…that’s how I feel when I turn to image transfers in my creative process. I’ve done so many transfers, through the years that it just feels comfortable, like slipping on something that fits just perfectly. A few posts ago I wrote that I was firmly in the land of abstract painting. The funny thing is, when I typed that out, I thought to myself, I’m totally going to start doing my transfers now that I wrote that down. And well, yes, that is what is happening. And well, I’m totally ok with it. I go wherever I am led. And right now, I’m delving back into my photos and transfers.
a visual journal entry using the packing tape transfer
Perhaps though it’s through Courtney Cerruti’s influence. She just had her first book, Playing with Image Transfers, published and I am honored to have several of my paintings included in the gallery section. Her book covers several transfer techniques such as packing tape, solvent, and acrylic gel transfers using photocopies. The book does not include encaustic transfers, fyi. Just stating that so that no one who orders it will expect to see it in there!
I had not done packing tape transfers for years, so I decided to do it along with her book. I had forgotten how fast and satisfying this transfer technique is for someone who is impatient for quick results. I added my packing tape transfer of a flying crow into my journal.
If you get a chance, watch Courtney’s video here.
I relate to a lot of what she says about image transfers. I remember the first time I did an acrylic transfer and was enthralled by the technique and the look. I was probably 19 and I was working at a gallery as a second job while I was putting myself through school. My co-worker had been an art major at Loyola University in Chicago, a painter, in fact. She shared with me how to do a gel transfer. She said that she stumbled on it by accident in the studio at school and loved the look of it. She had started to incorporate the transfers she created onto her acrylic paintings. Now, this was before we all had the internet to look things up, before Google, before all these mixed media art books and magazines that we see now in bookstores and even grocery stores. I can’t even imagine those times anymore! This was years before I decided to even think about art seriously, but I would use my friend’s technique to make Christmas cards, to play around in my journal, etc. I loved it. The immediacy of it. The fact that it wasn’t a photograph anymore, but something that was between a photograph and a painting. What a gift my friend gave me all those years ago!
Anyway, watch the video and hopefully you will feel inspired to use your photos in your work in some way. I like to think of it as honoring the sacred everyday of my life.
This has been the scene on my studio table lately. Just the actual leafing through my photographs and photocopies starts to get my brain working in overload. Just get your hands on paper and image and start playing.
I want it to look like something it is. And I think a picture is more like the real world when it’s made out of the real world. -Robert Rauschenberg
on the use of everyday photographs in his work to convey a sense of reality. Gundel, Marc. Rauschenberg Posters: New York: Prestel, 2001.