Feb 10, 2014

Painterly Mobile Art - Gerry Coe

Gerry Coe is another regular contributor to our Flickr Group, Painterly Mobile Art.  I'm please to feature his beautiful piece Autumn Colours this week. 

Do you like to edit in a painterly style? Please join the group, we'd love to have you!

The Work

Autumn Colours © Gerry Coe
Autumn Colours © Gerry Coe

The Artist 

Gerry Coe - I live in Northern Ireland and have been a professional photographer for 50 years. I have covered almost all types of photography during my career but during the last 30 years or so I have concentrated on B&W portraiture mostly of children. I did a High Key style which had the look of a fine pencil drawing, naturally I called them Pencil Portraits. I have always been associated with the Amateur camera clubs and am at present the President of my local club, Bangor & North Down CC. 

As well as running my portrait studio I also ran a picture framing business which is still going but now run by a colleague, but I still do all my own mounting and framing for any exhibitions I hold or for clients who buy any of my pictures. I have always been associated with the Art side of photography and Art in general and have had many of my photographs accepted into mainstream and prestigious exhibitions. I have always been experimenting with Photoshop to try to get a more painterly look to my work, some of which worked out well. 

Gerry's Commentary

I suppose I really am a frustrated artist, I can’t really draw or paint so that is why I became a photographer. When I was working in Photoshop I was looking to produce a painterly style to some of my work and now with all the wonderful apps available it can be done very easily, push one button and you get a result, and here is the problem. This is a bit like Cokin filters of a few years ago where every picture had a “Tobacco Grad” to enhance the sky and everybody could recognise it.  The same problem can occur with some of the apps as well. What I have found is that the secret really lies in combining various elements of each of these painterly style apps to create a unique look that is not easily reproduced by everyone else. 

The picture “Autumn Colours” is one such picture. It is fairly recent but represents how I have moved and used different apps. The original was taken with the iPhone camera and then I worked on it in Snapseed to enhance the colours etc. Next, I was using Repix, Glaze, Photofx, Superimpose, and then back into Snapseed at the end to clean up colours. The apps are listed but not in any particular order and there were many variations of each app. I was just spending time working out what looked the best. I wanted an almost abstract style. I am a great lover of the Impressionist painters and that is the way I like to see my work. Although I am still a great lover of B&W work and still do it, I find my “Painterly” style to be big and bold on color   

One thing I will say, although a lot of people like this type of “Painterly” picture I do find a lot of people who are not keen on it as it is not really “Art”, but it is me trying to imitate Art. So it is generating quite a bit of controversy within my own circle of friends, etc. I do understand what they are saying but to me it is just another way of expressing myself. One comment made when I said I would be doing an exhibition of my work was, “Are you doing your photographs or some more of those Painterly Pot Boilers?”  Anyway I hope some of you like this one. 

Find Gerry: Website / Coe Artworks / Flickr / Instagram

Links to apps mentioned:

Photo fx


  1. Thankyou very much for this Geri, it looks good.

  2. You're welcome Gerry - so happy to have you in our group!


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