Ladysmith artist’s work being exhibited online in international, juried competition

Bob Belhouse's locally-inspired art is now part of the Digital Arts: California 'True Colors' exhibit.

Ladysmith’s Bob Belhouse’s locally-inspired art is part of the Digital Arts: California ‘True Colors’ exhibit. Four of his images were selcted for the juried competition

Ladysmith’s Bob Belhouse’s locally-inspired art is part of the Digital Arts: California ‘True Colors’ exhibit. Four of his images were selcted for the juried competition

Local artist Bob Belhouse has spent the greater part of the last decade perfecting the art of photo impressionism.

That hard work has paid off, as Belhouse’s locally-inspired art is now part of the Digital Arts: California ‘True Colors’ exhibit.

“I was kind of surprised, myself; it came out of the blue,” he said.

Belhouse said he was approached at the end of January to submit his art to the juried competition. Of the five pieces he submitted, four were selected.

Digital Arts: California, according to its website, holds international, juried exhibits that are both web-only and gallery-only. Works selected as finalists, like Belhouse’s, are show in online galleries devoted to each artists, and works that receive top awards are also exhibited in a physical gallery in Los Angeles.

All of Belhouse’s pieces were taken in the Ladysmith and Yellow Point area.

“Walking on Water” is an abstract piece taken down on the Ladysmith Marina.

“It’s actually a reflection, so the picture’s actually upside down,” Belhouse said. “I was composing a picture of just some reflections in the water of the posters down there then heard someone walking by.”

“I looked up and he was coming towards the picture so I waited until he came into the frame, and it made a more interesting shot.”

“Pasture in Autumn,” with its old-English painting feel, was taken at the side of Yellow Point Road.

Belhouse has studied photography for more than 50 years.

“I used to paint, but I gave up on painting sometime in the mid 80s; it was too much work and not enough fun,” he said. “My passion is trying to make photos look more like paintings.”

He now has a small gallery at his Yellow Point home, where he has resided for the last six years. He has produced an e-book on photo impressionism and even teaches local workshops on the subject.

“Most of the stuff I do is not out of the can, it’s not a button you can push; it takes me hours to do,” he said.

Belhouse’s Photoshop program has more than 400 filters, which help him create his photo masterpieces.

“Very few pictures come out of the camera looking the way I like them,” he said. “You lose a lot in a photo, and I think that’s where editors like Photoshop come into play because you can always improve a photo by trying to make it look more like it did when you took the image, putting back some of the information that got lost in the camera.”

“I will defend that any picture can be improved with careful editing, and I will go further to say a photograph must be manipulated.”

To view Belhouse’s Digital Arts California gallery, click here.

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