Questions? and Answers!

Wondering about me or my process? Here are some of the questions I’ve been asked. Let me know if there’s anything else I can answer.

Is that photography? Collage? Encaustic? 

Yes, and often all three! Many of the images I use are my own digital photographs; others are paper collages or printmaking textures, or even prints created from the collages. While you might see one particular element, there are many other layers embedded in the colors and textures of the final composition as well. For details on the layers in any given piece, see its post, such as for this piece, Running.

Where do you get all the those layers?

blue scrolls
Microscope capture

I’m always looking, experimenting, and scanning. While some layers are photographs, others are scanned images from my printmaking, handmade collage, or ephemera collections. I have family documents, old dictionaries, history textbooks, and family photos to pull in a sense of history. I explore painting and mark-making, and anything that has potential gets plopped on the scanner. Sometimes, for fun, I even grab images from a digital microscope, as in this detail image of some currency from my travels.

How do you combine the layers?

I use software programs: Adobe Lightroom to organize my images and Photoshop to build up layers. Each layer can be combined with the previous ones in various ways: just the lighter colors, the darker, or many other options, all controlled by software. Adobe Photoshop Elements was a great tool for me as I started experimenting, and I highly recommend it to soften the learning curve a bit.

Is it fine art?

Yes! My art is composed over a period of months, often in a series, and subjected to critical review. Hand-made elements are a big part of that process, as is making sure the series of work is coherent.

My final step is to work with a professional lab — see below for some of my choices. But: until I print that art, it doesn’t exist in physical form. My original work is that digital file.

So, like photographers and printmakers, I make choices about editions: limited or open or unique, and I track them in inventory software, as well as document my choices here on this site. If you’d like a unique piece, like connoted mobility, shown here, I’ll print just the one, and take the image off the market. 

There are many options, which is how I like it! We can work together to define a print size, substrate, and edition size that works for you. Once printed, I review the piece before I sign it, and document it with a certificate of authenticity for your records. I also offer many smaller, simpler works as open editions to suit your budget.

What is it printed on?

Because my images are digital, I have to make a choice before I print them. While I can certainly print on paper with a traditional mat and frame, I’m excited by three particular options: aluminum, acrylic, and encaustic.

For aluminum printing, I rely on Bay Photo in California. I find aluminum to be a durable surface with a clean, modern appearance. And, especially when I choose a glossy finish, the piece looks most like what I see on my computer screen as I’m building and composing the piece.

Other pieces have been printed using a local acrylic process. BumbleJax here in Seattle prints my images on shiny metallic paper, then puts a thick piece of clear acrylic over top, which creates a lovely light-bouncing effect. Another local option is Northwest Fine Art Printing.

Encaustic pieces

Finally, and the least modern choice of all, I sometimes use encaustic wax to coat my pieces. I print on paper, then mount the paper on a wooden panel, and slowly add layers of wax, melding each layer to the one beneath. This technique suits softer pieces and creates a lovely, muted translucence.

How do you pronounce your name?

It’s French-Canadian, so I pronounce it ROO-ay. My family history and genealogy have been a source of inspiration, as French-Canadian roots are very well documented. Seeing physical evidence of the generations that came before us is humbling and wonderful at the same time.

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