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Artist brings unique images to Old Florida Celebration

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By Warren Parkin

Photographic artist Bob Senesac will return to the Old Florida Celebration of the Arts for the second time to display one of a kind monoprint images. “All my images started as photographs,“ he said.

His work is the result of more than four decades of creativity. He started out in the dark room developing film and printing images but now employs a combination of technology and good old fashioned elbow grease to produce his art.

“I enjoy the creative process and I really like to experiment around,” Senesac said. It was while experimenting that he came upon the photo-transfer process that he has focused on the past couple of years. “I was messing around one day and stumbled on this process.”

After cropping the digital image, Senesac creates a 13 by 19 inch master plate using acetate on which he applies a chemical emulsion solution. It is during the application of the emulsion that brush marks can appear - giving a painting type look to the final product - depending on the amount applied as well as the directional movement and pressure of the brush.

Once dry, the emulsion will hold ink. Senesac loads the plate into an ink jet printer and prints the image backwards. He then lays the wet plate face down on canvas or paper, transferring the image by vigorously rubbing the back of it for 20-30 minutes with a big metal spoon. He removes the plate and lets the transferred image dry. Senesac then uses water color to touch up the image and add effects. Finally, the image is sealed to protect it from moisture and ultra violet light damage.

The plate can only be used once, which makes the print unique, or in technical terms: a monoprint. “Even if I did the same image again it would be different. There is no way I can replicate it - so each image is one of a kind. It’s all due to the technique,” he said.

Born in Massachusetts, Bob studied photography at Ohio University before moving to Archer, Florida in 1974 where in addition to creating photographic art he designs and builds custom furniture. Senesac shows his art in 10-12 events each year throughout North Central Florida.

“I’ve always been interested in putting images on non-traditional surfaces” Senesac said of his latest endeavors to transfer images to paper and canvas.

Seneca’s artwork features land scapes captured as far away as France. Festival goers will also see natural scenes from Oregon, New England and Florida. “I like to go different places,” said Senesac. “I’ve traveled a fair amount.”

Most of the prints measure 13 by 19 inches but some larger works made by piecing transfers from four plates will be on display at the festival. Senesac is looking forward to displaying his artwork at the Old Florida Celebration of the Arts April 18 and 19. “I did the art festival last year. It was a nice show. Come and see it.”