After a couple of days of a lack of painting mojo, I decided to pull out my gelli plate and play around. I knew once I got into the steady motion of spreading color, putting down stencils, and pulling up prints, I'd begin to feel myself again, inspired and calmed by this simple tool.
I knew I wanted to do something different than what I'd done before, playing more with color and shape than I did by throwing stencils down on the plate. While I've done a couple of things where I didn't print the entire page with each pass, I'd never done it across several papers, and was intrigued by seeing Jane Davis' videos of shapes on YouTube and Carla Sonheim's blog posts (I've since taken her class...I have one video left to watch, but highly recommend it if you're into more artistic prints, like me).
I cut a lot of my own stencils & used a couple by StencilGirl (they're hosting a giveaway over there, where you can win a gelli plate & stencils...go enter now!) . I wanted to use them differently, and tried a couple new things as I layered and layered paint.
Usually I print on cardstock -- it's plentiful and cheap, in case I make a print I don't like. And that's the mindset I had...that I'd just put down paint and random stencils and see how things came out. I see now that was a narrow view, and left a lot more to chance than I was comfortable with. While I'm all for intuitive art, and often paint without a destination in mind, I have learned skills and style to help guide me.
This time, however, I spied a sheet of Arches hot press watercolor paper I'd found at Michael's on clearance (check your local store; it was 50% off!) and decided to cut it down to letter-sized sheets to try on the gelli plate. It made a huge difference! I was able to pick up so many more prints from each plate of paint, and was able to use more water to create watercolor-like layers at the very end.
I won't be using cardstock again! It's watercolor paper from now on!
Here are a couple of things I learned/loved:
- Instead of working on 2-3 pages at a time, it's more fun (and efficient) to work on about 6.
- By pulling parts of the plate instead of the entire plate with each pass, you can get many, many more prints from each application of color. For these, I only did each color once and was able to spread it across several pages.
- It's more fun to use cut stencils/bought stencils as a texture element than print through them.
- Adding glazing medium or GAC 100 extends your paint and makes layers into glazes. YUM!
- Mixing a earth color with a bright color = brilliant.
There's a bunch more, and I could probably write a whole blog post on each of those bullet points, but yum, I am in LOVE with the prints I made over the past two nights! They're vastly different than what I've made before and feel more organic, vivid, and just....arg! I wish I had a word for how HAPPY I am seeing these beautiful things I've made!
I'm thinking of putting a couple up in my Etsy shop; still deciding if I can part with any of these!
Here are the rest of them! (My fav remain those in the header image up there!)
And me at work!
BTW, I've been posting these little <1 minute videos on my Facebook page & Twitter account as a "check in" to share what I've been working on and ask you what you're up to. They're really fun to make, and are informal little things inspired by the new video feature on Instagram; am considering posting them here, or putting them together for a weekly thing....I don't know yet! Just know that they're there!