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Stacy Knows, July 2017
FIRST-OF-ITS-KIND POP UP SHOP
TO BENEFIT THE WOLF CONSERVATION CENTER


Record Review, July 2017
Wolf Print: Julie Testwuide


Family Projects, Spring 2017
Beaver Dam Sanctuary


Greenwich Sentinel, May 2017
The Dog and Pony SHow Opened at the Barn at Downing Yudain


Record Review, May 9, 2014
Chronicler of the Horse: Julie Testwuide
By Eve Marx


Steady Gait, September-October 2013

North County News, Wednesday, January 26, 2005
Equestrian Landscapes by
Yorktown artist on display


North County News, Sunday, January 14, 1998
New Images From a Mother and Daughter


The New York Times, Sunday, January 11, 1998
'Painterly Photos' by a Mother and Daughter


Daily News, Sunday, January 9, 1998
It's Going to Be A Gem of a Year

The New York Times, Sunday, January 11, 1998
'Painterly Photos' by a Mother and Daughter

By Cynthia Magriel Wetzler

YORKTOWN HEIGHTS, NY

Eight-year old Molly Testwuide, a third grader at the Brookside Elementary School here, carries a camera around with her most of the time. She takes pictures in unlikely places. Shopping in the Limited store in Manhattan recently with her mother, Julie Betts Testwuide, a professional artist and photographer, and her sister, Emily, 10, she said: "I looked up because I was bored. All of a sudden I saw a round staircase."

She snapped it, and the result is an abstract image that resembles the geometric intricacies of a giant seashell. She achieved this effect by smearing a wet Polaroid image with a wooden tool and coloring over it with pastels and colored pencils, a process called Polaroid manipulation taught to her by her mother. Mother and daughter will both be exhibiting what they call "painterly photographs" at the New Century Artist's Gallery in SoHo in Manhattan through Jan. 31.

Ms. Testwuide and Molly use several methods to achieve the Impressionistic effect that makes their photographs look like paintings by Monet or Pissarro. Through experimentation, Ms. Testwuide has come up with a process that allows her to create effects that depart sharply from the original photograph.

"The photographs in the show were taken with an old Polaroid from the 60's or 70's," Ms. Testwuide said. "This camera uses the only film that works for our process. Before the image dries we use wooden tools such as cuticle sticks to manipulate the emulsion to an abstract image. We then reprint it and enlarge it onto watercolor paper and take it to the next step with colored pencils and pastels. The process is very new. I learned it was possible in a Polaroid workshop in the city, and I took off from there. I don't like color photos. They look too real, too 'now.' I've spent years trying to change photos and have them look more painterly."

Looking over her photographs, a photographer friend said to Ms. Testwuide, who has worked in corporate and sports photography, photographed the New York Marathon from the highest point of the scaffolding on the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge and who is also a professional children's photographer, "I didn't know you did paintings too."

This pleased her, she said, adding: "I want people to have to look closely to see if the image is a painting or a photo. I'm an old-fashioned girl. I aim for a timeless quality in my work. I want people to wonder if the pictures were taken 50 years ago or today." Many of her children's photographs have a dreamy quality. "I have a closetful of soft, creamy dresses for the girls to wear so as to focus on their face and eyes."

"Manipulating photographs wakes you up to seeing things differently," Ms. Testwuide said. Molly added: "You see it like you want to see it. And then what we do with it is kind of a secret."

In a self-portrait walking under trees where the shot was taken with a tripod and a timer, Ms. Testwuide used infrared film with a red filter to make the leaves white and then painted over it with transparent oils. In a self-portrait of herself twirling, which Molly set up and her mother clicked, Molly manipulated the emulsion on a wet print, then covered the reprinted image with the shimmering colors of France's- CBte d'Azur.

Both mother and daughter say they are absorbed by the creative process, although Molly hastened to add: "I also play the piano, take dance class or I like to play with my cat, Nicky, or play football with my Dad. My Mom usually stays home from all that stuff. She's usually working on her photos."

