Janine Kilroe has lived a full and eventful life, combining art, travel, teaching, coaching and raising a family. She was born in Preston, Lancashire, but as her father was in the Civil Service, she and her family moved frequently, living in Shropshire, Kent, and Germany, until finally settling in Oxfordshire where Janine put down roots and has stayed for the last forty years.
Janine worked to fund her way through Photography College at Gloucester College of Art and Technology, graduating in 1982. For the next 12 years she honed her skills as a freelance professional Editorial and Advertising photographer, working for clients with a diverse range of interests including Shell and British Petroleum; The National Trust and The English Tourist Board; Outward Bound and The Royal Bank of Scotland.
Her work took her to far flung places such as Nepal, Bangladesh and India, as well as the length and breadth of Britain, and everywhere she went she took her own pictures as well as the official ones, exploring visually the detail of things, and capturing her own interpretation of what she was seeing around her. Marriage and children ended this first phase of her career, although during the fifteen years she spent focusing on bringing up her children, she never lost interest in her craft.
By 2005, her family commitments were less demanding and she began to consider getting back to her first love, but to make any progress she had some catching up to do. “I had to drag and scream my way into the 21st century and to the new digital age of photography,” she explains. A well known phrase containing the words water and duck sums up how well she adapted to the new technology. She loved it! So much more was now possible.
It is a little ironic then, that when she finally found her own, unique style, it involved developing an idea going back to the pioneering days of photography, before the advent of colour, when the only way to make a photo look realistic was to hand-colour monochrome prints.
Hand-coloured photographs were popular from the mid-19th century (and were particularly valued in Japan) until the mid-20th century, when American Kodak introduced Kodachrome colour film. (For more about this, go to History & Techniques)
Janine is now working full time as a photographic artist from her studio in Oxfordshire, creating the wonderful, fresh, hand coloured pictures. Her work is on sale in various art galleries, and from her own website, and she has also undertaken a number of private commissions.
Her gallery features flowers, the beach, pier and sea and a fairground attraction.
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