photobooth comic strip filter

Image Transfers – Two Ways

In my Muse Groups rule-breaking is encouraged, so there’s a groove of free thinking which we enjoy. Serendipity is encouraged!

We’d been enjoying the splatter and spray techniques, and then I introduced the idea of transferring a photographic image transparently onto a painting, and suddenly there were some rules! For instance, this method only works with toner copies (not ink jet prints!) and it requires a certain careful handling. There was much to practice.

dragon

The first method I taught uses clear contact paper. You press the image ink side down onto the sticky side of the contact paper, burnish it, and then wet it so that you can rub off the paper pulp, leaving the image on the transparent contact paper. Then you glue it down on your painting in a spot where the image takes advantage of the underpainting showing through!

In the case of this dragon I had a lot of fun painting over the transparency as well, once it was down. I had to give the dragon credit for the inferno, and suggest his jewel-laden body.

mysweetheart

Here I used the dry gel transfer method. First I collaged the music pages, using a Valentine sweetheart theme.

Then I printed out a toner copy of my face – a picture taken in Photobooth on my computer with the comic strip filter. I painted a layer of acrylic soft gel onto the surface of the music and pressed the image, ink-side down onto the wet gel, making sure that it made contact all the way to the edges. After letting it dry for 24 hours, I then wet the paper and rubbed the paper pulp off gently with my finger, leaving the black ink image. See what I mean? Several steps to pull it off.

The rest was glazing with ink washes, stenciling and collage with the doily shape.

And here’s what came out in the writing. . .

Talk to me Baby! Tell me what’s on your mind. Bad Hair day? Watched too much TV news? Wondering what to give the hubby on Valentine’s Day?

Or. . .remembering the good old days, when the Beatles occupied your mind, and your heart was a fresh young thing. Before the glasses. . .Before the thousandth hat worn and taken off again. So many lives in one, until it’s hard to pin down who this is.

Happy Valentine’s Day! Sending love your way!

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Muse Group Selfies!

Some of you probably think that we do serious art in the mixed media painting group I lead. And you’re right! We just finished up an 8-week series of lessons where we explored window imagery, coffee and tea stained designs, sgraffito and zany self portraits!

The portraits were perhaps the most un-serious of our works. You decide for yourself. Here are the Musers’ own self portrait musings. Have you ever seen so much glamour in one place, short of the Academy Awards!?

studentselfieRuth

self portrait by Ruth

studentselfiePatriciaself portrait by Patricia

studentselfiePatself portrait by Pat

studentselfieNancy

self portrait(s) by Nancy

studentselfieMuriel2

self portrait by Muriel

studentselfieDenise

self portrait by Denise

selfiebrigitte

self portrait by Brigette

 

As you can tell, the teacher did not give any specific instructions here. We did however take advantage of the Comic Strip filter in the PhotoBooth program in my computer to pose, print out and use our images as a starting point for serious (ahem) self searching contemplations. In case you missed it, I posted my own selfie a few weeks ago here. I like to think each new self portrait should reveal a different one of our many secret selves.

As the Muse Group proceeds I like to hang my demos on the wall before putting them in portfolio books with the writings. The wall is full right now. Time to switch up and make room for this current session.

wallofMusework

This is a good time to try out the Muse Group if you’re interested. There’s space this time around to try it out on a drop in basis or to return, see your Muse friends and get a renewal of that creative energy. For more info, times and dates, visit my website.

Self Portrait in the Wild

My bird feeders are busy stations these days. There’s the mixed birdseed one, the Nyer seeds for the smallest birds and the blocks of suet laced with seeds and fruit. They swing with activity throughout the day. Oh and then there’s the hummingbird nectar as well. So small wonder that when we did the crazy self portrait lesson in Muse Group this week, my own went over to the feathered side, yet again.

netted

Photo of self at Photo Booth using Comic Strip filter, printed in black and white, cut and collaged onto w/c paper with other collage and paint, etc. etc.

I am captured, captivated, taken over by dreams of those feathered ones who have been whispering in my ears for years. I am captive to my earthbound ways, my rootedness and groping for stability. Though I fluff my hair and imagine wings stretching out, open, ready for flight, I never quite make it into the air, but stand and watch as my feathered relatives soar and dip and perhaps look down on me with compassion for my flightless state?

(Can you tell which eye is mine?) I’ve been teaching wacky self portraits in Muse Groups for years and it always gets us laughing! How different it is from what happens when you look in the mirror in the morning, trying to get your hair right while noticing some new puffiness or wrinkle.

In the next series of Monday Muse Groups which starts March 19 I’ll be teaching Smoke Painting, the esthetic of Wabi Sabi art featuring textures and patina, and painting with water shapes charged with pigment. There are still openings at this point, so I hope you’ll be able to join. For more information and to register visit my website.

Here’s an old video I made of student self portraits, which I’ve watched so many times with giggles.

Screen Shot 2018-02-16 at 5.27.40 PM

 

Download

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acrylic inks, image transfers on w/c paper, 10 X 11″

DO NOT DISTURB

She’s downloading a map.  She’d hoped for a simpler one.  And then she got distracted and had to start over again. That has happened so many times in her life!  With all the detours along the way, it’s a wonder she’s found herself even this far along.

DO NOT DISTURB

She may be here a while, lips pursed in concentration.  Hopefully she’ll discover there’s fun to be had where all pretense of solving life’s thorny questions has been abandoned.

I have tried a great many image transfer methods over the past few years, but I really love the “instant” transfer method using matte medium, which I learned from the Golden website.

I have a toner copy machine in my studio, so in my group we can copy any black and white image, either from a printed photograph, book, or printed off a free internet site.  For this piece I used a picture of myself mugging for the camera in Photo Booth (built into my computer) with the comic strip filter applied.  I cut out what I wanted from the picture, then printed out a children’s game board image from a free internet site for parents (found by Googling “Mazes”) and transferred both images together onto the painted surface.

It’s wasn’t a surprise to find that this piece seemed to illustrate some of the issues in the book I’m currently reading The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing To Our Brains by Nicholas Carr.  Our brains are getting worked by our addiction to the Internet in new ways, both exciting and disturbing. As with most confusing life issues, my answer is Make Art of it.