On a family trip to France this summer, Ms. Testwuide, her two daughters and son, Kacey, 4, took pictures constantly. Their subjects were the Riviera and Giverny Monet's home outside Paris ÷ as well as the vineyards in Bordeaux. Ms. Testwuide's husband, Kip Testwuide, an investment banker, said, "Can we please have one dinner without photos?" Nevertheless, Ms. Testwuide is almost obsessed with photographing wherever she goes: In their 3-story, 15-room, 1876 Victorian house here, Molly and her mother work on their photographs in a skylighted studio with double French doors and a Palladian window. A drawing table in the corner is covered in a mŽlange of pencils in every color, boxes of pastels, trays of oil paints and artist's brushes of all sizes. In an adjoining anteroom are piles of art paper, sponges, toothbrushes and paints to make any budding artist's heart beat faster.

"All the art supplies are at my children's fingertips for spur-of-the moment creations," Ms. Testwuide said. "I give them real canvas and real paints."

The three children and Ms. Testwuide work on a family sculpture, an unfinished wire-and-papier m‰chŽ structure of a person standing a foot and a half high in the corner of the studio. A blank wall in a large room with an indoor swimming pool will be adorned with five big canvas panels currently being worked on by the children in bright green, yellow, aqua, purple and hot pink.

"The kids will paint on them with acrylics and make abstract paintings," Ms. Testwuide said. "My 4year-old son is the busiest artist of them all. He won't let me throw out any boxes. He goes to the garbage and pulls out corks. He is busy all afternoon every day making his sculptures and uses anything he can get his hands on. He is taken with tape and won't use glue."

An elaborate tunnel for his Ninja turtles is made of boxes and balsa wood and sits in his room.

"My kids find great satisfaction in creating a final product they can savor and save," Ms. Testwuide said. "It's not like a store-bought toy you just put back in the closet." A photography studio, gallery and darkroom are on a lower floor.

"My Mom knows all the tricks and she has taught me some of them," Molly said. Her mother was mouthing Molly's words as she spoke. Molly laughed and said to her mother, "Did you know you were saying just what I was saying?"

In addition to the mother-daughter show in SoHo this month, Ms. Testwuide will be exhibiting her work next month at the Salmagundi Club in Manhattan and at Lyndhurst in Tarrytown. The number to call for information is 914-962-5096.



North County News, Sunday, January 14, 1998
New Images From a Mother and Daughter


by Kathy Grantham


In the first-ever mother-daughter exhibit in Soho are “painterly photographs,” the work of professional photographer Julie Betts Testwuide of Yorktown Heights and her 8-year-old daughter, Molly, who are displaying at New Century Artists Gallery through January.

Works in the collection are the result of a technique that transforms photographs into prints that look more like paintings than photographs. The process involves manipulating the emulsion of a Polaroid photo to achieve a misty aura and hand coloring the print with pastels and pencils. The result resembles an impressionist image.

In truth, its resemblance is in the quality of famed French Impressionist Claude Monet; his riot of flowers and lauded water lilies that are known to art lovers everywhere.

A viewer will note the likeness hazily and softly painted among the willows and the lily pond, or on a waterscape of the French Riviera, a plein air blend of rock-strewn shoreline with reflections of the sky on the water, and an evanescent trio of children looking toward a distant fisherman.

Julie's "Seaside Pleasures," featured in the Soho exhibit, include photographs taken on the French Riviera. Molly's painterly photos were taken at Monet's Lily Pond in Giverny, France. St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York City, The Grand Hotel in Paris, and at a castle in Killarney. Ireland. Molly's photograph of a portion of St. Patrick's strikingly resembles Monet's serial paintings of Rouen Cathedral.

"Yes, people have remarked on the similarity to Monet." her mother said, but added, "There is no overt intent to mimic the great Impressionist."

Having had only a high school course in art and none in college, Julie recently studied oil painting with former Yorktown resident and master artist Lee Hochberg.

"I have always aimed for a dreamy, ethereal aspect in my painterly photographs.” Julie pointed out.

Molly's interest was sparked at a young age while modeling for her mother which helped her develop a keen eye.

