Judy Mandolf – From Court Reporter to Professional Artist

A comforting, quiet feeling emanates from much of Judy Mandolf’s work. Soft tulips spill from their vase and dance with light and shadows from a nearby window. Windy grass-covered dunes blow on the beach with sand and seaside spray under a tower of fast-moving clouds.

Intricate shell patterns jump out against a background of wrinkled sand, beckoning closer inspection.

The Tulips by Judy Mandolf

Biography

From an early age, American fine art photographer and mixed-media artist Judy Mandolf channeled her grassroots upbringing to creative expression. Born in Logansport, Indiana on January 10, 1937, she developed artistic talents on her own growing up, and eventually studied photography at universities on both coasts of the United States and in Europe.

In the 1960s and 70s Mandolf worked as a personnel manager in San Diego, and later a certified court reporter. But her passion for art and photography drove her to freelancing.

By the 1980s Judy Mandolf was an accomplished fine artist, hand-coloring her own black and white photographs and exhibiting them around the world. A shot she captured of Amish children toured Europe for two years with The Women Photographers in America exhibition.

Judy was an early innovator in digital imagery in the 1990s. She has said that imaging software such as Photoshop revolutionized her technique and unshackled her imagination.

It’s “Judy”, not “Andy” Mandolf 

Judy’s signature on her artwork is often misinterpreted as “Andy Mandolf.” It’s a forgivable mistake due to the first two letters, J and u, looking very similar to A and n. Here’s a detail of one of her signatures:

Judy Mandolf signature detail
Judy Mandolf’s signature

Judy Mandolf Beach Art

Mandolf’s beach landscapes are among her most popular prints, often appearing in triptych, groups of three images in a single artwork. Her command of color and lighting to render sunlight, cresting waves, and rolling clouds help to transport the viewer.

Technique

Most of Judy Mandolf’s images begin as original digital photographs, often still lifes and landscapes, which she precisely manipulates on the computer, building upon details and enhancing aspects such as texture, lighting, and tone.

She then prints the images with archival inks on paper made for watercolor painting. Some of these printed images she further paints or draws on to create subtle enrichments. She has flirted with other media, such as a series of collages made from encaustic wax on wood panels.

Judy Mandolf Shells

Beach shells are another prevalent theme in Mandolf’s work. Her technique of combining digital images and hand painting helps to illuminate the unusual shapes, ridges, and swirled patterns.

Awards and Recognitions

1988 – International Photographer magazine’s Photographer of the Year

1992 – Art of California magazine’s Gold Medal Discovery Award

1990 – Winner of New Names/New Faces competition at Santa Fe East Gallery, Santa Fe, NM

1995 – Best of Show at Del Mar Exposition, Del Mar, CA

1996 – Best of Show at Art Photography Competition, Fallbrook, CA

Contact Info

You can find many of Judy’s images reproduced on stretched canvas, giclee, and as high-quality art prints. To get in touch with Judy Mandolf and order giclee prints of various sizes, email judymandolf@yahoo.com or call 619-276-5760.

One comment

  1. I have a watercolor by Judy Mandolf. It’s been professionally framed by Empire Art Studios in Miami. The name of the print is The Point. I have searched everywhere on the web and cannot find this print listed anywhere. Could you shed some light on this for me please?

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