JAMES CRAIG PHOTOGRAPHY

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Late Night Coffee – in 500 Pieces

Mar 20, 2021

Once a work of art is finished, Nan and I both are more interested in finding ways to have fun with it than turning it into cash. I like to get jigsaw puzzles made from her paintings. In the past we shelled out for the fancy wooden piece things – wow, in the neighborhood of $150 for a 500 piece puzzle. Lots of fun to put together but with a couple of negatives: image is a little flat because they can’t laser burn cut with coated paper, and the burn smell bothers Nan (not me). Those have been floating around the family for a while now.

This time around we are trying regular cardboard puzzles, custom made from painting images. Two so far. This is a shot of Nan’s new Havre de Grace painting Late Night Coffee made into a 500 piece puzzle. Very, very tricky to assemble (paintings tend to be more difficult anyway because of the impression of rather than actual detail). When we first opened this one we thought it would be impossible – the pieces all looked so similar. But, as you can see, as it goes together one can see how nicely they reproduced the image. These aren’t actually that inexpensive either, coming to 35-40 dollars each. But fun. One negative I found with this one, at least with the outfit we used, is the tendency to crop the image more than expected – just enough here to lose the signature at the bottom. Next time I’ll pad the edges with just enough black border to make sure the whole thing gets in there.

Now we have to put together the 1000 piece puzzle we had made – the flower diptych Nan has in RiverView right now combined easily into one image for this one. Nan signs low, just high enough for framing overlap to miss it – and the crop seems to be about equal to a frame overlap. The issue is the doubling of that – another solution would be to use a picture of the painting before framing. We are having a lot of fun with these, and the more difficult the better.