Photographic Story The photo was taken in the 1990’s when The Octagon Wildlife Sanctuary in North Ft. Myers had an event on their property to earn money to help injured animals. They had several panthers that had been injured in car accidents and could no longer move well enough to survive in the wild. One of them had babies. The Native American holding this baby Florida Panther was surrounded by children and adults. It took a while, but I finally got a photo of him and the cub, but the background was filled with people and distracted from the image of him and the cub. I loved the photo, but it just didn’t work until I experimented on it. The process is a long explanation, but it was all done in the darkroom chemical trays using a LOT of paper to get what I wanted. I then photocopied the image that finally turned out, saving the original, and hand painted the photocopy. The Art of Hand Painting Black and White Photographs Niki prints her images on fiber-base black and white mat surface paper in the darkroom, then using Q-tips and cotton balls, she applies a thin coat of oil paint over the surface allowing the image to gently be seen through the oil paint. Archival Print Making Niki’s open edition gicleé artwork is printed on Sunset Bright Velvet Rag matte finish paper using eight archival inks. A state-of-the-art Epson Stylus Pro printer creates deep, rich dark values that hold subtle detail in the shadows as well as bright vivid colors that are truly tropical.