Sunday, December 30, 2007

About time, eh?

I've decided to copy and paste the acrylic transfer procedure here from the sheet I give in the workshop I teach. Also, I am unveiling a medieval manuscript page that I photographed poorly. I really do have to figure out how to do it for my promo materials and honestly, it doesn't pay for me to purchase a scanner with a larger bed on it to scan in just these. Anyway, first the image. If you want to see the details, click on the image to see a larger version of it:

Now for the procedure of the image transfer:
1 – 16 oz. or bigger bottle of Liquitex Matte Medium
small bowl
Xerox or ink jet prints of photographs PRINTED IN REVERSE
Various size sponge brushes
Masking tape
Hair dryer
Sponge with rough surface on one side
Sheet of plexiglas larger than copies
Roll of Wax paper

Basic Procedure:

With masking tape, tape Xerox or ink jet print all around the borders on to Plexiglas.

Pour medium into bowl and with appropriate size sponge brush, brush on one layer of medium, spreading evenly onto entire print. Brush on in one direction only. With the hair dryer, dry the first layer completely. Brush on second layer in opposite direction of the first – so for example, if your first layer was brushed on vertically, apply the second layer horizontally. Dry that layer. Repeat this process, alternating directions per layer until you have the desired amount of layers (roughly between 8 and 10) and let entire thing dry overnight.

Once the layered image is completely dry, peel off the masking tape and place the image into a tray of warm, soapy water. Let it soak for about 5 minutes. Drain and slowly peel off the paper. Once the majority of the paper is off, take your fingers and/or the rough side of a sponge and rub off all of the remnants of the paper. This might take awhile, depending on the image. The more ink in the image, the more it adheres to the matte medium, and the stronger that paper wants to hold onto it. That means, using more elbow grease to get rid of all the paper. Once the paper is gone, place the wet image onto a piece of crinkled up wax paper and air dry. I usually place it face down where the edges may curl inward and lightly flatten it out. When the transfer is completely dry, place it between sheets of clean paper and place some heavy books on top to flatten completely.

So, as you can see, this is VERY easy but time consuming. Anyway, there ya have it....

Saturday, December 15, 2007

new update

Where to start? The month of December is just flying by. Hell, no, this whole year kind of did. Soon, it will be 2008. The idea never crossed my mind when I was a child that I would be alive to see 2008.

Well, let's see. I went to the Marian Goodman Gallery last week to see the Francesca Woodman exhibit. This was the gallery's second exhibit of her work and I was fortunate to see both. This second show was comprised of published work as well as work never before seen until now.......and with good reason. It was, what appeared to be test prints, reject prints, and stuff that was probably lying on the darkroom floor. Some of the pieces were ripped and torn. Some were printed badly, and then there was one with her usual drivel written on it. So, naturally, I had to ask what the prices were. They ranged from $25,000 to $38,000 for these small "vintage" prints. Vintage?! 1980 is now vintage?! Poor quality prints are worth $38,000 because this woman killed herself at 22. Is that it? What I laugh at are these photographers that spend years making the perfect print. There are web forums talking about concerns about archival quality and the different factors of print permanence. This has been going on since Ansel Adams, which, honestly, I am not so thrilled about myself. Still, as much as I love Francesca's work, I don't understand the money aspect. What irks me more is that even if she was alive today, she would not see a quarter of that money. Once again, this makes me question the art scene and the selling of art. When, if ever, does the fine artist really make a living at this? I believe it's strictly through commissions.

And speaking of commissions, I then saw an exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Rembrandt and his colleagues that were acquired by the museum and presented in order of acquisition. Personally, Frans Hals' work was more appealing to me once I got past Rembrandt's beautiful 45 degree lighting on his faces. Hals' faces are so much more expressive in his portraits. His brushmark much more evident and bolder than Rembrandt's or even Vermeer's - though Vermeer's signature window light paintings are so atmospheric.

What really made me think about things was, when I sat for awhile there and stared at the art from a distance, I noticed compositional "flaws" in almost every painting. Honestly, I either wanted to crop or add to the painting to make it more interesting. Is that the photographer in me, the artist in me or just me being overtly controlling (in my mind anyway)? I wasn't in any way thinking to insult the work at all, but I just had the urge to shift things around on the canvases.

After I pondered that and left, I then caught a glimpse of 2 photo shows there that I was pretty disappointed in, and then the tapestry show that was pretty awe-inspiring, The weavings were incredulous!

Hehehe ok, so perhaps this post is sounding a bit too much like an art critique but I am just thinking out loud about what I saw.

So now that December is winding down, I have more free time. I need to finish up a few more Medieval pages, then, after receiving some wonderful advice from one of my former professors, need to comprise my traditional portfolio. All this before March.

A little concerned about March, I am. Finances are tight right now and I'm wondering how I will afford airfare and lodging for that......must apply for SOS grant.

Happy Holidays to all my readers and wishing you a wonderful ring into the new year :)