Sunday, August 29, 2010

Experimenting with Image Transfer

It's been busy here on the home front as I continue to prepare for October's Arts and Crafts Fair in Raleigh.  In an attempt to create some new pieces for the fair, I spent one weekend experimenting with image transfer.  I've always wondered how it was done, particularly when creating a mixed media collage.  I found the following video on Vimeo and was determined to learn how to do it myself:

Mixed Media / Image Transfer from Jarrod Renaud on Vimeo.

So with supplies in hand, I began to experiment.

Fun with Image Transfers

I began with taping down a piece of water color paper and saturating it with water.  I also trimmed some images that I wanted to transfer to my paper.

Tape Down Paper

Saturate Your Paper

Choose Your Images

Next, I began applying color to the saturated paper.

Add Color

Once the color and paper were dry, I began to spread a thick coat of gel medium evenly on my images.  Once the images were coated, I plopped them face down on my paper.  To ensure even adherence to the paper, I used a brayer to flatten the images.

Apply Gel Medium and Flatten

I allowed the images to dry completely.  Once the images were dry, I used a spray bottle of water to saturate the images.  Using my fingers and a sponge, I rubbed off the paper backing of the images.  As I rubbed the paper away, I could start to see mirror images of my... well... images.  This is what I ended up with:

Rub Off the Paper


The first few image transfers I created, I went back over with pen and ink to create details and faces.  Although I like the final pieces, I felt that the pen and ink work took away from the original images.

Thems Fightin' WordsJust Chillin'Coupledom

On my second round of image transfers, I tried something different.  Instead of coloring the paper first, I transferred the images first and did the water color last.  As you can see, the gel medium blocked the water color from saturating the paper.

My Hero!Missing CowboyAccessory DivaMy Other Car is in the Shop

Although I enjoyed experimenting with image transfers, I still think I need quite a bit of practice, both in patience and in technique.

This Is How I Roll
"Why not go out on a limb?  Isn't that where the fruit is?"
- Frank Scully

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Art Exchange

As I go through the process of emerging as a bonafide artist, I sometimes have doubts about myself.  Although I enjoy creating art, I wonder if what I create is enough.  I'll be the first to admit that what I create doesn't push the boundaries of art by being risque or by making some kind of political or religious statement... at least, not at this point in my journey.  I simply create to make something beautiful, pretty, and even cute.  Typically, I like to create something girlie, colorful, and cheery as these are my subjects of choice.

Knowing this, my friend, Carlleena, who is also an artist going through her own creative journey, asked if I would paint something for her.  I agreed as long as she would paint something for me as well -- we would have an art exchange of sorts.  To give me some direction on what I would paint for her, I only asked that Carlleena give me two of her favorite colors and a verb she liked.  She gave me turquoise, red, and inspire.

With just those three words, I began to paint.  As I painted, I began to remember the good ol' days we had in high school.  (It's been a very long time since I've seen Carlleena and a visit is long overdue, I know.)  I knew I wanted to incorporate her sense of strength, adventure, and playfulness -- all traits that inspire those who know her.  In the end, I ended up with this interpretation, using fluid acrylic paints, scrapbook paper, ink, and gloss gel medium.

Art Exchange 2

Art Exchange 3

I enjoyed the process so much, that I requested my fans on Facebook to give me two colors and a word they like.  I received a lot of good suggestions so far... Now to find the time to execute them and, hopefully, have something to show soon.

Art Exchange
"As the sun colors flowers, so does art color life." 
- John Lubbock

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Busy, Busy, Busy

In July, I decided to take my first professional leap into presenting myself as an artist to the public.  Prior to making this decision, I recently completed two online courses.  The first was The Joy Equation where I worked through my own quarter life crisis and actively defined for myself what my authentic joy looked like.  I did this with the guidance of one lovely Molly Hoyne.  The second was Flying Lessons where I had access to a special blog created by Kelly Rae Roberts that revealed all the things I ever wanted to know about being a self-starter artist.  Both women gave me the motivation I needed to believe, "I can do this!"

Works in Progress

After completing the courses, I received an email from the Raleigh Parks and Recreation saying that they were offering an early bird registration special for local artists and crafters to be vendors in their fall arts and crafts fair.  I took it as a sign from the universe that it was either now or never and sent in my application.  (Specific details about the event to come later.)

Works in Progress 4

Since then, I've been using my time after work to research, prepare, and create items for my first arts and crafts fair.  There's a lot to do, but I have been enjoying  spending my evenings and weekends working on things for the fair.  It's made me realize the energy and commitment that is needed to do this thing I love.  I've been using some great online resources and have also been reading The Handmade Marketplace by Kari Chapin.  As the days pass and the fair gets closer, my excitement and nervousness grows.  That first weekend in October is going to be surreal.  I hope Jason has a nice glass of Zinfandel waiting for me when I get home that evening.  Now back to work...

Works in Progress 3
"There is only one success - to be able to spend your life in your own way."
- Christopher Morley

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Get Your Motor Runnin': Shannon Takes on Sturgis

My friend, Shannon, is taking advantage of her youth and traveling across the country as we speak to Sturgis, South Dakota.  Why?  To take part in the 70th anniversary Sturgis Rally of course.  She will be spending a full week there, witnessing all of the fun and craziness that is rumored to come with biker rallies.  Cue theme music, please...

Now, when you meet Shannon for the first time, you would never guess that she was a biker chick... And,  well, she wasn't when I met her.  But she has found a man that has really made her very happy, and he happens to enjoy riding a motorcycle.  In fact, he belongs to a biker club known as JABG. Jim (the lucky man's name) has been able to share his love of the open road with Shannon, and she seems to really love it.

When she told everyone that she would be going to Sturgis for the biker rally, Shannon's mom, Cree, asked if I would help her with a surprise for Shannon.  She wanted to give her something special for her trip.  We put our heads together and came up with some design ideas for fashionable biker chick wear using thin strap tank tops.

The first tank top stencil design I drafted featured her destination, Sturgis.  Our goal was to make her the envy of all the biker chicks there.

Sturgis Tanktop Design - Stencil

The second tank top stencil that was drafted was designed to make her an official member of the JABG.

JABG Biker Chick - Stencil

The final tank top stencil drafted featured Shannon's childhood nickname (which I like to use even now).  I figured it's better for a biker to have a nickname, no?

Shanpie - Stencil

When Cree and I presented the tank tops to Shannon, she was so surprised and happy.  (Yay!)  I'm glad she'll be sporting my unique biker chick fashions at the rally.  A girl has to look good while kicking @ss and taking names, right? 

If you'd like to follow Shannon on her adventure, take a sneak peak of her travel blog here.  I'm sure there are going to be some interesting tales for her to share.  I hope she has a fantastic trip and comes home safely... maybe even with a tattoo or two.  (Just kidding, Cree.)

All 3 Sturgis Themed Tanktop Designs
"We wander for distraction, but we travel for fulfillment." 
- Hilaire Belloc


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