Sunday, June 28, 2015

Gelli Plate Print Experiments 6-28-2015

I will be giving a demonstration of Gelli Plate Prints at the July meeting of the North Central Kansas Association of Artists.  I thought I would make some samples of various textures, techniques and ink application so I will have them to show the members.  I pulled over 20 prints today, most just examples, and a few that I may use for backgrounds for Spirit paintings.  I also found that the 'clean up sheet' that I used to roll the excess ink from the brayer came out interesting enough that I may use them for backgrounds or collages!  

I watched several videos on Gelli Plate prints last night and found a few new techniques that have come about since I taught at CCCC and last did Gelli prints.  One technique uses packing tape to LIFT a dried design that has been layered on the plate and dried between each layer.  My Spirit paintings are made by layering various medias to create the textures and depth, so I thought I would try this method and see how it comes out.

Here are just a few of the examples I made for the demonstration:

This is a negative print of a mesh bag and water spritzed onto the inked plate.

This is the positive print of the mesh bag and the texture made by rubber brushes.

This is an example of LIFTING the dried residue left on the plate by applying a wet coat of ink over the dried residue and then immediately pulling a print!  For this technique, one needs to do detail work on the plate, let it dry and then apply a uniform coat of ink.  I love this and want to try some more intricate designs.

Here is the process of layering various textures and allowing them to dry between each layer.  Then LIFTING ALL of the layers off with packing tape.  This is my first try at this so we will see if it works as good and easily as the videos made it look!!!  :D


Masked areas of torn paper and flower.  Two pieces of paper mask have already been lifted off the inked surface.

Here the paper mask pieces are on the left with the inked Gelli Plate on the right with the masked areas appearing darker.....they will be CLEAR when the design is lifted with the packing tape.

Here is the inked plate with the masked areas showing clear (plate is on a white sheet of paper.).

Here I have applied seven layers of texture:  1.bubble wrap inked and printed on the dried plate 2.mesh bag printed with dark blue paint 3.purple stamp pad painted and printed 4.dark blue filled in circles printed by dipping the end of a pencil in the paint 5. dark blue open circles made by dipping the end of a straw into the paint 6. texture of the head/seeds of the flower made by dipping the point of a wooden tool into metallic gold paint 7. metallic gold paint splattered on the plate by dipping the end of a tooth brush into the paint and flipping the bristles.

Eighth layer was made by dipping the end of a plastic cup and end of the lid of a medicine bottle into dark blue paint and printing the circles onto the plate.  Ninth layer was made the same way using the cap of the metallic gold paint and dipping it into the paint.

The piece is then allowed to thoroughly dry before applying the tape to the plate to lift the design.  The design will appear EXACTLY as it is right now.  

Lifting the print from the Gelli Plate.  The packing tape was laid down on top of the DRY paint and then rubbed with a rounded, scooped end of a wooden tool (or you can use your thumb, pressing very hard).  Then, simply remove the tape (make sure that your tape is longer on both ends than the Gelli Plate so it can be easily picked up and lifted from the plate.)  by lifting it up off the plate.  IF some of the print does not lift, IMMEDIATELY lay that part of the tape back down and press with the wooden tool again.  It should lift from the plate.  If it does not, it is probably because the paint was not completely dry.

Then lay the tape, sticky side down, on whatever surface you want to use it on.  Here I placed two strips on aluminum foil so that the clear areas (where the masks were) are now metallic silver.

When I cleaned out my mother's house, I found some disposable aprons that are, I think, vellum with a very soft floral print .  My mom used these for fancy parties and they were SO cool and said so much about that era, that I have held on to them, knowing I would use them at some point in my art.  My art is very contemporary, but I thought the soft floral design of the apron, would look nice peeking through the petal of my print.  I am not sure how I will display this one.  I may use it in another piece.  We'll see where it ends up.

This print is placed over part of a newspaper article on a one man show I had in Junction City, KS last October (2014).  

The piece on the left is a full strip of print placed on dark purple card stock.  The piece on the right is the quarter inch strip of ink that is left over from the width of the four strips of tape not quite matching the full width of the Gelli Plate.  I am not one to waste anything, and actually liked this narrow strip.  I will probably use it in another piece.  

I'm not sure how I would use this technique, but it was fun to experiment with it. Hope you enjoyed seeing some of the possibilities of Gelli Plate printing.  




Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Garden Projects for the house 6-2015

I'm taking some time to get some projects done around the house and yard that I have been putting off for much too long.  The main one is painting the faded shutters on the house.  We have a gray house with black shutters and I think it is time to and a little zing to our plain rectangular house.  So bright blue shutters were the first order of business.  Then I took the old wooden bench I picked up at a garage sale for a dollar and painted it blue, and added the same size star on it that has hung on my daddy's barn since before I was born!  I'm now working on an old, old wooden high chair that my mother-in-law gave me years ago.  I'm painting it to go with the bench and shutters.  It will end up in the garden somewhere.

The grands came up a couple weeks ago and we worked on some cement leaves.  We had such fun making them.  They are coming again this weekend and we will decide how to display them around the cherry tree by their Cherry Tree House.  Lots of fun projects to start our summer off just right!  Hope you enjoy.



Blue accents on front door and wooden bench by entrance.

Blue shutters all around.  

