What is PMP (Paint-My-Photo)? And a new painting: A Windmill, oil pastel

What is PMP (Paint-My-Photo) – it’s really quite simple.  There are lots of great photographers on the internet, and there are many artists of all abilities who would like to paint from a photograph or need a creative boost.  The problem is that Copyright laws prevent artists from using photographs found online.

Two needs exist:  1) photographers have volumes of images they have taken and want to find some use for them besides being idle in their own stored library, 2) artists can’t always go to “the” place for inspiration or have adequate supplies to properly set up still life’s, etc., but a photographer already has these covered.

Five years ago Roy Simmons the owner of Paint-My-Photo (PMP) recognized the need for a place online where photographers and artists from around the world could get together for the sole purpose and pleasure of sharing reference photographs as a means for creating derivative artwork without copyright infringement worries.

Artist members post their paintings and drawings that they’ve created from reference photographs contained in the pmp library (reproductions of other member’s artwork is not permitted).  Members of pmp may only share photographs 1) that they have taken themselves or 2) for which they have full copyright ownership.

Besides the above, there are many additional benefits that come with being a member of pmp:  there are group forums (covering a variety of artistic specialties) and creative challenges (including one for photographers), quarterly newsletters, video’s, online resources, chat rooms, and the camaraderie of fellow members.

FYI, pmp is exploding with new members.  When I joined four years ago there were 2,300 – today there are more than 25,000, and the library had some 3,500 reference images – today there is well over 116,000.  Both categories are growing every day, so much in fact changes are taking place.  The site currently runs on ning but we’ve outgrown its capability, Roy is in the process of working with an outside company that can handle the growth and provide pmp with the flexibility of and management that ning couldn’t.  The transition is taking place now and will continue throughout the summer.

Why do I use pmp?  Quite frankly I’m not the creative type driven by pure imagination – it’s not there, but give me a great reference photograph and my creativity is sparked leading me to develop a piece of art in a version of the original image that in some cases is completely changed from the photographers original intent.  Pmp has given me the opportunity to explore and expand my creative outlet, in a way that I never thought possible.   On a personal note:  you’ll be amazed by the content and quality of the photographs.

If you are a photographer or artist and want more information, (it is free to join):  http://paintmyphoto.ning.com

Windmill in St-Saturnin-les-Apt in Provence, FranceToday I painted this scene as a tribute in the memory of Franklin, a PMP member, who recently passed away.  Frank was an incredibly talented artist and photographer.  This scene, Windmill in St-Saturnin-les-Apt in Provence, France, was my interpretation of one of his many photographs at pmp.


About Mary

Oil Pastelist
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53 Responses to What is PMP (Paint-My-Photo)? And a new painting: A Windmill, oil pastel

  1. I get such a warm feeling from this piece! 🙂 The website I’m the founder of (The Artistic Muse) features poetry AND art from writers/artists world-wide. Feel free to submit some of your beautiful work: theartisticmuse.com

  2. I had no understanding of PMP. Thank you, Mary. It is a marvelous windmill with magical light.

    • Mary says:

      Thanks Elena, pmp is a great site – wonderful members and filled with creative opportunities. The actual windmill is a much darker structure, but my eye saw something totally different and used a warmer background to create a different atmosphere. Have a great rest of the week ~

  3. Beautiful tribute, Mary!! You are such a talented artist and what a great organization!! Have a wonderful weekend!

  4. Beautiful tribute to Frank

  5. I’m liking the simplistic, impressionism style! Nice work, a fitting tribute to your friend. RIP.

  6. Leya says:

    Interesting description and intro to a site I didn’t know about. A beautiful tribute as well – you are so talented, Mary. I must check out the site too!

    • Mary says:

      Thanks Ann-Christine – oh you’ll love the site and better for the members they would love your photographs. They have a wonderful photographers group forum, with a monthly challenge. Hope to see you online over at pmp sometime. Thanks and have a lovely weekend.