A third-grade student at Yorktown's Brookside School, she also plays the piano and is a member of a ski race team in Massachusetts.

Julie Belts Testwuide has been working in corporate and sports photography since completing a Master's degree in 1981 at the University of Wisconsin in Madison.

Among her well-known clientele are Chase, Chemical Bank. Manufacturers Hanover, Miller Brewing. Simon & Schuster, St. Martin's Press, Avon and AT&T. Testwuide's work has appeared in The New York Times Magazine, the Daily News. New York Post, Runner's World magazine, Running News magazine, and New York Magazine, and become a visual in annual reports and corporate brochures.

Stellar moments from her career include photographing the New York Marathon from the highest point of the scaffolding on the Verrazanno Bridge. She cruised aboard Malcom Forbes' Highlander to photograph his private celebration of the publication of one of his books. On firmer ground, she shot the stills of the Rodney Dangerfield/Miller Lite television commercials in L.A.

Prior to receiving a Master's, Julie taught elementary school in Wisconsin. She moved to New York to pursue her love of photography and subsequently married Konrad Cullen (Kip) Testwuide, a stock broker. After the birth of their third child, she decided the travel demands of corporate asslgnments were too time-consuming.

The desire to continue her photography while spending more time at home with her children ÷ Kacey, Molly and Emily, ages 4, 8 and 10 inspired Julie to write and illustrate two children's books.

Molly and Emily modeled for Postcards from Manhattan, a book that resembles old, tinted postcards of popular sights in New York City. Written by way of children's postcards to friends and relatives, it is a sharing of unusual facts about each landmark. She has also continued to create eye-popping ways to combine her painting and photographic talents.

“I have always aimed for a dreamy, ethereal aspect in my painterly photographs,” she commented.

Julie's husband is a staunch celebrant of her virtuoso talent, and often models for her photo illustrations. In Running News magazine, Kip posed as a runner on Montauk Beach to illustrate an article on “Suburban Running.” And he portrayed an apron-clad house-husband, with mop and laundry basket for an article entitled “Runaway Wives.”

Exhibits of her unusual work have been seen in the New York area at The Hudson River Museum, Lever House, Broadway Mall Gallery, and Santarella Gallery in Tyringham, Massachusetts. In addition, she has opened The Grotto Gallery in Yorktown Heights.

While photographers are known to experiment with composition, only a few may be as facile as Testwuide in this specialized medium. Organized and resourceful, she doesn't fret about a problem. She solves it.

“In Manhattan, I needed instruction by the Polaroid Company in the capabilities of a particular out-of-date film, which is especially adapted to my technique for making painterly photographs.”

The Polaroid Company complied, and now Testwuide is skilled in three processes that involve film made for a 1960s Polaroid. Testwuide uses that old camera, and, fortunately, Polaroid continues to make the film dedicated to it.

A darkroom specialist who has mastered the technical know-how, Testwuide is able to develop the intricate processes to make her photographs primarily. At the University of Wisconsin, she had planned to major in art. “Not a good idea.” her advisor said. “You’ll never make any money at it unless you become an occupational therapist.” Loving to work with children, she switched to elementary education.

However, working toward a Master's in photography, she learned more about a hobby that had always fascinated her. Practical experience accompanied this graduate course as she handled photography for the college newspaper and yearbook. “I loved working in the darkroom.” she recalled during a recent interview. And that's where she was every spare moment.

In fact, all that darkroom experience proved to be the "open sesame" for her amazing technique. Her most recent process is working from a color photograph instead of black and white. She learned how to use the negative, not the print, transferring the photograph to art paper that would absorb paint.

Her son Kacey makes his own toys from empty boxes and odds and ends slated for the trash. “He's probably going to be a sculptor someday.” she surmises. “Because of this genuine gift for designing things.” The children head for the art room at home, where they work with the real thing. “No children's hobby paints for them.”

“When we were in Paris this summer, the hotel breakfast arrived with a rose on the tray. Emily, Molly and I photographed that rose so many times, my husband finally asked, 'Haven't you photographed that rose enough?'

