Saturday, February 12, 2011

Celebrate Life

I was working in Mike's Celebrate Life book this month. The idea for my spread grew out of a Japanese movie called "Departures." It's about an out-of-work cellist who takes a job as an encoffiner. An encoffiner is someone who prepares bodies for cremation. As morbid as this may seem, each person is treated with grace and dignity giving a beauty to death. Since we are focusing on techniques for this round robin, I decided to do a matte gel transfer.

I chose an "Ophelia"-inspired image and printed it out on a laser printer. I applied several thin coats of matte gel medium over the image and allowed ample drying time between coats. When it was completely dry, I soaked the image in a shallow pan of lukewarm water for 3-5 minutes. I then gently rubbed the paper to remove paper pulp. As I rubbed the paper off the back of the image, the gel transfer began to stretch to almost double the size! It was a lot like kneading dough. Don't worry--as the gel dries, the image will shrink. Since it got a bit scrunched, I took a paintbrush, dipped it in some water and dampened the image just enough to reshape it. After it dries, you can use the gel transfer in your artwork!

I love how the matte gel transfer dries with a translucency. It gave my spread an ethereal quality. When I placed the gel transfer into Mike's book, the words of the pages showed through. I took paper and fabric flowers and embellished the image to complete my spread.


  1. Really pretty Lorena. You did a wonderful job with that transfer!

  2. She came out completely ethereal. She's superb. Oooops, I had forgotten about the 'techniques' part. ;-((

  3. this transfer is gorgeous! I love the translucency and seeing the text behind. I've never done a transfer that way but it may be tried soon. The whole page is very beautiful! Lucky Mike :-)

  4. Lorena - You did a great job with the transfer! It looks quite lovely, and I do love the way the words show through the image as well as the flowers and other things you layered on top. I don't do enough gel transfers to have a consistent transfer as yet. Yours looks beautiful.