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My Citra Solv Experiments

November 26, 2010

The day before Thanksgiving I couldn’t bring myself to stay in the kitchen all day, so while the turkey was in the oven I ducked out to the studio to try out my new goodie basket of product samples that the wonderful folks at Citra Solv sent me. I had been notified that they had randomly chosen for their once-a-month facebook giveaway, which had me intrigued. When the package arrived at my door, it included the original Citra Solv concentrate that’s used in all kinds of art making, plus they threw in a couple of old National Geographics so I could try the process.

Citra Solv’s facebook page is great for keeping up with the latest from various artists who are experimenting with the product’s capabilities with image transfers, collage and mixed media. If you’re on facebook you might want to “like” them.

Here is the direct link to a Citra Solv tutorial showing how to make collage papers out of old National Geographic pages. My quick experiments were the only way for me to see what happens when Citra Solv interacts with National Geographic pages.

Here are just ten pages showing my results. My discoveries were that once the ink has dissolved, it can be manipulated in a thousand ways. I especially enjoyed treating the pages like monotypes, laying them face to face mulitple times.

I also loved using the sponge brush that was wet with the solvent to move the colors around. You can see some of the strokes in this picture.

In a way, I loved these pages as works of art in their own right. Here are a couple of individual pages:

And here is one of my collages using pieces of Citra Solv papers.

“Spirits are Everyday Things” – Collage, 8 x 8″ on 14 x 11″ backing

I have shown this collage before, but I think it’s the best example of these effects.

35 Comments leave one →
  1. November 26, 2010 7:27 pm

    Awesome! Another creative venture for me to pursue! Where did you get your Citra Solv from Martha? I know you probably know the best priced place to purchase it from. Don’t think it is in the usual department stores yet.

    LOVE the ones you created above! Really like the first big one with the orange and bits of lavender in it along with the words. The finished collage is so pretty it makes me want to start right NOW creating with this technique but don’t have any Citra Solv yet. Oh I Know! Maybe Santa will bring me some!! 🙂

    • November 26, 2010 8:10 pm

      Itaya! I don’t yet have a source for the products but they tell you on their website where to get them. Depends on where you live. Cheap Joe’s is one place you can order them online.

      I’m looking forward to where your experiments lead. I know you will find a way to get some and try it yourself!

  2. November 26, 2010 7:27 pm

    Spirits arise in one’s own mind. Clearly demonstrated by this collage. Hey, I love this human shape on white!

    • November 26, 2010 8:12 pm

      Yes, Eva — agreed! Spirits show up at the most amazing times and places. I like that human shape on white too!

  3. November 26, 2010 8:16 pm

    I have not heard of using Citra-Solv for creative endeavors before. (!!) I’m going to investigate this further, thanks for the heads up.

    • November 27, 2010 2:30 am

      Latifah, I think you’d enjoy doing a little web research on what other artists are doing with it. Lots of YouTube videos have been done demonstrating it, plus the official website has lots of demos and examples as well.

  4. Margaret Ryall permalink
    November 26, 2010 10:34 pm

    I love the effect your achieved here Martha. I don’t know a thing about CitraSolv but you’ve provoked my curiosity. Do you know if it is toxic in any way?

    • November 27, 2010 2:33 am

      Margaret, I didn’t know anything about it either until a reader of this blog sent me some sheets she had done! I was hooked. It’s not toxic — it’s made from citrus oil and is even sold in health food stores in the cleaning section. But the artists who use it say to use it in a ventilated area. I did mine outside. I found that if I smelled it for a long time it sort of lingered in my nostrils.

      The concentrate isn’t used full strength for cleaning. It is dissolved in water.

  5. November 27, 2010 11:47 am

    These are wonderful! What fun… Hmmm, need to figure out how to fit this into my next round of creativity.

  6. Dalas Klein permalink
    November 28, 2010 4:14 pm

    Hi Marsha, Could you give me a email of how you did these and where you get the media’s, so on and so forth? Dalas Klein-Full-time artist again now that I’m pretty much done with my Studio. Thanks.

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