This week’s blog posts are all by Erin Keane. The past three weeks have seen Crystal NeubauerAmanda Jolley and starting us off was Michelle Belto introducing our collaborative series; this week Erin! Enjoy and savor the uniqueness of each~


One of my favorite methods of using photography in art is through image transfer. I transfer my imagery directly onto my substrate and love the soft, rustic, gently distressed imagery that “develops” from the process. It’s beautiful as a stand-alone technique and also as the foundation for mixed media collage or painting. When the wax hits the surface, it saturates the color and gives that irresistible glow.

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I’ll teach my transfer method at EncaustiCamp. I’ve been exploring the technique for years in my visual journal, encaustic wall art, and bound journal covers. The technique is easy, versatile, convenient (ink jet prints, hoorah!) and there are many materials that play nicely under and on top of the transfer.

I’ve used ink jet in this series because I’m printing from home, but this transfer method works with all prints including ink jet, laser jet, toner, Xerox, magazines and thin scrapbook paper. Transferring directly onto the substrate removes the intimidating blank white surface and jumpstarts imagery. Here are some of my bound journal covers and you can see more on my website:

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There’s something about the transfer process that makes me feel connected to my artwork, especially when using my personal photography. My hands are on every millimeter of my board, smoothing and burnishing and revealing (and reveling in) the final imagery. The rhythm becomes a moving meditation. Each transfer is unique, an absolute one of a kind. I could transfer the same image on the same type of substrate over and over and get a different result each time. The transfer process literally transforms the original image into something new. It can be humbling, this perfectly imperfect creation, but also very satisfying. Revealing the final image feels like opening a handmade gift.

Speaking of revealing (and reveling in), tomorrow I will post my finished “Seven Degrees of Connection” and tell about the charitable cause for my scholarship funds.