I have been doing a lot of introspection this week. As a result, I haven't wanted to spend much time on the computer.
I began reading Barney Davey's book How to Profit from the Art Print Market. It has given me much to think about as far as what I paint and where I want to go with my artwork.
My mom and I have joined a textile art group that meets once a month. It is put on by In Good Company in Hamilton, Montana. During the 2-hour session, everyone shows what they created since the previous meeting. Also, kits are handed out with instruction on how to use the products in the kits. Last month, they painted on and shrunk TyVek. It is very inspiring to see the variety and creativity put into each project using the same material. This month, the kit included materials with which to produce image transfers. In Good Company put more information about image transfers on their blog. My mom's image transfer artwork is on her blog.
My first attempt was to put tiny images on small flat rocks found here in Montana. I plan to drill holes in them and use them for some future project. I printed the images out as a contact sheet on soft gloss photo paper. I cut each image out, applied Golden gel medium and pressed them face down onto the rocks, rubbing hard with the back of my fingernails. After letting them dry overnight, I removed the paper by rubbing with a small amount of water until the image could be seen clearly. I noticed that as they were drying, they had a foggy cloud working its way onto the images. They were clear when wet but slightly foggy when dry. I sprayed them with Golden Archival Varnish (gloss) and the images showed through better. After they have dried, some of the white cloud is still visible, but they are kind of cool. I'll have to try some more and maybe work on getting that cloud totally off of there before spraying them.
My next attempt with the image transfers is still in the experimental phase. I printed out a photo onto glossy photo paper and adhered it using the gel medium to an 11"x14" stretched canvas. After drying overnight, I began by putting some water on the back of the paper but the water just beaded up. I was able to peel away a couple of layers of the paper to the point that the water began to soak in, however, I was not able to keep the image from fogging up! I sprayed it with my matte archival varnish but after drying, the cloud seeped in again. I used isopropyl alcohol to see if that would remove the fog, but no such luck.
I gessoed over the first image transfer, printed another photo onto matte photo paper, and adhered this to the canvas. The next morning (this morning) I tried to remove the paper and after getting down to the image, it started to get foggy, too. I was beginning to think that I needed to go get a color photocopy of the picture since I had read on some websites that photocopies that use toner worked pretty well for image transfers.
So I began scraping off as much of these two failed transfers with my fingernails and then with a blade. I was able to scrape down to the first image which was on glossy paper and I think that is definitely permanently stuck to that canvas. I'll have to destroy the canvas in order to remove it. However, in removing the top image along with the layer of gesso, I started getting some really interesting textures on the canvas. Also, the gesso or scraper totally removed that fog that was on that first image. So what you see is the first image on gloss paper with bits of the second image around the edges with some of the white gesso. I'm going to continue working on this painting to see what develops.
I have also been working on the design of a commissioned painting. This is a painting of two young siblings who got these great glasses in a doctor kit for Christmas one year in the early 1970's. Their mom always thought this reminded her of a Norman Rockwell painting. The young girl in the photo, now a woman, wants this painted for her mom for Mother's Day. I have been tossing around a couple of ideas and want to get it pictured in my mind first before proceeding. I want it to be reminiscent of a Norman Rockwell painting but it seems that most of his images show the entire figure from head to toe. Since the lower part of these kids are not shown in the reference photo, I will have to improvise.