I spent a few hours over the past few days playing with the Gelli Arts Printing Plate and now I know why it is indeed one of the most valuable art tools on the market today. I was completely and totally absorbed by the possibilities.
Some of the things that I learned during this experiment:
- The color combinations are endless!
- The stencil combinations are endless! It’s hard to imagine putting two or more distinct looking stencils layered until you try it and say WOW!
- Different types of paper absorb the paint better than others. I removed the pages from a 9″x12″ mixed media paper wire bound journal and used all of those and then looked for more paper and found a ream of Wausau Exact Bristol paper, a much better choice for this technique. It picked up the paint better, didn’t require as much rubbing and the paint colors seemed brighter, denser and picked up any imperfections from my brayering the paint.
- Don’t use a scrapbooking paper stencil – ARG! It completely stuck to the plate and I had to peel it off in pieces.
- Liquitex soft body acrylics worked perfectly. I wanted bold, clear colors and the craft acrylics did not deliver that for me.
- Keep your brayer clean!
- I used a large (18″x24″) pad of newsprint to roll the brayer on as soon as I was done laying the paint on the Gelli plate (see pics below). I also wiped down the brayer with a soft cloth to make sure there were no paper tidbits or fuzz (unless that is the look you want).
- Use a hard, nonporous, non-slip surface to place the Gelli plate on. I taped a sheet of freezer paper on my table which worked fine except while I was cleaning the plate and the whole thing moved tearing the paper. I have a 2″ coated shelf from my kitchen cabinet remodel that I tried and it worked perfectly, no slipping at all.
- I was concerned about leaving paint on my stencils, so after I printed with it I pressed it on a piece of newsprint to remove any excess. Yes, there is still some on the stencil, but this won’t ruin it.
- Anything can be a stencil or mask. The best print that I made was using a piece of corrugated cardboard. I loved the lines it created on the paper, perfect for journaling. I also tried a plastic square holed sink protector that I picked up at the dollar store. The square holes reminded me of a high-rise apartment building with the lights on in all the windows. I used Orange Azo and it printed exactly as I imagined it.
Here are some of the prints that I created.
And here are the “scrap” papers that were serendipitously created after cleaning the brayer and the stencils. These will be torn up and used as add on collage elements.
Lots of colors to keep my imagination and muse going!
I hope you will try out the Gelli Arts Printing Plate. You can learn more about this plate and watch their videos on their website. (I am not affiliated with the company).
Keep it simple!
In December of 2009, I took an on-line class from Mary Ann Moss called Remains of the Day. Since that time, I have been fascinated with the idea of using up all of the paper that I collected over the years. My first ROD journal was filled with writing, photos and ephemera from my everyday life. I decided to begin this new year with another ROD journal.
Below are the beginnings of my pages.
I start by going through my paper box and selecting papers to be cut. This is the box that I keep full size papers in, usually papers that are 12″x12″ or a bit smaller. The papers in this box are usually scrapbook, gift wrap or any heavier paper like cardstock.
My cutting table and scraps.
This is my scrap box for smaller pieces that I have used for other projects or interesting ephemera that I have collected.
I select paper from both boxes and start sewing to create my journal pages to size and then fold them in half to create the pages for the signatures. Below is a stack of sewn pages waiting for more scraps.
If you want to make your own Remains of the Day Journal to celebrate the New Year, click on the button on the right for the on-line class taught by Mary Ann Moss. This class is very inspiring and once you get the concept of creating these journals you will become obsessed with using all of those scraps that you’ve been saving.
Happy New Year!
Keep it simple.
Since finishing my first Remains of the Day Journal, I decided to go back and create some more mail art envies. Here is number 2. It measures 6 wide x 8 inches tall and opens at the top. I discovered, at the post office a few days ago, that these types of envelopes are considered Parcel Post (not a large envelope) and require a bit of extra postage so keep that in mind as you make and mail your Mail Art. Have fun.
Happy New Year.
Woo hoo! Registration for Mary Ann Moss’ newest on-line class “Remains of the Day” has opened. If you have not seen her journals, take a look. They are fabulous!! Class starts on December 15 – still plenty of time to sign up and start collecting your bits and pieces for this one of a kind journal. Won’t you join me?
Simplify! That is my word for the month of October. In that spirit, I am going to be tackling my art studio, my home and my job – asking the question “How can I simplify?”
Starting with the art studio: I have been hording art papers for the past few years. I don’t know how or why this became an obsession with me, all I know is that the dresser drawers were over flowing. Once I purchased the papers I stuck them in a drawer only to be looked at occasionally and used only when the perfect project was presented. You know how that goes – the perfect project never appears.
Well, all that changed yesterday. I was running out of storage space and decided to take Kelly’s advice on how to deal with paper. When you bring home a new sheet of paper, tear it in half. (There is something about tearing it that makes it OK to use.) Take one of the halves and put it into your active box for collaging and the other half goes to a pile to be traded/swapped/donated. I started a box with these other halves and will take them to the monthly art group for trading. If I have left overs I will take them to my children’s school to be used in their art classes (did I mention I will be leading my son’s art class?)
Once I completed destashing the art paper, I started on all of the ephemera that was stored in boxes and folders. I realized that I had been cutting and tearing images from magazine that really had no meaning for me – just things that I thought I might use, eventually. A majority of the magazine images ended up in the recycle bin and I now have 12 inch by 12 inch boxes stacked and sorted by category (travel, postage, images, etc.) to hold all my ephemera pieces ready to be used. (And I recycled the stacks of magazines that were sitting on the floor waiting for me to go through and tear out pages. No more of that – if I see something in a magazine that catches my eye, I will tear it out immediately and file it in the proper box).
Now on to the paints. I have at least 50 bottles of cheap acrylics sitting in the bottom of one of the drawers. What ever possessed me to buy them, I don’t know. Have you painted with them? They are exactly what they are, cheap imitations that tease you into thinking you will get rich vivid color for only a buck a bottle. Liar! Out they go. Nothing can compare to the color richness of my Golden paints. I love the fluid and the tube versions of Golden and will continue to use them and blend my own colors.
What happens when you get organized? You make stuff with the things you have! I started six Swatches books in Kelly Kilmer’s class last weekend and spend a few hours last night collaging the first layer in them. I found it to be so much more enjoyable now that I have my collage supplies sorted and ready to be used.
Here is my Swatches book that I started last night. I added bits and pieces of ephemera from my recent trip to my favorite city, San Francisco.
What word will you choose to get motivated this month?