Cement leaves with light acrylic washes to add color.

2 more cement leaves, one hollyhock, one rhubarb, with acrylic washes.

2 plain cement leaves in garden with one small cement leaf with acrylic wash on limestone slab.

Grands' HUGE rhubarb cement leaves under cherry tree by the gate to their Cherry Tree House.

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Spirit of His Kingdom, Power, and Glory Forever, May, 2015

This is my first major painting in awhile.  It is inspired from my visit to the redwoods on my trip to California in April.  These magnificent trees touched my very soul......it was like entering a sacred place, spiritual and magical and awe inspiring.  Some of the trees are over 1000 years old and yet their roots run just under the top of the ground.  It is hard to capture the perspective.  A person standing by this tree would barely come above the round base on the right.  We counted around ten different languages and people of all ages, and yet the quiet was powerful.....everyone spoke barely above a whisper, if at all.....even the children.  The pinecone from these HUGE trees is the actual size of the drawing in the blue square.....extremely small compared to the tree.  May the spirit of this painting touch your soul and allow us all to remember His Kingdom, Power and Glory forever.


Spirit of His Kingdom, Power, and Glory Forever, May, 2015; mixed media--scraped acrylic, acrylic wash, pastel, ink, printing, metallic acrylic, text all on raw canvas.  This will be mounted on a floating frame.  44" tall by 18" wide

Tree top done in cheesecloth


Ink drawing of the pinecone is the actual size of the real pinecone from this HUGE tree.


Lord's Prayer on metallic gold paint


Base of the tree.  A person would come approximately to the top of the round area on the right of the base of the tree, but be dwarfed by the width of that round area.  The dark area was a space that had had fire damage....an open wound.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Spirit of Angels, 3-5-2015

I've just completed my first large Spirit piece, 30"x40" on raw canvas.  I have resisted doing the Spirit pieces in a large format as I love the small ones so much.  But I have been encouraged to try some large pieces (the suggestion was for a 4'x4' or larger!!!!).  So this is the first one.  I am encouraged and will probably try some more.


'Spirit of Angels', 30"x40" mixed media on raw canvas--acrylic, pastel, ink, cheesecloth.

Raw canvas on my grandmother's upright grand piano to show size.  I will frame it in a wooden floating frame, but it will have to warm up before using my new mitre saw!  The raw canvas will be adhered to a wood back that will 'float' around the edges of the canvas rather like a mounted drawing on a matt, with a mitered wooden frame around it.  The raw edges of the canvas will show rather than stretching the canvas on stretcher strips.  I will add photos of the completed piece when the frame is all done.

Detail of cheesecloth wing.  It is only adhered in a few places so that it fluffs out from the raw canvas.

Detail of the square with feather and the acrylic 'stamped' feather image from a real feather with ink detailing.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Spirit of a Quiet Place Feb., 2015

I am experimenting with a little more realistic style yet keeping with my Spirit painting concept.  In this piece, I was thinking of a place in the country that belongs to a friend of mine.  She feeds the deer several times a week so one never knows when a glimpse of one will be found in this quiet place.  Rather than creating a landscape, I tried to create the passion my friend has for these graceful and shy creatures along with the magic of this very special quiet place.  

This is a mixed media piece:  scraped acrylic on an 11"x14" stretched canvas, pastel, ink.  This piece won 2nd place in the Senior Division of the 2015 Kansas Bowhunter Association convention in Hutchinson, KS 2-21-15.  

Spirit of a Quiet Place

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Spirit of Found Peace, 2-5-2015

I finally got back to my painting yesterday and finished the painting today.  It is not my typical Spirit painting.  It is 11"x14" mixed media on stretched canvas.  The medias are:  scraped acrylic, torn paper I made myself used as a collage, pencil, pastel, charcoal, acrylic and the grass is 3D cut paper that is bent and stands out from the canvas.  

My husband is a bowhunter and I made this to show at the Kansas Bowhunter Convention at the end of this month.  I love walking in the woods, feeling the quiet and peace that envelopes me.  My husband walks the woods for the same reason while he is looking for deer sign, turkeys, other wildlife, and building habitat for all the animals.  He finds much joy and peace in being out there alone with the animals.  And yes, he does hunt, for food and we have always made a distinction between hunting and killing in our house.  My husband has told me many stories of sitting in his blind or tree stand and watching a deer come by, sometimes many deer come within range.  But he so enjoys their beauty and peace and quiet, that often he will just sit and watch, observe, and soak in the beauty.  I wanted to show this side of hunting so everyone will realize there is a difference between finding peace and those who only kill.  I hope you enjoy this painting and find some peace within it.


'Spirit of Found Peace' 11"x14" mixed media on stretched canvas.

Detail of deer and 3D grass

Detail of bowhunter enjoying the 'found peace'


Saturday, January 31, 2015

Experimental Dragonfly

The first post for the new year is a dragonfly made of an ochre pod, button and cheesecloth wings.  I have to admit that I'm having trouble getting into the swing of things after the holidays and travel and company.  So I pulled an old background that already had the cheesecloth on it and added the pod and button for the dragonfly.  The wings are highlighted with pastels.  Hopefully Feb. will bring a more productive attitude.

"8x10", mixed media--watercolor, ink, stamps, pen, pastel, cheesecloth, ochre pod and button.