Nature’s telegraph system

image transfer, acrylic, collage, pen on w/c paper

Dear Soldier,

The reinforcements you requested have arrived.

Bear will sniff out the land mines to secure your progress.

Butterfly will soften you to the nuances of subtle communication necessary to win the hearts and minds of the people.

Frog is the look out who telegraphs the movements of the enemy to Butterfly and so on and on.

These are our blessings for your survival as well as for the people and other creatures who you strive to protect.

It is so hard to look at young men of any nationality who are on the battlefield, so vulnerable and so in need of support.  So when I found the picture of the soldier from a recruitment brochure sent to my sons, and then the bear, they seemed to go together. If only we could call on the wisdom of nature to inform our decisions, as I imagine native peoples learned to do, we would not need to send men into ambush or missiles into homes of civilians.  As I found images for this piece, I realized I was sending my prayers to those men and women who are in harms way each day.

I have been playing around with image transfers lately.  The tents on this piece are from a picture my husband took when we went to Cirque du Soleil in December.  He printed the picture on HP Apollo Transparency Film and I transferred it onto the watercolor paper with matte medium.  The under painting shows through the image.  It smeared when transferred, so I smeared it some more with my finger until I got what I wanted – not what was supposed to happen! – but I liked the effect for this piece at least.  I guess if I wanted a perfect print, I would just collage it directly on.  I’m not quite ready to say more about how to do the transfer, because I haven’t quite got the technique down yet, and you might get better instructions by Googling it.



  1. Haven’t stopped by the blog in a while — what a yummy treat! Love the wander-doodling, and the sepia ink sketches, and well just everything! You, and your work, are an inspiration!

    Blessings, Shawna


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