valentine’s day

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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Happy Valentines Day!

So many ways to celebrate Valentine’s Day! Eating fresh crab and chocolate cake with my honey tonight. And yesterday roaming Tomales Bay with sketch friends and finding the perfect spot for sitting in the sun and watching small town life, Marin County style.

Tobys

fountain pen and watercolor in spiral bound Field Watercolor Journal, 8 X 8″

These two ladies were talking in that best-friends-overlapping-anticipating-interrupting way that women do, so I figured they might not notice i was sketching them, even though I sat down a mere ten feet in front of them. After all the scene was so sketchable, even without them. As I was setting up my stool the lady on the left looked right at me and called out “Hey Pam!”  I looked behind me and saw no one and realized she meant me. “I’m Susan” I said, and she looked again more closely and said, “you sure look like her” and turned to her friend and kept talking, while I started sketching her. She only made that gesture with her left hand once in her expressive, enthusiastic way and I did my best to capture it! Often you only get that one chance.

In this place everyone talks to everyone without the need for introduction, and soon we had observers asking about our sketches, sketch supplies, and talking about their art, and their friends’ art and more. Everyone here makes art in one form or another. Like the two ladies in the chairs, whose lives are filled with art (I was listening a bit though trying not to evesdrop!)

Next to them in an open area was a group of about seven ladies of all ages and a couple babies, sitting in the sun around a table and knitting. That would have been another great sketch opportunity we didn’t have time for. I don’t ask permission but I always show what I’ve done before I leave, and people don’t seem to mind and are generally delighted.

saloon  I’ve been sketching a lot of people lately and probably losing my touch with buildings, so I did a quick one of the building across the street. . .a real old fashioned saloon/hotel! But no one went in or out of it on this lovely Tuesday afternoon. Doesn’t it look forlorn sitting there without people?

That’s why I wanted to teach the next workshop, Put People in Your Sketches coming up March 24 at Railroad Square in Santa Rosa, CA. I’ve learned to either start or end with figures in a sketch to tell a bit more of the story. If you want to join me for this workshop visit my website for more details, but hurry, because there’s only one spot left at this point! Also check out the next one on May 5 in Sonoma, CA, Watercolor Simplified for the Sketcher.

tomales

Driving back along Tomales Bay in the late afternoon we stopped for two 10-15min. thumbnail landscapes. Putting the pen aside here and drawing with the brush. Great practice!

Valentine Troll

valentinetroll

ink, acrylic, collage on w/c paper, 10 X 11″

My very own Valentine troll came to me with heart in hand and face hidden. I asked him who he was, if he was the untidy part of me I try to keep locked in the closet. [He nodded] And I saw that maybe I could love that part too!

Happy Valentine’s Day to you in your entirety!

Love Birds

lovebirds

acrylic and collage on w/c paper, 10 X 11″

Cooing and kissing, these love birds tip together,

fluffing feathers to the beat of all the love songs ever sung.

They inch sideways one way, and then another.

They’ve done this dance before and know it well.

Even when the music stops, they continue well into the night.

Coo coo, kiss, kiss. 

Darling, you make my heart sing and my tail feathers rustle.

Happy Valentine’s Day!  Cozy up.

For My Valentine

tonight

collage, acrylic, ink on w/c paper, 10 X 11″

Tonight – same time, same place.

Let us meet in lustrous moon bright, yet concealed all round by garden shadows, whilst unicorns prance and nymphs play hide and seek. There shall we bathe not in moonlight, but in fine embraces.

Ours is a time of courtly love and care must be taken not to be so discovered by lords and ladies, uncles and aunts, milk maids and game keepers.  We shall kiss in hushed silence, my love, and pray the night will tarry to prolong our rapture.

Can you tell?  I’m a lover of Masterpiece Theatre, costumes and historical novels. The Muse Groups did the “My Love Relations” lesson, where we play with the figure and collage to express a love relationship (here’s some others from last year you might want to see)

For this piece I started out by collaging old love songs all over, then copied an outline of the figures from the painting “The Kiss” by Francesco Hayez (circa 1859).  Then more collaging and painting over.

Have a happy valentines day!