SSL Certificate
Christel Dillbohner
Blue Notes: Recording the Creative Process

Session Three - June 16-22, 2019

Course Description
Come be inspired by the environment of the Cumberland Plateau; observe its plant life and geological history. Learn the basic processes of camera-less photography using the cyanotype method, which was developed in the mid 1800s. Work with plant-based and other natural materials to create abstract blueprint photograms. Record your observations and thoughts that emerge in the process and assemble the resulting ideas in a handmade notebook.

During this workshop, participants will develop a series of contact prints by using heavy printing paper, coated with an iron-based solution sensitive to sunlight. After exposure to sunlight, objects placed on the paper will leave a white imprint. Following exposure of typically 5-10 minutes, the chemicals are immediately rinsed off with water.

In parallel, participants will prepare pages for their individual notebooks. We will draw and paint using materials such as sumi ink, colored inks, pencils, and markers. We may also include our writings. Some of the cyanotypes will be turned into collage materials mounted on the book pages to illustrate the creative progress.

The workshop is intended for people at all levels of experience who want to expand their tool box and vocabulary of artistic materials and techniques.

Artist's Biography

Christel Dillbohner was born in 1956 in Cologne, Germany, a 2000-year-old city, known for its Gothic cathedral. From 1978–84, she studied painting at the “Kölner Werkschule”, and received an MFA in 1984.


Dillbohner has traveled extensively to agricultural development projects in Asia, Africa, and the South Pacific with her longtime partner, who studied environmental sciences at UCLA. Thus inspired, she has presented her work in numerous installations and collaborative projects in the USA, Europe and Japan. She has received several grants, fellowships, and invitations to residencies in the US and has shared her experiences in numerous workshops, lectures, and small group teachings. She is an associate of the Institute of Cultural Inquiry, Los Angeles.

Since 1996, she has lived and worked mainly in Berkeley, CA.

Artist's Statement
For me, art has always been visual research and dissemination: investigating events and concepts through uncommon viewpoints and tools, then transforming ideas and material into “visual catalysts”. This offers a perpetual challenge, the basis for my creative process, and the means for nonverbal communication with others. Over the years, I’ve expanded my material language: I have worked with clay and sculpted paper, spent days in the darkroom, explored the use of wax, added oils and pigment to my palette, and collected a multitude of natural materials and cultural debris for my assemblages. The outcomes of my visual studies, which often involve travel, are manifested in my paintings, collages, assemblages, and sculptures. I present these in intimate or large-scale site-specific installations, often accompanied by talks and workshops.

Website: Christel Dillbohner

Supply List: 

  • 1 Super Sun Print Kit containing 15 8”x12” sheets and 1 acrylic overlay.

  • 4 white gel pens – fine and medium tips

  • Small and medium inexpensive brushes for glue (from 1/8” or smaller to 2” chip brush)

  • your favorite drawing materials such as pencils (colored), markers, acrylic inks, drawing pens, etc. and water colors and brushes

  • Scissors

  • Utility knife with extra blades

  • 12” metal rulers, transparent gridded ruler optional

  • Bone folder or other paper folding tool

  • 3/4 small plastic containers with a flat bottoms to mix glue and inks

  • Latex gloves

  • Rags and apron

There will be an opportunity to share your work with the group. If you would like to do this please bring up to five images on a memory stick, on your laptop or tablet, real work, or photographs.


2019 - Session 3 Faculty Work

Michael Brennand-Wood

Christel Dillbohner

Keiko Hara

Sandra Johnson

Sylvia Plachy

Valerie Maser-Flanagan

Ron Roy + Liz Willoughby

Jason Schneider

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