‘Life should be an adventure’: Clearwater library’s new exhibit features hand-painted Florida photography

Art and books go together hand-in-hand at the Clearwater library.

Niki Butcher, the wife of artist Clyde Butcher, has a unique photography exhibit on display at the facility.

When she came to Florida, she was enthralled with the turquoise waters and the pink sunsets.

"I had never seen anything like that so I began photographing Florida with color film, and somehow it just never looked like what I saw," Butcher stated.

Then she ran across some old-fashioned postcards from Florida that were hand-painted. 

"I decided that I wanted to hand-paint some black and white photographs so that I could put my view, my colors into the images that I thought represented Florida," she said.

Niki Butcher painting a photograph.

"When an artist gets really deep into their art, they sort of leave the world and so, yes, there’s a lot of detailed work involved in hand-painting a photograph, but it is like meditation," Butcher shared. "It feels good to do the detail work. If you’re not a person who can meditate for any length of time, it might be difficult, but I find it very pleasant."

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Butcher has created more than 60 hand-painted photographs over five decades.

"Life is short. We live in a country that is so magnificent and we are so free to be able to be who we want to be and I hope when you go through the exhibit you can see that all of these quirky people, all these fun little things that you see in the exhibit is our country. It’s an adventure and life should be an adventure."  

Painting in Clearwater library's Niki Butcher exhibit.

Butcher is presenting the first solo exhibition of her artwork at the Clearwater Main Library through January 31, 2023. The exhibit is free.

Photography is a family affair for Butcher. Her husband, Clyde, is also a well-known Florida photographer. His exhibit recently ended at the same library.

LINK: Click here for more information on the exhibit.