Thursday, March 26, 2009

Professional Development 2

Last Saturday at the Artist's Nook, I took a class on how to do transfers. I am SO thrilled about this new technique! The class was taught by Jacqueline Sullivan, an artist from Michigan (you can see her website here.) This was the first time she had taught how to do transfers, and I learned tons. Also, she gave us great notes so that when we're back home practicing this on our own, we'll hopefully have a clue.

First one we did was onto metal. This metal is thin but strong, and not sharp on the edges, about 2"x3". She first had us sand the metal, to get the surface finish off (apparently, it is like a thin layer of oil). Then, you lay a color laser print (like a color copy) face down on it, binding it to the metal with a gloss medium (fancy name for glue). Then you let it dry. Once it's dry, you soak it in water to get the paper wet, then slowly rub the paper off with your finger. The image stays! Amazing! I learned a good lesson here: when dealing with words in your images, make sure your original color copy is a mirror image, so that it turns out right on the transfer.

Next, we did what Jacqueline called "old fresco." We mixed some acrylic paint in with gesso, a white base primer that has a really chalky texture, which helps it bind, and painted it onto some watercolor paper. Then, while it was still wet, we plopped our image face down into the paint. Again, left it to dry, then later wetted the image's paper from the back side to rub off the paper and leave the image. You can see that I still have some rubbing to do on this one, but once it gets close to the image, it is important to be really gentle, otherwise the image can come up! This is my favorite one of the transfer techniques.

This was an "aged" look, using paint to first color a plain copy of an old document to make it look old. This transfer was from an ink-jet transparency, which I did over the aged document, again using the glossy medium. Didn't it turn out cool?

This next one is amazing. Ink jet transparencies and get this: hand sanetizer as the medium to transfer the image! Some people were more successful with theirs, getting their images in focus. My second try, on the left, was better, but still not sharp. But that's ok.

Finally, one of the easiest methods. Spray an ink-jet transparency lightly but completely with rubbing alcohol, plant face down on paper (we used this delicate writing paper), and less than 30 seconds later, carefully lift the transparency. If you leave it too long, then some of the image doesn't stick to the paper, like the one on the left around the edges, although that one still worked out fine.

I see great potential for using transfers in my work, and can't wait to try more. It was a lot of fun and I definitely feel "developed" in a professional way.

First card swap cards arrived in my mailbox today! Fun!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Variation On A Theme

Obviously, I couldn't wait to get started! Here is the "circle album" but in the form of a very elaborate birthday card for my sister's 30th.

(Click on image for a closer view.)

In the prototype, we used card stock for everything. In this one, the base layer is just good quality writing paper (makes for easier folding), and the colors are a mix of scrapbook/craft papers, card stock, and fabric (yesssss!--check out that green corduroy). Also in the first album I made, we folded and glued the base layers into place and then adhered the colored quarter circles and embellishments. This time, I left the base circles flat while decorating, which made writing, gluing, and detail work much easier, then glued it all together as a near-last step.

Other additions: velvet ribbon, sequins, pockets for interaction, and a pull-out letter (see above, bottom-right three photos). Other materials include cotton fabric, brads, paper flowers, photos from Ashley's early birthday celebration in Colorado last December, brown satin ribbon, and press-on images. The red on the edges is done with a mini-stamp pad and is called "distressing" (new word for me). With all the pieces to cut out and my insistence on perfection and extreme detail, this piece took about 6-7 hours to complete.

Katie asked for instructions. Here is what I received with my kit at the class:

Monday, March 9, 2009

Professional Development

(Remember, to get a closer view, click on the image!)

Taking myself more seriously as an artist has, wonderfully, allowed me the justification for taking art classes! Development is important for every professional, right? Last week, I attended a short evening class at the scrapbook store near where I live (an awesome shop called Capture, with tons of fun papers and a great workspace, owned and operated by two local women). The class was called Exploding Circle Album. I think I was the only non-scrapbooker there, but we had such fun! One of the store's owners, Suzanne, prepared the class for us, with all the papers selected and pieces cut out already. We folded, made a couple of cuts, glued, and embellished.

What a great idea this album is! While scrapbookers in particular might use this as a photo album (the prototype we followed had photos and words in it), I see huge potential for it as an art piece (not that albums can't be "art"). As I glued and embellished that evening, I saw collages in my mind, elaborate cards or letters, or a coffee table work of art! And I wondered, how could I get fabric into the mix here?

While I continue to ponder, this lovely thing decorates our home. It moves from table to table--an excellent conversation piece--and it makes me think and inspires me every day.

My next professional development opportunity will be March 21, a class on transfers at the Artist's Nook. Stay tuned!

And we have 13 people signed up for our card swap! Postmark deadline: April 14.