Citrasolv is simply magic! For some time, I've been reading about this citrus-scented-cleaner-turned-art-supply on other blogs, and I've been dying to try out this National Geographic experiment, and these image transfer techniques. I"m so glad I did!
Actually, I'm so glad we did. My dear friend Michelle and I have been getting together monthly for some time now to try out new art techniques and this is our latest adventure! Michelle shared her gorgeous Citrasolv pages here, and I tried mine out in our collaborative art journal shown above.
It's incredible to me that these dreamy backgrounds result from liberally dousing pages of National Geographic magazine with Citraolv, smushing the pages together, impatiently waiting a few minutes, and then unfurling them to reveal images magically transformed into mysterious landscapes, moonscapes, seascapes...whatever your artful eye discerns.
I began my art journal with the idea of birch trees. I love their white, peeling, bark and somewhat disheveled air. As I sorted through my pages, I found the perfect starting point for birches in the image shown above. A few dashes, lines, and whorls created with a Pierre Noire Conte pencil turned these vaguely tree-like emulsions into birches with just a few strokes.
An excerpt from the poem, Birches, by Robert Frost and the word birches superimposed on a photo of birch trees are both image transfers on cream Stonehenge paper. The process is so simple:
- Print out an image using a laser printer or get one made at a copy shop or your local library. Make sure the image is reversed if it includes text.
- Place the image face down on the desired surface, saturate a cotton ball with Citrasolv and rub it over the paper until all of the image appears. Wait a few seconds, and then burnish the image with the back of a spoon. You may carefully lift the corner to make certain the ink is transferring.
- Lift the paper and presto, a beautifully imperfect image appears!
I used the same process for a lovely pink bird image via The Graphics Fairy. The image was printed out on a laser printer, though not reversed because I wanted the image to face to the left when I transferred it.
For the finishing touches I used Golden's Yellow Ochre fluid acrylic paint along with a vintage biscuit cutter and a vintage wooden rubber stamp. Derwent Inktense pencils, Vintage Photo Distress Ink, and a couple of stamps from my stash made the page complete.
I enjoyed our experiment with Citrasolv immensely, but the best part was giggling, chatting, and shrieking with excitement over the result with Michelle! Working on an art project with a friend is so gratifying, and I know I would probably never have gotten around to trying out these methods on my own. If you can collaborate with someone on your next artful adventure, I highly recommend it!