A Silk Purse from a Sow’s Ear

Last fall, a customer asked me to make a puzzle from a tiny jpeg. I asked if she might have a better picture, but no luck. Moreover, the puzzle was to be for a friend who “had everything,” a dilemma that has happened to many of us in the past.

I spoke to a colleague who suggested using photo-editing software that works within Photoshop to make a copy of a photographic file to look like it had been painted in the style of a particular artist. We picked Vincent van Gogh. This produced the much larger picture shown below, very impressionistic, and almost unrecognizable from the original. The result was my best puzzle of last Christmas season.

This can happen to anyone who takes a picture with their mobile phone or even with a handheld camera on a low setting. And sometimes there is no other option but that small photo. If you want to create a puzzle with a low resolution photo, don’t give up. Send it along and we can work together to make a spectacular puzzle.


Original Photo








Photoshopped image

Digitizing the Rooster

Rooster Puzzle, 15 3/4 x 15 3/4, $400.00

Rooster Puzzle, 15 3/4

This puzzle has been my repertoire for a long time. The original, which is about 3 feet square, is in our family. The puzzle had not been popular but recently I made one for a customer. My older puzzle images are kept as film, either negative or positive (slides). Now, when I get a new order, the image is digitized so we work with a file. The file is usually enhanced subtly in Photoshop. In this case the colors were made more vibrant, closer to the original as I remember it. I also made a new, more intricate, puzzle design. Now, if I can say so myself, Rooster is quite smashing.