Sunday, 29 June 2008

Transfer jubilation and other small things

After many abortive attempts to do photo transfers using acetate - such as this one here:

I FINALLY have some transfer bliss (if nothing else, I am very stubborn) - such as this other one here!!

For me, doing transfers is very much like cooking. What I mean is, my mum used to tell me that making pancakes was simplicity itself: You just throw in a dash of this a dash of that, whoosh it up, and Voila! I remember the first time I tried I just got this messy ball of gloop in the pan, rather like my first attempt at transferring a photo. So I went to the London Graphic Centre thinking that the many Art Gurus there (it's a shop, but still..) would know all about gel medium and using it to transfer photos and my problems would all be solved. Not so! I found out to my distress that no one there had ever even heard of the technique. I hunted high and low on the internet for the secret to the darned thing, and although there were hints here and there nothing that really nailed it definitively. Until... I found the Holy Grail. And rather like the Holy Grail, you will have to find it yourself as I was searching so randomly, and got so excited when I found it, that I have no idea any more which of the many art sites I found it was.
In any case, the whole thing boils down to the fact that you have to burnish very thoroughly (I used a supermarket plastic card) and carefully, and then you have to put something quite heavy on it, and then leave it for at least 15 minutes to dry. Do NOT believe the sites that tell you you don't have to wait and can just pull the acetate up straight away - it ISN'T TRUE!!!!!!

As you can see from the latest success it still isn't that great, but from seeing other art online I suspect it's nearly the best it can get. Not perfect, but sort of adds to the charm. Be also aware that black ink can mystifyingly turn extremely green afterwards. Probably some of whatever bit of the ink makes it black, stays on the acetate leaving the bits that make it green. I'm so scientific, huh?!

Apart from that, my life is catapulting into such celestial realms of extreme insanity (eg, Them, not Me) that my art projects are progressing very slowly - but surely.

I started off thinking that it would be nice to do the background of the matchbox shrine in a shimmering turquoisey colour, and wouldn't it be nice to do that with Byzantia. Hah! It would, if I didn't suspect that the vagaries of my career might lead me to be playing the spoons under Hungerford Bridge next week for some soup pennies, and Byzantia didn't cost £4.70 for a very small, if lovely, pot. My practical side also told me that lovely as shimmery turquoise could be, it could draw attention away from the detail of Tara herself - which sort of would defeat the purpose if the star of the show doesn't get noticed. So.... instead I mixed this rather gorgeous corally pink, like so:

Well, erm SORT of like so - in actual fact my camera doesn't capture the colour that well. Imagine it a lighter, coralier pink please ;-)

I'm quite happy about the way the TAM syllable came out. In my mind I had all sorts of ideas of making a stamp for it or cutting it out from green paper - but the hard reality for me was that with such a tiny space the only thing for it was to do the best I could with a very fine paint brush.

But have not yet started the painstaking task of applying the small pearls, which astonishingly have no sticky stuff behind them - not enough to be useful anyway - and so will have to be glued individually grrrr. But very pretty. At least I bought them!

The other highlight of the week is I've decided to buy myself photoshop, which I hope will allow me to do weird and wonderful things like making mirror images of Tibetan texts so that I can do magical things with them and transfering with acetates, and yet still have the words going the right way when I apply them to paper. It's sunday evening so I must get ready for the next lunatic onslaught next week....

Truth to say, it's only my spiritual paths, Art and Eckhart Tolle which are keeping me from being tied up with all the other loons around me, so if you too feel that life is getting TOO MUCH for you, then head over to watch Eckhart chat with Oprah as part of studying his new book "A new earth" here. Or do it anyway. It will build up your withstanding lunacy muscles for when you need them. You need to register before you can listen, but it's all free and very quick and simple.

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