“Bonny Lhotka lives on the cutting edge of artistic and photographic innovations. Her imagery is rich, yet ethereal, and offers a poignant reflection of today’s multi-faceted world.”
Bobbi Walker, Walker Fine Art
“Over the years, one of the most influential artists in this field has refined more techniques and developed more research than any I have know. That person is Bonny Lhotka and her creative team of Digital Ateliers artists.”
Jack Duganne, Duganne Aterlier
“I’m not exaggerating, Bonny has developed a spectacular array of tools and techniques that take inkjet printing out of the ho-hum world of machine-based printing – and into a world where the artist’s personality, patience, inventiveness, and hands-on skills all play a role.”
“Using Bonny’s methods, conventional ideas about inkjet media go right out the window, and no two prints look exactly alike, each is personal and and in some ways malleable to the whim of the artist.”
David Saffir, Photographer
“Since 1994 Bonny Lhotka, Karin Schminke and I have worked together as Digital Atelier. Together we have explored technologies, pushed boundaries, broken rules and devised new ways of working with existing products. We have influenced ink manufacturers to offer pigmented ink for greater longevity; printer manufacturers to provide straight paper paths and greater head clearance; and providers of inkjet precoats for industry to package small quantities for artists use. We have explored the potential of lenticular printmaking and have used flatbed printers and laser engravers to produce work previously unseen in the fine arts world.
We have shared our findings at colleges and universities, scholarly conferences, trade shows, galleries and museums including our 1997 residency at the Smithsonian American Art Museum and at the opening of the Brooklyn Museum of Art’s “Digital: Printmaking Now” exhibition in 2001. Since our book Digital Art Studio: Techniques for Combining Inkjet Printing with Traditional Art Materials was published in 2004, the American Print Alliance has had a traveling exhibition of the work included in the book.
As she continues to envision new work, Bonny has carried this tradition forward, going beyond our initial innovations to create unique products and processes to make her work possible. She has developed a universal precoat for porous or nonporous surfaces, a transfer film and a transfer medium and has had them produced to her specifications so that they can be made available for other artists’ use. She has also identified other manufacturers products that work well with the processes – from pork gelatin to carrier sheets to isopropyl alcohol/ glycol in hand sanitizer products like Purell® – and made them available as well.
To show artists how these products can be used in various processes, Bonny has produced a series of videos and now has written Digital Alchemy, the latest word on her inventive output. In Digital Alchemy, Bonny covers a range of direct printing and transfer techniques to substrates as diverse as plastic, metal, wood, paper, fabric and fresco. It is a compilation of information that will give you a wealth of ideas and considerable inspiration for your own creative ventures.
I can only marvel at the inventiveness included here and anticipate that you will do the same.”
Dorothy Simpson Krause. Digital Atelier
For almost 20 years I have worked with Bonny Lhotka and Dorothy Simpson Krause as the Digital Atelier. Bonny is a tireless explorer of materials and processes. She is inspired by technique, loves to invent new ways of working and is very generous in sharing what she has discovered. As a result I have been the recipient of the gift of a continuous steam of new inventions to assimilate.
From this and our experience with our book “Digital Art Studio,” I am aware of the challenges of seamlessly integrating new techniques into one’s studio and I know readers will take various approaches to the information in “Digital Alchemy.” Everyone will bring his or her own experience and expectations to the task.
For example, depending on your needs you might use this book like an encyclopedia to which you refer on occasion to expand your basic knowledge of materials or techniques. Others will feel more adventurous and use it as a guidebook, selecting a few areas from the many described and exploring them completely.
But to get the most out of this book, try approaching it like a cookbook. Explore enough of the processes to understand the basics thoroughly. When you are comfortable with a process, be inventive and add your own variations that utilize your skills and media at hand. Soon you will be browsing through the book for ideas that can be incorporated into your existing studio processes. In other words, you will have made the processes your own, and then will be ready to return your focus to content of your art.
It is this process of study, integration, then mastery of technique that leads to those productive moments in the studio where techniques effortlessly support your ideas. This book will provide a rich array of new imaging techniques that will both enhance and stimulate your creativity.
Karin Schminke, Digital Atelier
“Lhotka is a modern-day alchemist, pioneering composite methodologies and digital craftsmanship. Like her medieval counterparts, Lhotka is guided by science, philosophy and mysticism.”
Kim Manajek, Manager of Exhibits and Art Collections, Denver Botanic Gardens