Lumachromes 12, 14, 15, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23
by Janet Marren, 1979
4” x 4”
Translucent acrylic painting on rice paper

I am photographing the lumachromes for an e-book. My friend June Schwartz and I hope to have the book published by the end of the year. Janet would have been 100 this year. She was an abstract painter that lived in San Cristobal de Las Casas for many years.

steichmann  asked:

What is the lunachrome process? They look gorgeous. Is it a photographic process?

The lumachromes are paintings, not photos. Janet Marren, an American painter who lived in San Cristobal for many years made a series of lumachromes over the years. I believe she made up the word. They were acrylic paintings made on translucent rice paper and they were meant to be illuminated from behind. There are a few people in town who have backlit lumachromes in their houses and the city library has a few of them. Unfortunately most of Janet’s lumachromes are in storage. Those are the ones I am photographing now. I’m photographing them on a light box so that they look the way they were intended. Some of them look quite nice even if they are not backlit, but they usually look better with the light shining through them. My friend June Schwartz mentioned to me that she would like to do something to commemorate Janet’s 100th birthday (she died in 1998) and I suggested that we make an ebook. Not only is it relatively inexpensive to make and distribute, but when viewed on a tablet or monitor they look very much like they would if you saw them mounted and backlit.