Thursday, October 20, 2011

Book Review of a new Image Transfer book

Collage created from techniques in Digital Image Transfer.

I used to get depressed with Image Transfer books, feeling like I needed to go out and buy myself a ton of new materials to be able to start dabbling.  That is until I discovered Ellen Horovitz’s book, Digital Image Transfer: Creating Art with Your Photography.  Here’s a book for every art room, with transfer techniques for every budget.  Every possible material and supply combination seems to have been considered. This book is quite different from the other books on image transfer.  I no longer feel that the right materials are just around the next corner.  She's got me covered!  In fact this book is so thorough, and generous with images, that it is very easy to follow!   And it seems no matter what sort of digital image manipulation program we might use, no matter what sort of printer we might have access to, no matter what sort of materials we want to work with (from glass to polymer clay to leather and everything in between) we can get ideas for our work and we can actually start creating right away, even as we read!  Both images here were made while testing out some of the techniques in the book.

One of my favorite chapters is the last one, which is a highly creative chapter that includes sections on Cyanotype creation, replicating an early printing process on natural fiber surfaces, instant film transfers, and byproduct art.  “More often than not, artistic souls find the beauty in nearly everything that surrounds them, even in the discarded products from various transfer techniques!” Ellen says. And she's right.

Another great aspect of this book is that Horovitz has access to many very creative students who are very willing to explore and try out methods and materials in new ways, and I suspect willing to compete with one another to see how far they could take these techniques.  They have tried the techniques in their classes and enhanced them, tweaked them, and run with them, and of course we benefit from what they have learned.  The result is a book full of very exciting ideas and images (full color), illustrating the limitless possibilities of digital image transfer.  The text is animated and a delight to read.  I got the sense that being a student of Ellen Horovitz would be an extremely stimulating experience, but for those who can’t take a class with Ellen in person, I would recommend this book as an inspiring consolation for any art room, art studio, or art therapy practice.

Collage created from techniques in Digital Image Transfer.

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