Ephemeral Photos

September Theme
Journaling with Photos
Week 36 – September 5
Art Challenge: Photo Transfer
Journal Prompt:  From Here to There

At the time I sat down to do this challenge, my daughter and I were texting back and forth.  She lives away from home and is a grad student at Ole Miss. She was telling me about the thesis she is working on and her new internship. I kept thinking, “when did she become this intelligent, ambitious, self-assured woman?”

The prompt “From Here to There” made me reflect on the tiny little girl in the picture and how I couldn’t possibly have known what the future would bring for her. On that day, she was all dressed up and we went outside to take some photos. I watched her primp in my garden in her pinafore dress and bare feet as she posed like a super model. Eventually, though, she got tired of it and plopped herself down as if to say, “enough!”And SNAP! I got this picture . . . I had it enlarged and it hangs in my gallery of family photos, but I always wonder what was going on in her head at that very moment.  Defiance?  Most assuredly. But also playful, coy and HAPPY.  So I’m working backwards today, contemplating her THERE {in the past} as I think about her HERE {in the present}.

This is the photograph I used:

To make a transfer image of the photo, I used plain white tissue paper and cut a piece slightly larger than an 8.5 x 11″ piece of cardstock.  I “wrapped” the tissue around the cardstock and taped it down in the back.

I printed the picture on the tissue paper covered cardstock.  I had no problem with it going through my regular printed.  You can see the colors on the tissue (bottom picture) are more vibrant – the tissue soaked up that color and the edges were softened.  The color seemed to bleed softly.

I generously used gel medium to cover the page in my art journal and while it was still wet, I gently laid the tissue paper photo on top.  Using a soft brush, I gently tapped at the tissue to push it down onto the paper.  Don’t brush or wipe–the tissue will tear easily!

You can see from a close-up that the ink softened around the edges.  I love this look – ephemeral – very soft and other worldly! Also, don’t worry about crinkles and wrinkles on the page – this just becomes part of your art!

Once the gel medium was completely dry, I used acrylic paint to extend the sky and to add some flowers at the bottom of the page.  This unified the composition and took away the hard edges of the photograph.  So there you have it, my lovely, determined, beautiful little girl–who is all grown up now!

We are so fortunate this week to have the phenomenal Katie Kendrick as our Featured Artist!  You can find her take on this week’s challenge on the blog HERE.

For more information on this week’s challenge you can find us here:

Instagram: #documentedlife #documentedlifeproject

Looking for previous challenges? click HERE

Visit our blogs: Sandi KeeneRoben-Marie SmithRae Missigman

Join us on The Art to the 5th™ Academy™ – a thriving “community” and classroom for “The Original” Documented Life Project™!  Find us on Instagram: #documentedlife

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  1. Mary Nasser

    This is amazing, Lorraine! Thank you for sharing this transfer technique…have never seen it before! And looks fun to try! Your pages are always so lovely and inspiring! 🙂

  2. Sandi Keene

    What a cool technique! I have never tried this and am now filing this away in my technique drawer in my head. Beautifully done.

  3. Martice Smith II

    Hi Lorraine! Your memory of your daughter is so sweet 🙂 I love the look on her face! I like how you extended the scene, making it feel a bit more magical and dreamy. I’ll have a try the tissue technique!

    1. Lorraine Bell

      Thank you Martice! I really loved doing this challenge – I’m so glad you like it!

  4. Avatar

    What a gorgeous little girl! Love this page! Looking forward to trying this technique! Thank you, Lorraine!

  5. Mary W

    Oh My lanta, does she ever have your eyes in this amazing picture! I am embarrassed by how much time I spend looking a technique videos but have never seen this technique done and absolutely love it! The softness of the edges is what does it – and this picture is a perfect way to use it.

    1. Lorraine Bell

      Right? I love this technique – I have used it for all kinds of things. And I agree, love to get rid of those hard edges and soften things up a bit!

  6. stacy spangler

    This turned out beautiful!!! My favorite this week. I’m definitely going to try the tissue through my printer and see how it works for me 🙂

  7. Rae Missigman

    This is so amazing Lorraine. What a absolutely perfect photo of your sweet sweet girl. I love everything about how the process softened the photo even more. What a super cool technique to share with us! I done this on a candle before, but not paper – go figure! Sorry I am late getting to your beautiful post – I was a little under the weather over here lately! Love you talented girl! xo

    1. Lorraine Bell

      Thank you Rae and I hope you are feeling much better! Can you imagine pictures of all of your beautiful babies done like this! Magic!

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