Monday, July 26, 2010

What Are Image Transfers?

My image transfers are one-of-a-kind works of art that are made from a pull-apart film and a slide printer that transfers images from slides onto the film. (I've used the now discontinued Polaroid 669 film; Fuji FP100c is currently available and I look forward to trying it.)

The film is exposed and pulled from the holder. After waiting for about ten seconds, the film is pulled apart and the negative is placed face down on watercolor paper that has been soaked in preparation for the process. A brayer is used to apply pressure to the negative on the paper for at least two minutes. The negative is then gently peeled from the paper and the photo transfer is allowed to dry.

The process is highly unpredictable and multiple transfers made from the same original slide image have subtle, and sometimes not so subtle, distinctions. The transfers have a relatively soft focus and an unsaturated palette. I often enjoy enhancing the colors on the dry prints with watercolor paints. The final image has a vintage feel that I find very appealing.

The image transfers are 4”x3”. I once showed them to a gallery director who referred to them as “little jewels,” an apt description, I think!

Please e-mail or comment if you have questions.

Japanese Bridge

Beautiful traditional Japanese garden bridge over a pond.

3"x4" custom mounted in 8"x10" sand-colored mat
Price list available on request.

Tiered Lantern

Stunning tiered stone lantern in a Japanese garden.

4"x3" custom mounted in 10"x8" sand-colored mat
Price list available on request.


Charming rustic birdhouse in a botanical garden.

4"x3" custom mounted in 10"x8" sand-colored mat
Price list available on request.

Stone Fountain

One arm of a gorgeous stone fountain at a botanical garden.

3"x4" custom mounted in an 8"x10" mat

Pampas Grass

Large stand of pampas grass at a botanical garden.

4"x3" custom mounted in 10"x8" sand-colored mat

Garden Urn

Ornate stone urn at a botanical garden.

4"x3" custom mounted in 10"x8" sand-colored mat
Price list available on request.

Garden Chair

Imposing stone chair in a botanical garden.

4"x3" custom mounted in a 10"x8" sand-colored mat
Price list available on request.


Lovely stone lantern in a Japanese garden.

4"x3" custom mounted in a 10"x8" sand-colored mat
(two originals available)
Price list available on request.

Elements: An Eco Art Conference

The Pacific Region Women's Caucus for Art sponsored "Elements: An Eco-Art Conference" in June at the David Brower Center in Berkeley, CA. Part of the conference, which included workshops, tours, films and other events, was an online postcard art show. I participated with three digital postcards about water:

The truth is that water is more valuable than gold.

We forget that the water cycle and the life cycle are one ~
Jacques Cousteau

When the well is dry, we know the worth of water. ~
Benjamin Franklin

Umbrella Art

One of four postcards featuring umbrellas.

International Mail Art Exhibition
in Honor and Memory of Judith A. Hoffberg
June 27 - August 22
Armory Center for the Arts
The Caldwell Gallery

I made four clip art postcards and a "newsletter" (see more below), all sent by snail mail, as required, for the final exhibition curated by Jay Belloli at the Armory. From the website and press release:
The International Mail Art Show is a massive, global mobilization: nearly 800 pieces of mail art from more than 25 countries representing every continent (except Antarctica)... a touching and monumental tribute to the late great Judy Hoffberg.
Judith A. Hoffberg (1934-2009) was an avid and active promoter of mail art and artists’ books. She was editor and publisher of "Umbrella," a newsletter devoted to all manner of art publishing and art exhibitions. In addition to Judith’s work as a librarian, archivist, lecturer and curator, she gave unstintingly of her time and energy to promote artists through her encouragement and connections in the art world. All mail art included in the exhibition will be donated to the Judith A. Hoffberg Archive at the Library, University of California, Santa Barbara, with the permission of the artists.
Here are my other three postcards:

Here are the cover and the three pages of the "newsletter":

Sunday, July 25, 2010


Sometimes the simplicity of drawing with pen and ink is so appealing to me. Lovely blank paper offering endless possibilities. Straightforward expression of emotion with the pen. In this piece I wanted to capture the feeling of a dancer's movement and the rhythm of the music that inspired the dance. I like the energy of this one-of-a-kind pen and ink drawing.

13-1/2"x16-1/2" custom matted & framed in black


There's nothing like the experience of hearing live music and, for me, nothing quite as moving and powerful as a live, full orchestra. The textures and layers of instruments can completely envelop and transport an audience. I tried to convey that mysterious, beautiful complexity in this original, one-of-a-kind pen and ink drawing.

13-1/2"x16-1/2" custom matted & framed in black

No Zen

Sometime in the late 18th or early 19th century, a Japanese artist named Sengai Gibon created an ink on paper work of art called simply "Circle, Triangle, Square." His drawing (one of each of the three shapes) is very popular and is reproduced frequently in books and posters. Author David Rosand has stated that "...the image has given rise to many explanations of the 'meaning' of its components, ranging from heaven, man and earth to three forms of Buddhism, but the image transcends specific symbols."

I think that the image resonates with us because these the three basic shapes are so familiar to everyone, no matter what our background or cultural heritage. My drawing playfully turns the tables on those familiar, comfortable shapes by letting them run wild. Clearly not a reflection of what we usually consider "zen." And yet, perhaps...

13-1/2"x16-1/2" custom matted & framed in black


Wouldn’t it be nice if life had a map? Clearly laid out roads, dangerous areas marked so that they could be avoided, pleasant detours identified. Sometimes that sounds very appealing.

Instead what we live with is total immersion in uncharted territory. The whole place seems to be covered in a dense fog that conceals plenty of obstacles and there are no roads at all.

Using the familiar circle/triangle/square symbols, this original, one-of-a-kind pen and ink drawing reflects the way we usually navigate through our world, thinking that we’re being logical, but really just leaping from one thing to another, grasping at the things that make us comfortable. Absurd!

