Currently I am working on sketchbooks and notebooks for my trip to Sicily and Italy. I always like to take a notebook with me. It helps when I don’t remember what I did the day before yesterday, and I have still to write in my sketchbook. It holds the addresses and phone numbers of hotels, and the times of trains.
I found this piece of Gelli print for the cover. You can see a video of my demonstration of Gelli printing here, and maybe I even made this print while I was demonstrating that day. More also on the Gelli Arts blog. It is full of great ideas.
This notebook is A6 size. It has six signatures sewn into a concertina, then it has bands glued under the endpapers to hold it together. The Gelli cover is two layers, a lemon, and a mesh of onion bag. Colours are Matisse Emerald and Australian Red Violet. Both with Open Medium. The endpapers are Credit Card Papers. There’s another demo video of that (and paste papers).
Now I can start writing in it. I’m looking forward to filling it up on my travels.
Though I haven’t been sketching much lately, I have been making cards with my Gelli prints. Many of the ones I’ve made previously have been on top of recycled etchings or other types of fine art prints. I made quite a number framed by white and cream (the eco dyed ones for example) so I decided I needed more brights. As it happens, the ones I chose to photograph this time are Gelli printed only.
The first one has been printed with a capsicum (green pepper) and some sewing cotton. It has some glorious colours in there, and of course I don’t have a clue what colours I used. Perhaps some Matisse Primary Red which is quite a blue-red.
The second one is with a commercially available stencil and another layer with some sewing cotton. There is a layer of yellow, some red, then some blue. I’ve noticed that I often use the three primary colours for Gelli printing. This one has some yellow, a warmer red, and some blue. I often use Matisse Southern Ocean Blue. I love that colour.
The third card uses the same colours, but could it be more different? It’s a combination of fruit and vegetable bags from the greengrocer.
Number four with the purple border is just gorgeous ‘in the flesh’. There’s some orange there, some magenta, and a colour that could be Australian Yellow Green. (All these colours are Matisse Flow, used about 50/50 with Matisse Open Medium.) This one is capsicum again, with I think lemons in a pale colour underneath. There are some filmy capsicums in iridescent on top.
The final one is a yellow first layer with sewing cotton, then lemons with green, followed by a stamp with a capsicum in Southern Ocean Blue.
They all have colour coordinated envelopes in brights that contrast with the main colour of the card.
showing you how. I’ve never made one myself as I have the Gelli plate.
Well, this is something different from me. You get to look at me and listen. This video was made a couple of months ago and has now been edited. I made it for Matisse Derivan using their Flow acrylics and Open Medium. Eliza made the gelatine plates for me. It seems easy enough though, and Eliza made a video
We had fun making this video and it was easy for me. Not long before Annie and I had done Gelli plate printing at the Easter Show. We had workshopped all day with children of all ages, so having done that in the not too distant past, it just rolled off the tongue. That said, I dislike looking at myself on screen and dislike listening to myself even more.
Nevertheless, gelatine plate printing is something I’d meant to so for years. When I read about the Gelli plates, I bought one immediately, as otherwise I might never have got round to it. If you want to give this technique a try, look at the Gelli Arts Blog which I think is the best arts supplier blog in the business. They have so many wonderful ideas and techniques there. Another excellent resource is Linda Germain’s blog.
As for the countdown to the giveaway…. we are getting close to single figures. To be honest I’ve lost count, but WordPress reminds me every time I post.
On Easter Saturday I decided to have a hunt around for more mark making tools for my Gelli plate. In the bottom of the linen cupboard I had a bag of scraps of elaborate fabrics that had been used for making theatrical costumes. There were many types of lace and netting. I have got myself a little stash especially for Gelli, and I started to make prints.This first one was made using scraps of gold and silver metallic net. It immediately suggested to me the work of Bridget Riley. You can probably see why if you look at these images.
I went on to make some more with different types of net (including finally the good old onion bag). You might have to enlarge the last print to see the fine mesh of the netting on that one, but it reminds me an eclipse (or several). With that one I also invented a ‘new technique’. I’d put a little too much paint on my plate and I got the dreaded candlewicking efffect. Unwilling to let that spoil what otherwise might have been a good print, I wiped the candlewicked edges of the shapes with a Chux cloth. Much to my surprise I didn’t lose the shapes – it just softened the edges.
Autumn seems to be there now (some days). Today there’s a chilly wind. I’m finding myself singing ‘Gelli gelli is the evening time’. Do you know what the song is?
Yesterday was my day for demonstrating on the Derivan stand at the Sydney Royal Easter Show. I’ve thought for some time now that we needed to be more interactive and get people involved with what we were doing. The last couple of years we have painted at easels.
This year we decided we would demonstrate printmaking with our Gelli plates. We volunteered for Good Friday which is traditionally a very busy day. Busy! I had to queue for 10 minutes to get in just when the pavilions were opening. It was a hot hot day and though I go every year and it is always busy I have never seen such crowds.
It is the first time I have not seen any of the show at all. We took a lunch break and headed for the Wooloworths Fresh Food Dome. Solid humans with battering rams of pushchairs. We didn’t even enter as we could tell we’d never get out.
Instead, we stayed put on the stand, helping children of all ages make Gelli prints. There was a crowd around several deep, and the children had to queue. This meant waiting some time, as each child on average, made two prints of two layers. The up-side of the wait, was that when it came their turn, they knew how to handle the roller and how to make a print. We just mixed up the colours for them and cleaned off the plate and roller after each change, wiped stencils and tried to keep on top of things. David made himself very useful by getting us a coffee and filling my water bottle. Very much appreciated. Some of the prints were just gorgeous, particularly one that looked like falling now – all misty blues.
What I love about my Gelli plate is that it takes about two seconds preparation time and the same for cleanup. I don’t know any other form of printmaking that is like that.
These are some more prints I made over the New Year holiday period. The first one was printed with a capsicum first and then with a piece of plastic net bag that some fruit came in. I particularly like the way this one worked out, because (if you look at the big one) you have such a wonderful range of reds in the netting piece from blue reds through to orange reds. Do look at them in the large, because otherwise you don’t see the depth.
The next two are printed with half a pomegranate and also my hand-cut swirly stencil. (Need to cut more stencils!)
The last one was badly candlewicked (too much paint & medium) though there is a school of thought that says it is a technique and not a mistake after all. So I put another layer on with my triangle stencil. Maybe I’ll keep going and do more layers. That’s the good thing about this technique – if you have one that you don’t like, just add another layer. They dry exceptionally quickly too because of so little paint.
Finally I cut two stencils this week. This first image shows both stencils. I have realised that my brayer is too hard and I need to get a softer one.
I had a bit of trouble with what I am calling the ‘candlewicking effect’ (seen here below)on Christmas Eve. Hadn’t had that problem before but now know it is caused by too much paint/medium.
Then I tried printing by lifting the paint with a pomegranate. I am quite pleased with this one but may do another layer with deeper yellow triangles.
Also tried printing with a capsicum. This is the only one on ‘good’ paper (BFK). It has many layers and started out as badly candlewicked green, so I just kept layering.
This is the other end of the capsicum.
Now I’m off out on Sydney Harbour to see the start of the Sydney to Hobart race. Going out on the ‘gentleman’s schooner’ ‘Boomerang’ which is part of the Heritage Fleet. Hope we don’t get the forecast thunderstorms.