Like A Moth To A Flame: Making Pigment Transfer Prints

Assorted Pigment Transfer Prints By Lynn Nafey
Assortment of my pigment transfer prints

 

For better or worse, I am a bit of a moth to a flame when it comes to exploring unusual and complex processes. It’s just in my nature. I am lured by thoughts such as, “I must find a way to do that!” and “That would be so cool!”.

The upside is that it is fun, exciting, and gets my mind racing with possibilities.

The downside is explaining my process to others in a clear and concise way, whether that be in conversation, or even when I need to whittle it down for that ever-so-small exhibition tag: Egads! Did I choose the right words? There's so much I had to leave out! 

Growing Pains: My Evolution As An Artist

I can recall the moment very clearly, as if I were still sitting there. I remember the exact position of my desk amongst the sea of other kindergartners. One after the other, kids were asking me to draw them a princess. I felt deliriously wanted - powerful even. At age five, I was wheeling and dealing in princess art and I was hooked.

Kindergarten Princess Drawing
Kindergarten Princess Drawing
 

Deciding to be an artist was the easy part. I was lucky to have a natural inclination and was readily encouraged by others.

A Glimpse Back In Time: Calico Prints From The Slater Mill Archives

It’s so easy in our modern world to take for granted the ingenuity and talents of those who came before us.

Let's say you want a festive shirt for your uncle’s Hawaiian pig roast, or an eye-catching floral dress for that garden wedding. You just hop in your car and drive to the nearest mall, where you find a mind-numbing array of choices. Aside from staring down that unforgiving mirror in the fitting room, the most difficult part is remembering where you parked your car.

This Old Barn: An Inspiration In Texture

Our old barn growing up
The barn from my childhood
 
Yet for better or for worse we do love things that bear the marks of grime, soot, and weather, and we love the colors and the sheen that call to mind the past that made them. ~Jun’ichiro Tanizaki (Japanese Author)

This may look like just any old barn to you, but I love this barn.

Having spent countless hours playing in and around it as a child, it is impressed in my being.

Serendipity and Surprise

Detail of Stitched Bird On Acetate With Sketches in Background
Stitched bird with sketches in background
 
It's simple, you just take something and do something to it, and then do something else to it. Keep doing this, and pretty soon you've got something.  ~Jasper Johns

When I create, I’m after the surprise.

I gather the materials du jour and off I go. One thing leads to another, which leads to another, and so on. The path is unpredictable in both length and course, sometimes veering off radically on a whole new tangent. Serendipity is my cohort and directs the way.

Dance On Acetate - Creating Textures

Detail on Inkwash Acetate Drawings
Detail of two acetate ink wash drawings

 

Make no mistake, I am a texture junkie.

I love getting lost in the endless ways of creating all manner of washes, splotches, scribbles, patterns, etc for use in my digital collages.

My favorite method is using ink on clear acetate. Working in various stages from wet to dry, there are so many ways to apply and manipulate the ink. Even different brands have such varying qualities that I use a database to keep track.

Making A Change

Years ago, when I scribbled this note on a piece of paper, I knew I needed to make a change. The demands of my jewelry business were too great and left too little time for creativity. I felt a part of me was withering and I desperately needed to bring it back to life.

Note To Self
my weekly reminder for the last 5 years...
 
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