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.
I’ve been slow to post this week but now I have a few things to show you. I’ve been a printmaker for about 10 years now, as well as all the other things that I do. I’ve accumulated a lot of prints over that time. About six months ago I had a big sort-out. I put into a plastic bag all the proofs and other prints that just didn’t quite make it. Prints that I hadn’t liked the colours, or that had got some sort of mark on them. I thought “What CAN I do with these prints?”.
I found a use for them. I Gelli printed layers over the top. I didn’t cut around the print, but just divided the paper into a size that was manageable on the Gelli plate, so in many cases there will be an embossing mark through the finished print. Then I set to making greetings cards from them. I also plan to make matching gift tags. I already had some greetings cards, so I got out the circle cutter and inserted small prints inside the card. It needed more, so I glued another piece of the same print onto the front. A loose insert of plain paper inside and I’m finished. This first one is from a proof of this print of a machine at the Heritage Shipyard.
The red card is done over an animal print lino of a series I did at COFA in a rush and liked none of. Far prefer it this way. The blue one was a proof of a solar print from a tyre and other marine stuff at the Heritage Shipyard. The original photocopy that the plate was made from was not good and it is long thrown away.
I had some larger pieces I liked so I had a hunt on the website of Artwise the Amazing Paper Shop. I found some cards in white and cream that are designed for photographs, and they look great with the prints in them, teamed with really bright envelopes that tone with the prints.
I really like this one made from a proof of my pomegranates print. This one illustrates how the embossing mark created by the edge of the plate is 2/3 way across the print, yet it works fine.
The second one in this format is from a proof also. Again, the photocopy the solar plate was made from was poor. This was in the early days when we were still finding our way around solar plate etching. The layering on top of the original print has come up with some beautiful subtle colours. I’ve made a LOT of these cards & still going, but this is just a small selection for you to look at.
Only a very few posts to go now until the giveaway. Maybe there might be something else to give away as you’ve all been so patient.
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.
I still have a couple of EDiM sketches to post, but I thought we’d have something different today.
I am entering in this swap and I have to make 6 pages, 4″ x6″. I have to decorate the back as well as the front. Well, as you know I’m also a printmaker. A while ago I sorted out my failed prints, proofs and just prints I generally didn’t like, from the good prints, in the hope of finding a project for them. Well, I found one.
I got a bunch of prints and Gelli printed layers right over the top of them. The back of the print has become the clean paper I am going to sketch on. It’s BFK Rives paper, which is my favourite paper of all. There are some interesting embossing marks from the plate’s edge on some of them. Most but not all were solar plate etchings. I did the Gelli printing before cutting to size, and before any drawing. I did my best not to smear any paint on the clean paper and that worked fine. I then cut to size. Jeepers they are small!
I made nine of them, (three in each picture) and that allows for less successful things to happen on the other side without it being a crisis. Most, though not all, of my prints were marine/industrial subjects. This is not what you’d normally choose to go with my chosen theme for the swap – tropical plants, but I think it makes it more edgy, and that’s what we’re aiming for, right?
It’s a bank holiday Monday today and still mostly dark at 8.30 am. It’s bucketing with rain again and I expect it will be as cold. Yesterday I completed two of these pages. I was going to make them totally unrealistic, but somehow I wasn’t in the mood and it seemed that actual tropical plants are as weird and strange as anything I could make up.
Not sure if I will do more today as I might start to make the sketchbooks. I also have to prepare for the demo I’m doing at The Art Scene on Thursday.
This week I tried printing on actual gelatine rather than my Gelli plate. Someone else made the gelatine plate, I should point out. It is something I’ve been meaning to do for years and never got around to. You can see some photos of our day here
If you want to make a gelatine plate, you can find instructions on Linda Germain’s blog. When fresh, a well made gelatine plate feels pretty much the same as a Gelli plate, though it may not have nice smooth edges. It seemed to need a bit more Open Medium in the paint than the Gelli plate.
Some unexpected effects happened such as the bubbles on this one which was done with a purchased stencil. I think it is quite beautiful and with experience on the gelatine you could get it to work for you for some amazing prints.
I printed on the gelatine on Tuesday and Wednesday and it was still acting similar to the Gelli plate. On Saturday I tried again. It is still usable, but has shrunk by about one-sixth. That meant I couldn’t add layers to prints I’d done earlier in the week. It was also curling up at the corners and had areas around the edge where the paint wouldn’t roll on. I could still print with it, but the paint was drying fast. I could print and also do a ghost print, but then the plate needed wiping down (not so with the Gelli plate, – you can just roll on more colour). Perhaps more Open Medium would have worked.
So my conclusions are that I’ll stick to my Gelli plate, because it is just so convenient and easy. Price? It costs about $3.50 to make a gelatine plate. For us in Australia, postage is the killer, with postage from the USA drastically increasing the prices of the Gelli plates. For me, I still think it is waaaaay worth it. I never got round to making a gelatine plate, whereas now I get out the Gelli plate and I’m ready to roll. So the difference is that you actually do it – not just think about doing it.
These little tags were made part with gelatine and part with Gelli. They are a combination of ghost prints from mesh (onion bag etc) and a lemon. I found that when I’m using a lemon to print, as I use it to remove paint from the Gelli plate, I can stamp it onto another piece of paper (or tag). The first set are my ‘tweed’ set, the second ‘citrus’.
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?