“As it turned out, Molly's was the best,” Testwuide said, "better than mine."

Emily also has a flair for photography and an eye for composition. But the 10 year-old is more retiring and prefers not to exhibit her work. “Emily's choice is honored.” her mother affirmed, “and her privacy is respected.”

One might wonder, how did she teach her children photography and painting?

“They were involved-as my models,” Testwuide said. As she was writing and illustrating her children's books, they wanted to participate and would take some of the photographs and do the hand coloring with paint and pencils. That's how they began, always surrounded by their mother's art supplies.

“I was using oils and giving them hobby paints. 'Why can't we use oils? Why can't we use canvas? they would ask. Exposing them to real materials was very exciting for them.” she said. Testwuide did a lot of her work  in France this summer. “It's been addictive. I think they figured, 'If you can't beat 'em, join 'em.' Each child had a camera and got so interested - 'Wow! Wait! Wait! Wait! I see some more flowers! Let me get this. Let me get that.' “

And snagging a good photo seems part of their mindset. While in New York one afternoon, Emily and Julie were taking so long shopping, Molly chose not to tag along. Bored with waiting. She used the time for a photo shoot. A spiral staircase provided so many arresting angles, her best shot resembles a giant snail.

Photography has been a positive experience for all the children, according to Julie who believes they have a fresh view of things.

Perhaps she's the signature mother for the 21st century.

Upcoming for Julie is her “The Eye of the Beholder” scheduled for a February mounting at both the Salimagundi Club on Fifth Avenue and at Lyndhurst Mansion in Tarrytown. She'll return to the commercial gallery, New Century, in April to exhibit and highlight the process of her work with an in-depth demonstration, a treat for both photographers, artists and art appreciators.

The exhibit at New Century Artists Gallery, 168 Mercer Street (between Houston and Prince Streets) in Manhattan, runs through January 31. Gallery hours are from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. The number to call for gallery information is (212) 431-5353; for artist information, (914) 962-5096.


Daily News, Sunday, January 9, 1998
It's Going to Be A Gem of a Year


Record Review, July 2017
Wolf Print: Julie Testwuide


Family Projects, Spring 2017
Beaver Dam Sanctuary


Greenwich Sentinel, May 2017
The Dog and Pony SHow Opened at the Barn at Downing Yudain


Record Review
Chronicler of the Horse: Julie Testwuide
By Eve Marx


Steady Gait, September-October 2013

North County News
Wednesday, January 26, 2005
Equestrian Landscapes by
Yorktown artist on display


North County News
Sunday, January 14, 1998
New Images From a Mother and Daughter


The New York Times
Sunday, January 11, 1998
'Painterly Photos' by a Mother and Daughter


Daily News, Sunday
January 9, 1998
It's Going to Be A Gem of a Year


Steady Gait, September-October 2013

The New York Times, Sunday, January 11, 1998
'Painterly Photos' by a Mother and Daughter

By Cynthia Magriel Wetzler

YORKTOWN HEIGHTS, NY

Eight-year old Molly Testwuide, a third grader at the Brookside Elementary School here, carries a camera around with her most of the time. She takes pictures in unlikely places. Shopping in the Limited store in Manhattan recently with her mother, Julie Betts Testwuide, a professional artist and photographer, and her sister, Emily, 10, she said: "I looked up because I was bored. All of a sudden I saw a round staircase."

She snapped it, and the result is an abstract image that resembles the geometric intricacies of a giant seashell. She achieved this effect by smearing a wet Polaroid image with a wooden tool and coloring over it with pastels and colored pencils, a process called Polaroid manipulation taught to her by her mother. Mother and daughter will both be exhibiting what they call "painterly photographs" at the New Century Artist's Gallery in SoHo in Manhattan through Jan. 31.

Ms. Testwuide and Molly use several methods to achieve the Impressionistic effect that makes their photographs look like paintings by Monet or Pissarro. Through experimentation, Ms. Testwuide has come up with a process that allows her to create effects that depart sharply from the original photograph.