How I yearn for a map.

13-1/2"x16-1/2" custom matted & framed in black


It would take far more space than I have available here to expound on the significance of Piet Mondrian to pure abstract art. I adore his rigid forms, his limited color palette, his almost clinical approach to abstraction. But while creating this tribute (yes, this drawing is a tribute to him, odd though that may seem) I speculated about what he might have thought had he lived another sixty years or so and how that would have affected his art. How would he have reacted to what computers can do now, or the explosion of the media, or scientific discoveries about the essence of matter and space? In this original, one-of-a-kind pen and ink drawing I eliminated all color and broke up the grid he preferred. What would he think if he were here now?

13-1/2"x16-1/2" custom matted & framed in black

Zero Seven One Five

The title of this piece refers to the date it was completed. Made in the spirit of my piece entitled, “No Zen," the familiar circle/triangle/square elements seem almost frantic in their crowded, overlapping state and offer no comfort or even respite. Yet, right in the middle of the chaos, there are solid forms that are like rocks. Are we tempted to cling to them, or maneuver around them, or maybe pass right through them?

13-1/2"x16-1/2" custom matted & framed in black


There could be a double meaning to the title. The angled, crisscrossing, jagged lines that seem to crackle and crash into each other can clearly represent the annoying noise we call static, that irritating, humming, buzzing that no one I’ve ever encountered appreciates. But also in common usage, static can mean still, unmoving, unchanging, often with a negative connotation. How peculiar that a word can refer to a lively yet grating sound at the same time that it means something stationary and immovable and, perhaps by inference, quiet.

Maybe there’s a triple meaning to this title. Think of that shock of static electricity that we’ve all experienced on a dry day. That’s a very energetic charge. Or – yet another meaning – consider the slang use of the word which means angry criticism or obstruction.

I confess that I prefer the term as it’s defined in physics: “Of or relating to bodies at rest or forces that balance each other.” This original, one-of-a-kind pen and ink drawing represents those forces that balance each other. Movement and stillness in harmony.
13-1/2x16-1/2" custom matted & framed in black


After years of being a jazz afficionado, somehow I got completely hooked on classical music. I'd always enjoyed it, but for ages it became the only thing I was interested in hearing. A little JS Bach, a touch of Vivaldi, a bit of Handel and I was quite content. Baroque music has been defined as "structured but lively" and that's what I wanted to depict in this original, one-of-a-kind, pen and ink with colored pencil drawing.

17" x 21" custom matted & framed in black


This drawing was made (rather obsessively, I confess) with pen and ink and colored pencils. Music has always played a significant role in my life and, for a very long time, jazz was my favorite type of music. I was attracted to the structured flexibility of the form, the opportunity to improvise and stretch beyond conventional boundaries. I suppose it should be no surprise that this musical interest would be reflected occasionally in my artwork!

19" x 19" custom matted & framed in black
(image size approx. 10-1/2")


I was listening to Shirley Horn singing "Skylark" by Hoagy Carmichael and Johnny Mercer while painting this highly textured piece. Very soulful, very fine jazz and a great inspiration!

24"x24" oil on canvas


I was inspired by many wonderful trips to the Santa Fe, New Mexico, annual Fiesta which occurs in September. This heavily textured, colorful painting captures the exuberant feeling of the event. The colorful costumes worn by the dancers and musicians, the spectacular scenery of the area, even the crackle of the cool high mountain desert air are woven into this depiction of an exciting celebration I have always enjoyed and will always remember.

24"x18" oil on canvas
Price list available by request.

Mountain After Thunder

This is another work inspired by New Mexico and one of my favorites. If you've ever been in a high mountain desert right before a rainstorm, you've experienced that crackling feeling in the atmosphere that let's you know that the sky is about to let loose a downpour. The air, which is usually crystal clear, begins to fill with a mist which slightly obscures the shape of the surrounding mountains. The rumble of thunder underscores your awareness of the imminent drama that nature will provide. It can be a spectacular moment! In this painting, heavy impasto layers of the colors of the earth and sky were blended and applied to the canvas as I remembered the awe that moment inspires.

36"x48" oil on canvas


I think that autumn is the most invigorating season. I love the cooler temperatures and I find it easier to focus on work again after all those hot summer days. Los Angeles doesn't exactly offer a dramatic change of seasons, but I have fond memories of growing up in Colorado where the fall weather was announced by the changing colors of the aspen trees that cover the mountainsides. Those gorgeous brown, red, and gold colors of autumn predominate in this heavily textured painting.

This work of art is part of my Four Seasons series which also includes Desert Winter, Summer (Turquoise Garden), and Spring Day.

40"x30" oil on canvas

Spring Day

I always think of lilacs when I think of spring. In the yard of the house where I grew up, lilac bushes lined the driveway. Every spring, great, drooping branches laden with fragrant blooms would hang down, nearly reaching the tiny white Sweet Alyssum that grew below them. Quite a lovely sight! This heavily textured painting is filled with those colors of spring, layered on by palette knife.

This work of art is part of my Four Seasons series which includes Desert Winter, Autumn, and Summer (Turquoise Garden). 

40"x30" oil on canvas
Price list available by request.

Desert Winter

For some reason people usually think that deserts are always burning hot. Not true! Some deserts - those in high altitudes - experience winter weather that can even include snow. It may seem incongruous, but it's very beautiful to see a wide expanse of desert land dusted with snow, with a sunny, clear blue sky above. This textured painting blends the peaceful colors of the winter earth with a touch of sky and clouds.

This work of art is part of my Four Seasons series which includes Spring Day, Autumn, and Summer (Turquoise Garden).

40"x30" oil on canvas
Price list available by request.