How does he do it? Examining the work of Justin Marable

Places in Between III

“How does he do it?” this is the question I have been asked the most since Consumed opened at the Alice C. Sabatini Gallery. Today I am going to let you in on the two different processes Justin Marable uses in his art.

The first process is called serigraphy, but is also known as silk-screen or screen printing. This is a stencil process where the stencil is affixed to a fine mesh of silk or other fabric, known as a screen.

Waste Not Mystics

Waste not Mystics, underlying stencils before the final layer of image and ink

So how does this work with Justin’s work? Let’s take a look at Waste Not Mystics. The first step is to create the sky, which in turn sets the tone or feeling of the print. Justin places various colored inks on the screen. He then mixes them so when he pulls the ink across the screen, the night sky he anticipated is created. Next Justin creates an underlying stencil that blocks out the color and space before he prints the final layer. This final layer of the print has all the photographic detail.

Uprise on the Meadow

Uprise on the Meadow, photo transfer, screen print, acrylic

The second process is photo transfers. The transfer method allows for you to transfer an image from one source to another, like a photograph to a piece of wood. There are many different ways to create transfers, some easier than others.  (DIY sites and Pinterest are full of examples!)

Here is my quick explanation of how transfers are done. First you need to find an image that you want to transfer. (The image needs to be either a photocopy or a Laser printer.) Next you cover the image with a coat of Modge Podge or Acrylic Gel Medium in Matte. Place the image face down, smooth it out, and apply pressure using your fingers, a bone folder or the back of a spoon. Let it all sit for a few hours or overnight. (This is the hardest part – the waiting!) When the piece is dry, take a sponge and wet the paper. Then carefully start to rub away the paper, re-wetting when needed. Be careful not to rub too hard! When the paper is removed…you have created a transfer!

Here is a link to the handout (pfd) our Museum Educator, Betsy Roe, created for our most recent art class, World Art & You: Mixed Media with Justin Marable.