Summer Breezes and Drifting Music

Posted by on Feb 3, 2012 in Blog | Comments Off on Summer Breezes and Drifting Music

My challenge – to insert a photocopy image transfer of music into my collage.  I had found some sheet music on the internet and copied it to Powerpoint and reversed the image.  I printed it with a laser printer so the toner would be able to be used for an image transfer onto the wax surface (like in my Cottage Sunset painting).  I also choose a nice summery printed floral napkin and some fibrous handmade paper.

Assembling the collage elements for the painting.

Rather than using my Hot Wax Stylus, this time I used my ‘pick’ end of my pottery tool and carved into the pre-warmed wax surface directly.  I wanted to make the words look very crisp and deep into the surface, better to hold the oil paint.

Using the pick to carve out words into the wax surface.

I chose a Warm Red oil paint to work into the words – music, dance, melody, harmony, note, sing and song, repeated over the surface.

Red oil paint to match the red border pattern on the napkin.

The red oil paint was worked into the carved words with my fingers.

Fingerpainting with red oil paint.

Excess paint was wiped off using paper towels and linseed oil.  The red words could be clearly seen now against the white background.

Music words 'dance' across the panel.

I applied a layer of clear encaustic medium (EM) to seal in the oil paint in the words.  You can see some directional blurring occurred with the brushstrokes.   I then added patterned borders to the panel, taken from the printed napkin edges.  These were sealed with a layer of clear EM.

Patterned borders added to panel.

Next, I added some of the fibrous handmade paper, torn into different shapes.  I didn’t want to obscure all of the words, so I tried to tear back the edges to reveal more words.  You can also faintly see the words beneath the paper as well.

Handmage paper looks translucent with encaustic medium.

Blue lilies were taken from the floral napkin, with the edges torn close to the image and applied to the picture with clear EM.

Blue lilies added to picture.

Red feathers were added for colour and small dragonflies were added as well.  Another layer of clear EM was applied to the panel to try to make all the objects at a more even level.

Red feathers and dragonflies added to picture.

In order for my photocopy of the music to transfer well, I needed to have an opaque surface underneath.   Using a creamy yellow encaustic paint, I painted three separate brushstrokes over top of the collage.  I gently fused the paint so not bleed the paint into the underlayers of wax.

Yellow encaustic paint brushed onto panel.

I thought that the painted brushstrokes looked too stark on top of the collage, so I used the curved end of my pottery tool to carve back the wax to the underlayers of collage in places.

Carving back the coloured wax to reveal the underlying layers.

You can see that the majority of the yellow paint has been thinned out over the collage.  I wanted a more ‘breezy’ look to the brushstrokes.

Brushstrokes look more 'breezy' once the wax is thinned out.

I cut out the sheet music into strips to fit over the painted brushstrokes.  A spoon was used to burnish the toner off of the music images and transfer it to the wax surface of the panel.  I considered it transferred once the paper had a glossy look on the back, like wax paper.

Sheet music cut into strips.

After the paper was well burnished, I applied water to the paper and rubbed it away from the wax with my fingers.  The paper would form into little crumbs which could be swept away from the image transfer.

Water and rubbing remove the paper from the image transfer.

You can see the finished image transfer looks sharp and complete.

Music image has completely transferred to the panel.

I did the transfers on the other two coloured brushstrokes.  Where the stroke curved, I had to cut the music sheet images into pieces to fit the curve, and transfer them sequentially to not break the following look of the music notes.

Music covers each of the three painted brushstrokes.

You can see my finished work “Summer Melody” at my online Etsy shop ‘Lexi Reid Studio.’

"Summer Melody" by Alexandra Reid