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Sadie James multi-media, multi-image demonstration, 8/10/04

Having recently achieved her MA at Central St. Martins, London, Sadie is now a full time tutor at the BBC Arts Society (TV Centre), artist in residence at Papplewick School and she does free-lance work (for example at schools in the Bracknell and Sandhurst area).

She started by explaining some examples of previous work using Lazertran, the material on which the demo was to be based. This special paper (visit http://www.lazertran.com/ is designed to be printed-on by a laser printer or copier, the result being a translucent transfer which can be applied to almost any medium: paper, wood, cloth, Perspex etc. In the acrylic context of the demo, Sadie fixed the transfers into diluted PVA glue, single-cream-density, claiming it to be as good as and much cheaper than acrylic medium

Self Portrait - 1
The examples (above) had used photographic, painted, printed, drawn and rubbed material to make the transfers - e.g. maps in the landscape, snow-flakes in the blue wintery one, leaves in the autumn-coloured one (below), textures from rubbing wood, brick etc.

For this evening's demo she had cut out an enlarged black-and-white LazerTran copy of her passport photo. She used this first as a stencil to lightly (pencil) an outline the head.

Acrylic was then thinly applied, first the lighter colours and then the darks.
She had cut out a Lazertran butterfly which started the transfer of shapes and textures to the image - flowers, leaves, bubbles etc.

Then the moment of truth, the enlarged passport photo was applied (below). To confirm the artist's perennial battle with failure, Sadie admitted that the print was a little too dense, hiding more of the earlier work than she had intended. C'est la vie.

Alternating between acrylic paint and transfers the image was gradually developed. Background features and textures were filled in, weak edges emphasised, lips and eyes tinted, hair lightened and glazes applied to adjust other colours.
The ability to reproduce multiple copies, possibly at different scales, and to transfer them onto such diverse materials opens up all sorts of opportunities. It can be a great help with trial-and-error composition.

Tonight's demo was on stretched paper but quite different effects might be obtained by painting and transferring onto, for example, multiple layers of clear Perspex to be assembled into a three-dimensional cleverly-lit box.

The thinking behind this led to obvious parallels with computer art - if only as a source of raw material.

The almost finished painting is shown to the right (Sadie wanted to spend a little more time on it at home before pronouncing it "done").
Self Portrait - 2

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