It all started the other night when we watched the movie Kodachrome. Here’s a synopsis from IMDB: Set during the final days of the admired photo development system known as Kodachrome, a father and son hit the road in order to reach the Kansas photo lab before it closes its doors for good.

Watching the movie led me to a storage closet in my basement where I have a box of hundreds of Kodachrome slides, neatly organized in trays that fit into a projector that I no longer own. I hauled them out to show to our younger son who was born long after most people used slide film. And from there I went down a rabbit hole of looking at the slides. The box I opened was labeled “Antigonish, 1980”. That was the summer I took a watercolour workshop with Ed Whitney in Nova Scotia.

On my Epson scanner I have a transparency adaptor for positive and negative film so I threw a few of the slides on there to see what they were like. Some of the images are really wonderful, and have a nostalgic quality both because of the rich colour of the film and the scenes they depict. Today I painted this scene in gouache from somewhere on the Nova Scotia coast, probably near Antigonish, circa 1980.

Luckily I also found a slide of Mr. Whitney giving one of his morning demos.What a treasure to find these.

50 Comments on “Kodachrome”

  1. What a wonderful find. And a beautiful painting, bringing a scene from over 40 years ago into the present. Like a time machine, only with art!


  2. Laura says:

    Wonderful! I love your painting. This must have been so much fun!


  3. susanjk says:

    Beautiful! I just saw the movie recently too.

    Love your paintings. Susan

    Susan Jaehn-Kreibaum The Empty Nest Bed & Breakfast 613-849-1406 emptynestbandb.ca ________________________________


  4. lois says:

    That is such a wonderful movie. Glad you went down the rabbit hole to find all the slides!


  5. Soni says:

    gee, I love this – would love to see more from your workshop with him ; you’re bang-on, what a fantastic treasure- thank you for sharing and great painting


  6. Susan says:

    Love it. And the pink house too.
    I have a large shopping bag full of slides in their original yellow plastic boxes. The slides have only ever been seen held up to the light!
    Interesting movie too. And don’t you love the song by Paul Simon.


  7. I was registered to take an Ed Whitney workshop around that time through Margaret George . I think they were called Silver Glen Art Holidays? Sadly I couldn’t make it for some reason, but always regretted that.


    • That rings a bell! I am sure you are right about that, Bill. It’s too bad we didn’t get to meet all those years ago!


      • Yes it was too bad. Just goes to show how close people come to meeting at a time in the past. I did meet Frank Webb at the AWS Banquet a few years ago and talked about him in Nova Scotia- and the year he filled in for Ed in Antigonish when he became ill one year. He’s since passed away so I’m glad I got to meet him.


      • Bill, I took several workshops with Frank Webb and he even came to teach in Montreal. What a kind and generous man. He was very encouraging to me in my younger years and I am very grateful for that. I wish I had seen him again before he passed away. I have three of his paintings on my studio wall, and so happy I do.


      • Yes you’re very lucky. He seemed like a very kind man to me as well.
        And to have some of his work is super.


  8. ccaatt01 says:

    I have been holding off spending the $30 for Ed Whitney’s book on Amazon, but found it at Thrift books for $10 today! Nostalgia must be in the air these days —


  9. Ginie says:

    How wonderful!


  10. Lori Zajic says:

    Love the colors AND the nostalgia 😊


  11. De says:

    Wow, what treasured memories you must have learning from Edgar Whitney. When I read Ron Ransom’s book on Edgar, I was so envious of those that had the opportunity to learn from him. Your images look great! Thanks for sharing your hidden treasures.


  12. Mary says:

    How cool!! We have the films as well. I don’t know if I can find a scanner like you have, but I can ask our local print shop.
    Thanks for sharing. Great painting as always.



  13. Wow! Everything is wow! Except the lack of slide projector. I have one, BUT is the slide carousel compatible? What a thrill to find that photo! The painting is lovely, that distinctive maritime light! I have slides circa 1980 from a visit to Venice. You’ve motivated me to finally dig them out!