"The photographs in the show were taken with an old Polaroid from the 60's or 70's," Ms. Testwuide said. "This camera uses the only film that works for our process. Before the image dries we use wooden tools such as cuticle sticks to manipulate the emulsion to an abstract image. We then reprint it and enlarge it onto watercolor paper and take it to the next step with colored pencils and pastels. The process is very new. I learned it was possible in a Polaroid workshop in the city, and I took off from there. I don't like color photos. They look too real, too 'now.' I've spent years trying to change photos and have them look more painterly."

Looking over her photographs, a photographer friend said to Ms. Testwuide, who has worked in corporate and sports photography, photographed the New York Marathon from the highest point of the scaffolding on the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge and who is also a professional children's photographer, "I didn't know you did paintings too."

This pleased her, she said, adding: "I want people to have to look closely to see if the image is a painting or a photo. I'm an old-fashioned girl. I aim for a timeless quality in my work. I want people to wonder if the pictures were taken 50 years ago or today." Many of her children's photographs have a dreamy quality. "I have a closetful of soft, creamy dresses for the girls to wear so as to focus on their face and eyes."

"Manipulating photographs wakes you up to seeing things differently," Ms. Testwuide said. Molly added: "You see it like you want to see it. And then what we do with it is kind of a secret."

In a self-portrait walking under trees where the shot was taken with a tripod and a timer, Ms. Testwuide used infrared film with a red filter to make the leaves white and then painted over it with transparent oils. In a self-portrait of herself twirling, which Molly set up and her mother clicked, Molly manipulated the emulsion on a wet print, then covered the reprinted image with the shimmering colors of France's- CBte d'Azur.

Both mother and daughter say they are absorbed by the creative process, although Molly hastened to add: "I also play the piano, take dance class or I like to play with my cat, Nicky, or play football with my Dad. My Mom usually stays home from all that stuff. She's usually working on her photos."

On a family trip to France this summer, Ms. Testwuide, her two daughters and son, Kacey, 4, took pictures constantly. Their subjects were the Riviera and Giverny Monet's home outside Paris ÷ as well as the vineyards in Bordeaux. Ms. Testwuide's husband, Kip Testwuide, an investment banker, said, "Can we please have one dinner without photos?" Nevertheless, Ms. Testwuide is almost obsessed with photographing wherever she goes: In their 3-story, 15-room, 1876 Victorian house here, Molly and her mother work on their photographs in a skylighted studio with double French doors and a Palladian window. A drawing table in the corner is covered in a mŽlange of pencils in every color, boxes of pastels, trays of oil paints and artist's brushes of all sizes. In an adjoining anteroom are piles of art paper, sponges, toothbrushes and paints to make any budding artist's heart beat faster.

"All the art supplies are at my children's fingertips for spur-of-the moment creations," Ms. Testwuide said. "I give them real canvas and real paints."

The three children and Ms. Testwuide work on a family sculpture, an unfinished wire-and-papier m‰chŽ structure of a person standing a foot and a half high in the corner of the studio. A blank wall in a large room with an indoor swimming pool will be adorned with five big canvas panels currently being worked on by the children in bright green, yellow, aqua, purple and hot pink.

"The kids will paint on them with acrylics and make abstract paintings," Ms. Testwuide said. "My 4year-old son is the busiest artist of them all. He won't let me throw out any boxes. He goes to the garbage and pulls out corks. He is busy all afternoon every day making his sculptures and uses anything he can get his hands on. He is taken with tape and won't use glue."

An elaborate tunnel for his Ninja turtles is made of boxes and balsa wood and sits in his room.

"My kids find great satisfaction in creating a final product they can savor and save," Ms. Testwuide said. "It's not like a store-bought toy you just put back in the closet." A photography studio, gallery and darkroom are on a lower floor.

"My Mom knows all the tricks and she has taught me some of them," Molly said. Her mother was mouthing Molly's words as she spoke. Molly laughed and said to her mother, "Did you know you were saying just what I was saying?"

