Take a seat and let me share with you what made me fall in love with this wonderful, beautiful technique.
I had just been in business for a few short months. My daughter, Bethany, had talked me into opening an antique booth and I had started painting furniture to furnish this booth. I had done a few pieces but I had a desire to not only paint but to design one of a kind pieces to become heirlooms instead of just a piece of furniture.
A friend of mine that I had not seen for years, had posted a buffet for sell and we reacquainted, had lunch and I bought this beautiful buffet! I am sorry that I do not have before pics as this was the beginning of my business. I had no clue what this piece would mean to me!
I had been researching a process called image transfer but really didn’t know how to do it and the instructions were pretty sketchy at best lol!!! A friend came by and said she would love to buy the buffet and I quickly told her my plan but of course did not mention that I didn’t know how to do it!!! She bought it and we commenced planning what images she would love to have on the buffet!
I was nervous but so excited to get started! I soon realized that the panels on this piece were irregular and would not be easy to fit any image on it successfully but that didn’t stop me! I was determined!
I copied my images, got my glue to adhere them, I use Golden Artist medium,soft gel. I had made my own homemade chalk paint in a black and was ready to go. I have found out that prep is such an important part of the process. So my piece was cleaned, sanded, primed and I was ready!!! I painted the body and left the panels plain ready for my transfers. I then put the fox and the bunny on the two side panels, left them dry overnight, then the moment of truth came!!! Time to moisten them and see if they transferred! I used my sprayer and gently began to wipe the backing of the transfer off! I rubbed and rubbed!!
But alas, they backing came off but you couldn’t see the transfers very well!!!
I quickly realized that you had to paint the panels white in order for the transfers to have something that would act like the backing of the paper so you can see the ink!!! Fail number one! Back to the drawing board for me! I then painted the panels, and reapplied the glue and waited another night for the transfers to dry. Next morning I quickly started the process of rubbing again! This time viola! Out popped the bunny and the fox!!!!! So adorable.
Some of the image didn’t transfer but I would worry about that later!
Now onto the last panel! The center part was such an unusual shape and to have it work with my painting that my client wanted was truly going to be a challenge! So I had to fit it the best I could but the sides were nowhere near covered but as always, I’ll deal with that later!
I got the image glued, rubbed and done! It looked horrible! What was I going to do!!! My client had already paid!!!
I studied the images and thought to myself, why can't I make the images look right by painting the places where the ink didn’t transfer and make the center image look kind of faded on the sides so you couldn’t see where the image stopped and the painting began!! Out came my craft paint and the painting began! The more I painted the more excited I got!!!! It was turning out so beautiful!!!
I knew at that moment a new love for hand painting and image transfers were born!!!!
I have since created many image transfers and have even graduated to hand painting many of my pieces with my own artwork! Never underestimate your “ah ha” moments! Those little ideas that creep into your head that you think this my work! Many times those have been the defining moments in my life! I believe it's the voice of a loving God who is the greatest painter of all time, whispering in your ear, saying this is the way, go this route! I try to follow those little prompts in my design work and they always bring me to a new level of learning and understanding! So this was the piece that taught me to listen to that voice and fall in love with Image Transfers!!!! I hope you enjoyed this walk down memory lane!