Photo Art Masters Search Contest; Corel’s Paint Shop Pro Photo Art Suite Winners

To celebrate the release of Corel's Paint Shop Pro Photo Art Suite--a complete software tool kit that helps users manage, fix, and add a creative touch to their digital photos--Corel and Shutterbug sponsored the Photo Art Masters Search contest. With the Photo Art Suite, users can turn their digital photos into striking paintings that look like real works of art. As part of the contest, we asked users to submit their paintings created with a trial download of the Photo Art Suite. Entries were judged on the following criteria: artistic ability, composition, and creativity. Shutterbug's Editor George Schaub and Corel's General Manager of Digital Imaging Blaine Mathieu served as judges.

The Paint Shop Pro Photo Art Suite contains three award-winning products--Paint Shop Pro X, Photo Album 6, and Painter Essentials 3--all for $149. Easy to use and learn for amateurs, serious hobbyists, professional photographers, and artists alike, the Photo Art Suite provides photo editing and retouching capabilities, photo sharing and organizing features along with the ability to turn photos into paintings. This highly versatile, single-box solution includes a complete set of digital imaging tools that are easy enough for the first time user yet powerful enough for the seasoned photographer.

1st Place Winner: Catherine Bounds Artist's Statement
My family and friends call me Cat. I grew up in the rural South, where I taught myself to draw and always had to have some sort of creative outlet, everything from needlework to decorative painting. I never considered art as a career until my husband, Jim, and I moved near New Orleans and I became enamored with the vibrant, expressive painting styles of the street artists in the French Quarter. One day as I stood watching, I said, "I can do that," and as with all my interests, I immersed myself in learning to paint in watercolors, acrylics, and oils, studying with well-known artists and re-enrolling in college to study Art Technique and Color Theory. Within a year, I was selling my paintings in an art gallery.

Original Photo
After Paint Shop Pro

© 2006, Catherine Bounds, All Rights Reserved

In 1995 I got my first computer, figuring I might send a few e-mails and play Freecell, but it seemed a natural transition when I began to gravitate toward digital art. Having an art ackground has helped, but it was a pretty steep learning curve from traditional paints and brushes to digital art software.

When a friend invited me in April to come with her to a 100-acre botanical park, I grabbed my camera. The park was a painter's dream, with masses of daffodils, tulips, and flowering bushes, preparations for a wedding on a grassy plateau, a band practicing in a grand gazebo, and a professional photographer snapping photos of little girls in white dresses beside a waterfall. Then, as we rounded a bend in the trail, there was a painter with her easel and brushes, painting the bridge in the distance. I got a lot of interesting shots that day, but when another friend told me about the Corel/Shutterbug competition (what would I do without friends?) I knew that this was the photo I wanted to paint. I tried to capture the delicate spring colors splashed all around like the colors on a watercolor palette. I am deeply honored that my painting was chosen from among so many great works of art.