  7. Amy says:

    I’m so glad to hear about PMP. It’s such a inspiring place that artists and photographers can meet and share. So often, a wonderful photo looks like a painting and a great painting reminds us a photo. Thank you for sharing your tribute to Franklin, Mary! Love to be in this tranquil and beautiful place. 🙂

  8. Stefano says:

    Thank you for describing PMP, Mary: really an interesting venue and concept. And, I love your paiting: one could immediately tell that it depicts a scene in Provence without even looking at the caption. A testament to your ability to convey visual messages. Great work as always.

  9. Jackie says:

    What a wonderful resource, Mary! I will have to check it out. And I agree – the painting you did is a lovely tribute. 🙂

  10. M-R says:

    What a good setup, Mary ! – and everyone is happy. 🙂

  11. nutsfortreasure says:

    On my Watercolor site they talked about this site sadly I do not know if I can paint from a photo or from life so far just from my head, heart and wet brush I do not know if any of my photos others would enjoy that can paint this way 🙂 I will check out the site and then peruse my thousands of photos 🙂

    • Mary says:

      Thank you Eunice. I totally understand and you have an amazing imagination that springs forth great creativity on your canvases. These folks would love your photographs, you live in the most gorgeous place and your eye finds the most perfect spots to capture – they would love your work!

  12. Gallivanta says:

    What a wonderful resource. And your painting is a lovely tribute to your fellow PMP member.

  13. poppytump says:

    A lovely tribute Mary . I don’t think you are out of practice at all with your landscapes 🙂
    Subtle pink touches in the sky … and a dreamy little windmill .. I feel you ‘ve caught that cool but promise of a new sultry day ahead . I got quite obsessed with them when we were in Provence last year .. and if it’s not windmills it’s Lighthouses 😀

    • Mary says:

      Thank you Poppy! Franklin has many references of lighthouses that he took in Provence, besides lavender fields – oh the lighthouses! Just getting started on those, I could stay busy drawing for a long time.

  14. PMP sounds nice and you’ve done a great job Mary, as always…. 🙂

  15. Mary, thanks for sharing the info on PMP. I had wondered what that was when you had mentioned it in a previous post. I will definitely check it out. Beautiful painting, what a great way to honor and remember a fellow artist.

  16. ashokbhatia says:

    Somehow, reminds one of Denmark!

  17. Miss Mary
    A worthy visual tribute to Franklin.

    Big Hugs

    uncle john

  18. Great and useful information, and a most lovely tribute. You’re a most kind and thoughtful artist Mary. The windmill is beautiful!

  19. A.PROMPTreply says:

    Oh, Mary…this info is so great. I actually did this with my artist friend I told you about before….given her a photo and she painted it in 2 mediums…..I can’t tell you how special those are to me hanging here beside my photograph….how very interesting to know this is a whole world I had not heard of! Here I thought we were so original!

    Nice work on this piece of the windmill….it puts me in mind of a place with simple pleasures……

    • Mary says:

      Thanks A! I remember and the paintings you showed me were terrific, in a way that is what this site is all about and it’s a wonderful calibration of two disciplines.

  20. Lovely painting, Mary. So sad about Franklin, but you’ve made a really lasting tribute. to him.

  21. Such a beautiful tribute to Franklin, Mary. The windmill is lovely.

  22. painterwrite says:

    Thanks for this! I usually work from my own photos, but it would be nice to draw/paint something from someone else.

    • Mary says:

      Your welcome – I work from my own photographs too, but often times the great photographs in this site will be a springboard for my imagination and creativity adding my own spin to the scene.

  23. ĽAdelaide says:

    a lovely tribute… and i’ve wondered what pmp meant!

  24. Franklin would have been very happy to see your painting of his picture. Beautiful, Mary! 🙂

    • Mary says:

      Thank you Marina – you are so nice. His death was sudden and a shock to many of us. I’m out of practice with my landscapes, so this was a good nudge that it’s time to start them again. Hope you are well and have a beautiful evening. We are in for some powerful storms ~ scary time of the year around here.

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