SARANAC LAKE — For more than a decade, artist Eleanor Sweeney experimented with Polaroid transfers, affixing them to whatever she could imagine.
When Polaroid went out of business, Sweeney’s muse lighted on with digital transfers. The results comprise “Reinventions,” her show at the Adirondack Artists’ Guild in Saranac Lake. Thirty-seven works on copper, aluminum and birch are on exhibit through July 31.
Sweeney begins the process with a digital image.
“I print them onto transfer film, and then I transfer that to some kind of base — it could be metal, silk, tiles or wood,” Sweeney said. “I put them on little wooden boxes. It’s a new process, which is fun.”
Her subject matter ranges from fruit to vegetables, flowers and interesting shapes.
“It’s a little bit different. You have the computer instead of printing on a piece of paper. You print on film and slather the surface you want to put it on with a special king of sauce and roll the transfer film on it. It sticks after a few minutes, and you peel it off. I usually coat it with something that’s more permanent,” she explained.
The aluminum and copper bases glow.
“People like those. Some are on birch boxes. I have pictures on the face of the birch box and an inch and a half on the sides. It’s three-dimensional. Those are nice. Some are just on paper,” she said.
The hues are more vibrant than the faded Polaroid colors recalling a bygone time.
“I play with them a little in the computer usually because it makes it more interesting,” she said.
Sweeney is no techno. Her camera is a little thing she can slip into a pocket.
“It’s nothing expensive or fancy. It does the trick for what I want to do,” she said.
As a funky afterthought, she printed 14-inch by 70-inch swaths of silk with the digital transfers. Before all of them could be hung up in the gallery window, they sold out.
“You can hang them on a porch or window. They flutter a bit in the breeze. I was surprised. They were very easy to make. They are full of mistakes. The colors come off, part of the process. They are consistently spotty. It looks nice really,” she said.
The opening reception for “Reinventions” was a happy affair.
“It was a wonderful reception,” Sweeney said. “A lot of people were there. It was a very joyful and a very good evening. It’s fun to do what I do.”
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