Fearless Creativity

Rosaland is the perfect artist’s date. She comes over with Rubbermaid containers of dyes and inks, paints and brushes, digital grounds and rubber stamps. She’s a one-person creative force. We get together to have an artist date–the activity Julia Cameron suggested in The Artists Way. It’s a time to recharge creative batteries. Some people go to a museum, or an art store, Rosaland and I get together to try out ideas.

The best part of these get togethers is that we are engaged in creative play. Tonight it was transfer papers, everything from Sheer Heaven to the new TAP (transfer artist paper) to Lutradur. We used them all with and without digital grounds–a paint that prepares a surface (metal, plastic) for printing or transfer application.

When we start we don’t have an end point in mind. It’s about having fun and trying out ideas, with no hope of creating a functional product. It’s creative play, and because it has no time limit, no requirement to publish or teach, we are open to new ideas, failures, and laughing. There is always a lot of laughing.

Here are some discoveries:

Photo transfer to fabric

I printed a photo of a willow tree on Painted Treasures, a transfer-like sheet of cloth that has a removable paper backing. After it goes through the printer and dries, remove the backing and you have a perfect photo on a piece of cloth. For Rosaland, it can go on a quilt. For me, it’s a journal page in the rough.

Lutrador painted with fabric paints

Rosaland used Lutradur as a painting surface. I love the color as well as the translucency of this piece.

Transparency with photo--half painted with digital grounds

I painted half a transparency sheet with white matte grounds and left the other half bare. The painted half held the photo of the clouds, the unpainted half held my fingerprints as they wiped off the ink. Creativity is messy business.

Woodblock with photo transfer

My favorite result of the evening was using the iron-on TAP on a block of wood. The iron may not have been hot enough, but the result was wonderful to me. It looks like a Japanese woodblock print, but with much room for interpretation. Is it a tree in the wind? A snow scene with a tree and a fence? It’s actually the same willow as the fabric transfer, but in experimental form.

Used papertowel makes a great background sheet.

Finally, Rosaland and I always save our paper towel clean-up sheets. They make great background for another project.