Friday, January 8, 2016

Proper Hook

Sometimes you could 
snag a memory 
and reel it in 
out of nowhere, 
if you used 
the proper hook. 

from Breathing Lessons, by Anne Tyler


Opened a jar of Utrecht Artists' Acrylic Matte Medium last week—the smell of that matte medium snagged a memory and reeled it in from the wayback machine of my mind.

1970, Conn College, KB dormitory. Long hair. Crocheted vest. Bell bottoms. Bare feet.

Lisa taught me how to make a transfer sheet using a photographic image from a page of National Geographic and then découpage the image onto a block of wood. 


Choose image. Tape securely to washable surface. Apply seven coats of matte medium, letting each coat dry thoroughly. Remove masking tape. Soak 'varnished' image in lukewarm water until paper is soft enough to be peeled from sheet of matte medium. Image is now embedded in transfer sheet of dried medium and is transparent enough to let wood grain show through when it's applied to stained wood with a few final coats of medium.

Proper hook, that matte medium.

Paper Prayer 26
1.5x5.75", acrylic and collage on paper
[not for sale]


  1. very cool image, Dotty. It looks like an African design. And I want to try the transfer technique. I am imagining lots of possibilities!
    I was a girl with bell bottoms, bare feet, and flowers in my long blond hair!

    1. Laurie, thanks for your comments about my African-esque design. It's fun to see what comes out of the parameters of an assignment.

      If you try the transfer technique, which I haven't for decades now, know that the paper used will have direct bearing on outcome. I know we used National Geographic images specifically because they were of high quality and painted on clay-based paper.

      Gotta love those wanna-be hippie days! I graduated high school in 1968. Talk about coming of age in a cool time!!!

  2. Really cool Dotty. The three images at the bottom make me think of a family, even before I read "prayer". Love your lemony greens :)

    1. Sheila, love that you saw a family at the bottom. Thanks for telling me; I so enjoy hearing what others see. As I created this piece, my attention was on staying with a single color palette and on composition, no more, no less. Certainly no family. But in they marched, eh?