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.
Here’s another video for you to watch. I may have mentioned David from Matisse Derivan. He now calls himself Derivan Dave. I thought you might like to see his video too. He’s not normally so serious.
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?
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.
Back in January I did the Strathmore Online Workshop with Traci Bautista. I started this artist’s book during lesson one of Doodles Unleashed. Although doodling isn’t altogether my thing, when I doodle I usually do swirls of some sort. This time I decided on spirals. I had bought a sheet of beautiful green spiral paper and I wanted to use it to inspire an artist’s book. You can see the paper and my first steps in this post.
I divided one large sheet of mixed media paper into three long strips and worked on each of those consecutively. The steps I used in decorating the pages went like this:
- Spray paper through stencils or around objects using watercolour
- Paint acrylic spirals
- Swirl on a bit of pink watercolour
- Many doodlings with Prismacolour pencils in greens yellows and pinks
- More doodling with black ink with a pen and nib.
At this point I cut my three long strips into six shorter strips & my page spreads were done. After a visit to the art shop I decided to use a deep yellow paper to join them all at the foredge . That done, I was able to bind the whole thing into its intended shape – a concertina book with hard covers. Then I got to the fun part. I had decided to add some yellow pop-ups to make the borders. However when they were on I decided it needs MORE. So I added also pink and green spiral pop-ups.
It’s very busy, but it’s cheerful and it’s fun. Very different to the sort of well-researched book with a story that I usually do. Watch for more books with pop-ups. I’m investigating them. I’ve got a wonderful book that I’m working through pop-up by pop-up.