In addition to the mother-daughter show in SoHo this month, Ms. Testwuide will be exhibiting her work next month at the Salmagundi Club in Manhattan and at Lyndhurst in Tarrytown. The number to call for information is 914-962-5096.



North County News, Sunday, January 14, 1998
New Images From a Mother and Daughter


by Kathy Grantham


In the first-ever mother-daughter exhibit in Soho are “painterly photographs,” the work of professional photographer Julie Betts Testwuide of Yorktown Heights and her 8-year-old daughter, Molly, who are displaying at New Century Artists Gallery through January.

Works in the collection are the result of a technique that transforms photographs into prints that look more like paintings than photographs. The process involves manipulating the emulsion of a Polaroid photo to achieve a misty aura and hand coloring the print with pastels and pencils. The result resembles an impressionist image.

In truth, its resemblance is in the quality of famed French Impressionist Claude Monet; his riot of flowers and lauded water lilies that are known to art lovers everywhere.

A viewer will note the likeness hazily and softly painted among the willows and the lily pond, or on a waterscape of the French Riviera, a plein air blend of rock-strewn shoreline with reflections of the sky on the water, and an evanescent trio of children looking toward a distant fisherman.

Julie's "Seaside Pleasures," featured in the Soho exhibit, include photographs taken on the French Riviera. Molly's painterly photos were taken at Monet's Lily Pond in Giverny, France. St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York City, The Grand Hotel in Paris, and at a castle in Killarney. Ireland. Molly's photograph of a portion of St. Patrick's strikingly resembles Monet's serial paintings of Rouen Cathedral.

"Yes, people have remarked on the similarity to Monet." her mother said, but added, "There is no overt intent to mimic the great Impressionist."

Having had only a high school course in art and none in college, Julie recently studied oil painting with former Yorktown resident and master artist Lee Hochberg.

"I have always aimed for a dreamy, ethereal aspect in my painterly photographs.” Julie pointed out.

Molly's interest was sparked at a young age while modeling for her mother which helped her develop a keen eye.

A third-grade student at Yorktown's Brookside School, she also plays the piano and is a member of a ski race team in Massachusetts.

Julie Belts Testwuide has been working in corporate and sports photography since completing a Master's degree in 1981 at the University of Wisconsin in Madison.

Among her well-known clientele are Chase, Chemical Bank. Manufacturers Hanover, Miller Brewing. Simon & Schuster, St. Martin's Press, Avon and AT&T. Testwuide's work has appeared in The New York Times Magazine, the Daily News. New York Post, Runner's World magazine, Running News magazine, and New York Magazine, and become a visual in annual reports and corporate brochures.

Stellar moments from her career include photographing the New York Marathon from the highest point of the scaffolding on the Verrazanno Bridge. She cruised aboard Malcom Forbes' Highlander to photograph his private celebration of the publication of one of his books. On firmer ground, she shot the stills of the Rodney Dangerfield/Miller Lite television commercials in L.A.

Prior to receiving a Master's, Julie taught elementary school in Wisconsin. She moved to New York to pursue her love of photography and subsequently married Konrad Cullen (Kip) Testwuide, a stock broker. After the birth of their third child, she decided the travel demands of corporate asslgnments were too time-consuming.

The desire to continue her photography while spending more time at home with her children ÷ Kacey, Molly and Emily, ages 4, 8 and 10 inspired Julie to write and illustrate two children's books.

Molly and Emily modeled for Postcards from Manhattan, a book that resembles old, tinted postcards of popular sights in New York City. Written by way of children's postcards to friends and relatives, it is a sharing of unusual facts about each landmark. She has also continued to create eye-popping ways to combine her painting and photographic talents.

“I have always aimed for a dreamy, ethereal aspect in my painterly photographs,” she commented.

Julie's husband is a staunch celebrant of her virtuoso talent, and often models for her photo illustrations. In Running News magazine, Kip posed as a runner on Montauk Beach to illustrate an article on “Suburban Running.” And he portrayed an apron-clad house-husband, with mop and laundry basket for an article entitled “Runaway Wives.”

