transparent overlay

Transparent Overlays

I’m still catching up on Muse Group demos from June. I had promised in the last class that we would do image transfers, but realized that it’s better to have another week to work on them, since the technique can sometimes create some false starts. So instead we used transparent overlays.

This is a great technique to use when you’re not comfortable with your drawing skills but want to incorporate a drawn image into your painting surface. Trace the image you want onto a transparent overlay, which could be regular tracing paper, light-weight “rice paper” or Dura-lar (the acetate alternative).  Move it around on the painted surface til you find the sweet spot where the paint shows through to advantage and glue it down with gel medium.

The bird here was my tracing. The paper became transparent when the medium dried so the underpainting shows through.


acrylic inks, transparent image overlay and other collaged paper on w/c paper, 10 X 11″

This señorita keeps her song going all June long. Dresses herself in colors each day, strutting along the limb, doing the limb-o all warm and fluid like an island girl. She keeps one eye on me and wonders why I wear a long face some days, when there’s always a heady fragrance and new tune to dance to.

Come eat your lunch with me, she says. Pura vida! What could be so bad anyway?

Well, don’t get me started, little bird. Don’t you read the newspapers?!!

Nevertheless, I appreciate her concerns, and so I’ve taken to eating my lunch outside under the flight pattern of birds between the bird feeder and fountain where they bathe. It goes a long way to lifting those cares.


Looking at my life. . .with Rumi

lookingatmylifeacrylic and tissue paper, screen, lacy rice paper collage on w/c paper 10 X 11″

Inspired by a poem of Rumi and an interest in playing with translucent papers in some way, I folded tissure paper accordian style and wrote a line of Rumi’s poem on each fold, then secured it in a pouch. Oh, just a lot of fun playing with materials on a lovely rainy spring equinox day with my delightful Muse sisters.

Gilt bearer


acrylic inks, gesso, collage, tracing paper transparency on 10 X 11″ w/c paper

gilt bearer of Florence

wears the burden of his craft heavily

proceeds despite the dangers of over-working

more paint!  more line!  more gold!  more layers!

maybe the brush will know where to go next round

maybe the glow will assert itself finally

and all will be redeemed

This is a good example of starting out with one intention and ending up somewhere else. We were playing with the idea of using transparent overlays over the painted surface in Muse Group. Using tracing paper we “borrowed” a line drawing from a source using permanent pen, then glued it with gel medium over a painting so that the painting would show through (as in an image transfer)  I used Michaelangelo’s sculpture of the “reclining adolescent” as my source, traced it, and collaged it onto a painted surface.

And then the little art-store-junky voice in my head kept giving me ideas of where to go from there.  Since I have a frightfully large collection of materials, there was no end to the suggestions.  And truly this is why I’m a mixed media artist.

And so . . . I needed more red and then gold and then well maybe some Interference Blue, but no, then I needed the dip pen and black ink and back to more gold, but then it was getting too dark and I called on the gesso and then. . .until eventually, with exhausted satisfaction, my gilt bearer was birthed.

An offering for the bull

acrylics, transparent overlays, stamping on w/c paper, 10 X 11"

acrylics, transparent overlays, stamping on w/c paper, 10 X 11″

many hands seeking to serve the bull, the tremendous, divine power of nature.
many hands offering fine morsels to the radiant one.
what does the master of the world desire?
will he consume our shortcomings born of insufficient gravity
or will it be the gravity itself he will butcher and eat
making us balloon light and full of belly laughs?
shine up those horns that he may poke holes in our stories,
releasing the hot air and causing us to rise ever upward!