  14. susie langley says:

    What a treasure … all of it. Thanks


  15. anneperc says:

    I, too, have boxes of wonderful memories and places I visited before my ‘sketching life’…..

    Sent from my iPhone


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  16. TonyU says:

    Love the story, the memory and the painting and thanks for sharing them all with us Shari.


  17. Chris Rusk says:

    I used to marvel at the reds in Kodachrome slides vs the ones found in Fuji film. It was like a rich, creamy, super warm red compared to an extremely cool, crisp, shade.

    My first view of Atlantic province rural scenes was while we were in the process of moving to Newfoundland – your work today brought that home too! Beautiful scene – so bright and timeless – many thanks 🙂


  18. Sara Tarr says:

    Sorry, I posted on an old blog about student grade gouache. I hope you see the question! Sara


  19. Joyce says:

    What treasures! We have similar, super 8 cine films which we were able to transfer to DVD a few years ago, they include our wedding in 1968!


  20. Diane says:

    I hope that you post more of these slides from Nova Scotia… my favorite place as seen through the eyes of my favorite artist. Wow.


  21. John Hume says:

    I am certain that years from now one of the students in one or more of your classes will open their Google Drive, or similar storage device, and show a picture of you doing a demo, and tell their children what an incredible experience it was. Just your website and daily emails are an inspiration – thank you


  22. IRENE Reinhold says:

    Fabulous painting and foto. You have such a wonderfully rich background in the arts. Very impressive. As you know I am a big fan of your work. Irene


  23. IRENE Reinhold says:

    Fabulous painting and foto.


  24. Mary Robbins says:

    From the photo of Mr. Whitney’s demo, it looks like he was a master of skies–just beautiful. I love your gouache painting. The colors have me longing for summer as I look out at new snow accumulations with more to come here in Montana.


    • Mary, I have that same view today. Endless grey outside my window. I hope it warms up for both of us soon.
      As for Mr. Whitney, he WAS great at skies. I had forgotten that little detail until I looked at my slides. Nice to see these big paintings!!


  25. What a treasure to find those slides! My sister has all my dad’s old slides (except for a few that I snuck away with) and we have all of Jerry’s dad’s slides as well as his projector. By the time I started taking photos my dad gave me his camera but I did prints, not slides. Nice painting of Nova Scotia…love those colors!!


  26. Isa's Art says:

    What amazing memories! Maybe you can get them scanned and digitalized for posterity. Our 8mm films have detoriated and I am glad we were able to save some of them and put them on cds.


  27. Stephanie Descoteaux says:

    Wow. This post really touched my heart. Kodachrome would make a lovely series or show. I’m gonna play that Simon and Garfunkel song, now.


  28. Nancy Johnson says:

    Hi Shari.

    I just loved this one! The kodachrome image is inspiring and motivating me to do the same as we have tons of old colored slides. I’ve actually been thinking about painting from those, but when you said you had a transparency adaptor for your Epson printer, that super excited me! May I ask you what model your printer is and does it come with the adaptor or is that a separate purchase? Would you recommend this printer?

    I loved how you chose to use gouache, too. Perfect.

    Thanks so much.

    Nancy Johnson ________________________________


  29. flowergirl61 says:

    Hi Shari – please excuse me if you receive this twice. I wasn’t sure if my first message went through.

    I stumbled across your page while looking for vintage photos of Antigonish, Nova Scotia.

    I manage a Facebook group called ‘Old Photos of Antigonish Town and Antigonish County’. The site is about thirteen years old and has approximately 10,000 members. I am always on the search for photos of the area.

    I am hoping you will be willing to share your Kodachrome slides so they can be posted to the group. You would be given full credit. You could join the group and post directly or email them to me and I could post on your behalf.

    It would be wonderful to share these historical photos with the group.

    Hoping to hear back from you.

    Peggy Thompson


    • Hi Peggy,
      So sorry for taking AGES to respond. It’s been a busy few months. I can definitely share my slides. How about if I email them to you?
      I just have to save them as smaller files. I have many, but I only scanned a few. I will send what I have.


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