Exhibits of her unusual work have been seen in the New York area at The Hudson River Museum, Lever House, Broadway Mall Gallery, and Santarella Gallery in Tyringham, Massachusetts. In addition, she has opened The Grotto Gallery in Yorktown Heights.

While photographers are known to experiment with composition, only a few may be as facile as Testwuide in this specialized medium. Organized and resourceful, she doesn't fret about a problem. She solves it.

“In Manhattan, I needed instruction by the Polaroid Company in the capabilities of a particular out-of-date film, which is especially adapted to my technique for making painterly photographs.”

The Polaroid Company complied, and now Testwuide is skilled in three processes that involve film made for a 1960s Polaroid. Testwuide uses that old camera, and, fortunately, Polaroid continues to make the film dedicated to it.

A darkroom specialist who has mastered the technical know-how, Testwuide is able to develop the intricate processes to make her photographs primarily. At the University of Wisconsin, she had planned to major in art. “Not a good idea.” her advisor said. “You’ll never make any money at it unless you become an occupational therapist.” Loving to work with children, she switched to elementary education.

However, working toward a Master's in photography, she learned more about a hobby that had always fascinated her. Practical experience accompanied this graduate course as she handled photography for the college newspaper and yearbook. “I loved working in the darkroom.” she recalled during a recent interview. And that's where she was every spare moment.

In fact, all that darkroom experience proved to be the "open sesame" for her amazing technique. Her most recent process is working from a color photograph instead of black and white. She learned how to use the negative, not the print, transferring the photograph to art paper that would absorb paint.

Her son Kacey makes his own toys from empty boxes and odds and ends slated for the trash. “He's probably going to be a sculptor someday.” she surmises. “Because of this genuine gift for designing things.” The children head for the art room at home, where they work with the real thing. “No children's hobby paints for them.”

“When we were in Paris this summer, the hotel breakfast arrived with a rose on the tray. Emily, Molly and I photographed that rose so many times, my husband finally asked, 'Haven't you photographed that rose enough?'

“As it turned out, Molly's was the best,” Testwuide said, "better than mine."

Emily also has a flair for photography and an eye for composition. But the 10 year-old is more retiring and prefers not to exhibit her work. “Emily's choice is honored.” her mother affirmed, “and her privacy is respected.”

One might wonder, how did she teach her children photography and painting?

“They were involved-as my models,” Testwuide said. As she was writing and illustrating her children's books, they wanted to participate and would take some of the photographs and do the hand coloring with paint and pencils. That's how they began, always surrounded by their mother's art supplies.

“I was using oils and giving them hobby paints. 'Why can't we use oils? Why can't we use canvas? they would ask. Exposing them to real materials was very exciting for them.” she said. Testwuide did a lot of her work  in France this summer. “It's been addictive. I think they figured, 'If you can't beat 'em, join 'em.' Each child had a camera and got so interested - 'Wow! Wait! Wait! Wait! I see some more flowers! Let me get this. Let me get that.' “

And snagging a good photo seems part of their mindset. While in New York one afternoon, Emily and Julie were taking so long shopping, Molly chose not to tag along. Bored with waiting. She used the time for a photo shoot. A spiral staircase provided so many arresting angles, her best shot resembles a giant snail.

Photography has been a positive experience for all the children, according to Julie who believes they have a fresh view of things.

Perhaps she's the signature mother for the 21st century.

Upcoming for Julie is her “The Eye of the Beholder” scheduled for a February mounting at both the Salimagundi Club on Fifth Avenue and at Lyndhurst Mansion in Tarrytown. She'll return to the commercial gallery, New Century, in April to exhibit and highlight the process of her work with an in-depth demonstration, a treat for both photographers, artists and art appreciators.

The exhibit at New Century Artists Gallery, 168 Mercer Street (between Houston and Prince Streets) in Manhattan, runs through January 31. Gallery hours are from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. The number to call for gallery information is (212) 431-5353; for artist information, (914) 962-5096.


Daily News, Sunday, January 9, 1998
It's Going to Be A Gem of a Year