I am so thrilled to be sharing this artwork with you, not only because the photographs are gorgeous and one of a kind, but also because the photographer just happens to be my grandpa, Don Patton. For as long as I can remember, I have heard stories of my grandpa’s travels abroad during his younger years and have lived vicariously through his adventure. I have heard about Irish cliffs and pubs, the grandeur of the Taj Mahal, the Kremlin in Red Square and the Bolshoi Ballet. I spent hours of my childhood, picking my grandpa’s brain for stories and experiences that I wanted to live myself someday. I poured over photographs that my grandpa had taken, asking him repeatedly to get out his slides and projector to share his memories. His own travels helped to expand my horizons and showed me, a girl from a small town, that the world is full of beauty and warmth and adventure. You just have to be brave enough to find it.
My Grandpa was raised on a wheat ranch in Eastern Washington State, which he ended up taking over at 18 after his dad was killed in a plane crash. He assumed so much responsibility at a young age but chose to not lose his fire and zest for life and adventure. He began traveling in the farming down season in the early 1960’s and ended up leading tours abroad for a couple of decades. During his time abroad he met with officials and agriculture industry leaders throughout the world working to establish best practices for agriculture while also having a damn good time. Throughout these trips he always had his camera in hand, taking photographs of everything from landscapes, to cityscapes, to images of the friends he met along the way. He would then take the photos back to his tiny hometown and share what he had learned with his four daughters as well as the community at large.
When we started to think about renovating our home and I began to think about design ideas, I knew that I wanted to see about printing some of my grandpa’s old travel photography for our own walls. I spend quite a few hours going through just a few of the boxes of slides that he has and choosing a small batch of the photographs that seemed the most suited to be printed as art prints. The highest quality photographs, the most interesting, the ones that I felt told the story of is travels. I then sent them off to be transferred to digital format and then worked to find the best printing method and paper. I am so pleased with how they turned out. I love the texture of the paper, the vibrancy of the colors and the authentic, vintage vibe of the photographs as a whole. Seeing them brought to life has brought him and me so much joy and I am so excited to see them on the walls of other homes, his artistry and memories being shared with a larger community. Hopefully they will inspire you in the same way they have inspired me for my whole life!
To check out the collection of vintage travel photographs, click here.