currently practiced by a small number of artists worldwide and is a unique art form.

Architecture, landscapes and items from a past gone era have always fascinated me. I love taking photographs of such items. A common theme has developed in my photographs of a time forgotten or last past.

It was while experimenting with a look of antiquity for my photographs that I discovered the art of bromoil. I had attended an art exhibit and found a small collection of bromoils from the 1930’s. I immediately connected with the art form and was determined to discover the steps and techniques necessary to create a bromoil image. This turned out to be no small quest. Since bromoil is currently a rare art form, mainly practiced in Europe, it took some time to find an expert to learn from.

I have attended two bromoil workshops conducted by David W. Lewis and Linda Lapp-Murray in Arch Cape, Oregon. It is here that I have gotten the instruction and skills necessary to complete a bromoil image.

The art of bromoil begins with a carefully chosen photograph, which is converted to a black and white print. A digital negative is created from the photograph. The negative is used to print the image on a specialty paper. Once printed and dried, the silver on the image is removed through a bleaching and tanning chemical process.

Permanent lithograph ink (a hard printer’s type ink) is added back to the bleached image through a soaking and drying process with a variety of specialty brushes. The ink is stippled into the print after following a series of these steps. Once the artist has determined that the image is satisfactory, the edges and cleaned and the image is dried.

The result is a beautiful painterly quality image with rich textures, thus creating a one-of-a-kind piece of artwork.

Elise LaJeunesse was born in California, has resided in Iowa, and currently lives in Taylorsville, Utah. From the first time she saw a local bromoil show, she fell in love with the rich images and painter-like qualities. What started as a hobby rapidly turned into a passion for Elise, and she received training in the art of bromoil from one of the great living masters, David W. Lewis. She soon started taking on more complicated and unique projects such as taking photographs of objects long past their prime and creating the time intensive bromoils from them. Elise is now an accomplished and prize-winning photographer.

Location: Sprague Branch

Contact Information: 801-594-8640