Monday, February 7, 2011

The Citra-Solv/National Geographic Connection

As an ephemeraologist, I love it when I hear about new ways to use old things.  Yes, old paper is beautiful in its own right.  But when it can be enhanced, or when paper can be reused instead of tossed, that's a wonderful thing.

Last March I discovered an art technique that makes fantastic use of old magazines - specifically, old National Geographic magazines!

I would love to do a survey - in fact, I AM going to do a survey!  Here's the question: 

If you DO have old Nat Geos laying around, run and get them!  I'll wait.  :D

Okay, now grab your bottle of Citra Solv - WHAT?  You don't have any Citra Solv in your house??  Well run and get some! I'll wait.  :D

I think every household needs a bottle of Citra Solv!  :D  Not only does it clean fantastically and leave your home smelling like an orange grove (or lavender field), it does AMAZING things to the ink in old National Geographics!

I have no idea how this works.  It has to be something with the type of ink that is used in National Geographics, because the Citra Solv experiment doesn't work on cheaper inks.  The National Geographic ink (more so with the 1990 issues and beyond) is rich and glossy - and perfect for making art.

And it couldn't be easier.  All you do is take that Nat Geo, find the richest, most colorful pages in it, and slather on the Citra Solv.  I mean REALLY coat those pages!  When you're done, smash the magazine shut and watch the black ink ooze out of the sides (it is at this point that I should tell you to lay down newspaper or newsprint paper on your work surface - it can get very messy!).  After 5 minutes or so, check your progress.  If the pages start resembling the surface of Mars, BING!  You're all set!  :D

You have now created new and exciting pages with which to make your art and you saved some magazines from a landfill.  If you honestly don't have any Nat Geos in your house, check estate sales, used book stores, AAUW book sales and library book sales - I got an entire year's worth of issues for a BUCK doing this!

I want to use this space to thank Melissa Zeitler, co-owner (with her husby Steve) of Citra Solv, for being one of my favorite people on the Web.  She is a major supporter of the arts and artists, and has completely embraced this secondary use of their product!  If fact, they've devoted a major portion of their Web site to this function!

Even better than that?  Melissa has agreed to do Citra Solv/ATC card giveaways throughout the year, so be on the lookout for some wonderful prize packages!  Thanks Melissa!  :D

I am HOOKED on the Citra Solv/Nat Geo connection, and here are some artworks I've done using the duo:


  1. Wow - thats different - sorry but I don't have any Ntl Geo - will be on the look out at the Thrift Shop though to try it out! J

  2. You'll have no problem finding some, Jewels - now that you're looking for them, you'll start seeing them EVERYWHERE! :D

  3. Most interesting - I will have to find some natgeos and buy some citrasolv. Thank you for showing this.

  4. I'm glad you liked the post, Annette! :D I hope you do try the technique - it's really a lot of fun. :D