I’m not sure if I’m done with my New Zealand posts yet – they are feeling a bit stale since we’ve been back for quite a while now… but I might have a couple more things to share in detail…
But for now, an art house co-op project interlude!
While I was away I saw an email about the self portrait project – they needed a few more people to participate and I had been considering it. I am pretty enthusiastic about self portraiture after all. But I wasn’t sure I could get myself to do a painting or drawing. I don’t have any paint anymore because I really don’t like painting, and I can’t find my soft sketching pencils either, so I’m guessing I gave those away too. I considered getting a digital drawing set up and working to art-ify a photo… But the flyer did say “any media” and that means photography is OK! and I have tons of self portrait photography!
I chose one of my mirror self portraits in stark grainy black and white. I like how one set of my eyes is looking right at the camera and the mirror image is looking away. I like the split personality feeling of it and the different angles. If I was an art student I could talk about how the portrait explores the divergence between reality and perception and the dichotomy of public and personal, blah blah blah (sorry, I can’t stand artist statements!)
I know a pretty simple way to get the photo onto the canvas without any special materials – a packing tape transfer. I had recently come across my old stash of cold laminating sheets – they function perfectly as 8×11″ “packing tape” and this kind of transfer works with laser prints or copies, which is what I can get at work for 10 cents a page.
Do you know how to do a packing tape transfer? You adhere the tape over the toner (laser) copy/print and burnish it until you’re sure it’s well stuck down, then wet the paper. As the paper soaks through it will disintegrate and you can peel and roll it off the back of the sticky tape and the toner will stay on the tape! It’s very easy and very effective. All of the white areas of the print/copy will peel right off – only the toner sticks to the tape. It just takes a while to get all of the paper residue off the tape so the clear parts are really clear.
The stickiness was mostly gone when I was done with this transfer but I didn’t really want to mess around with glueing it down, so I just got the picture lined up where I wanted it and then added some black duct tape that my hubby had on his dresser to stick everything down and create a border on the sides of the canvas. Pretty nice effect!
The whole project took less than an hour and I’m really quite happy with it. It’s going on a wall in Brooklyn for a while with about 700 other self portraits. Kinda cool.
The art house co-op 2013 Sketchbook Project was just announced. I don’t know for sure if I will do it, but like last year I imagine I eventually will sign up. The themes have changed this year to categories of books – photo log, travelogue, memoir, narrative, chapbook, chronicle, atlas, almanac – sounds like fun! Photo log was my first choice, then I wondered about making a travelogue, but an atlas sounds like fun too! And I’m always interested in memoir… you can choose later, but I think it’s best to set clear limits before you start – having too many options leads to creative paralysis. So once I have a good idea for a book I will probably sign up.