Gelli collab

Penny and I spent a few hours playing with our gelli plates today. We talked about processes, colour/pattern likes and dislikes, and so on. Some really useful things happen when you work alongside someone you trust.

Watching Penny work reminded me of processes I’ve used in the past, but have moved way from. I’d forgotten the sheer joy of putting colour on the plate and pulling a print – there’s no other way to get the serendipitous spots of colour and texture.

Penny had stopped using stencils with gelli printing and rediscovered her love of a particular circle stencil. We talked about how I like quite complex, layered prints, while she likes the clean, clear lines you get from a good ghost print (second pull).

I’ve been watching a lot of Elizabeth St Hilaire’s videos and tried to replicate her process. I didn’t get it quite right, and suspect I’m not starting with a dark enough base, need to think more about value / opacity, and do more layers. I’m sufficiently invested in the outcome that I’ll keep trying.

Here’s a selection of papers I made today using tissue and tracing paper, and one piece of Hahnemule sumi rice paper.

Cute new journal

I bought myself one of the small 6×6 Dina Wakley journals, which have lovely thick watercolour paper, and the new Art by Marlene Artsy Arabia paper elements. Love them! I’m having so much fun playing in this smaller format with the Dina Wakley gloss sprays, DWM acrylic paints, a few stencils and the paper elements.

Making windows in my journal

I’ve been inspired by Niamh Baly on YouTube lately and she’d been making windows in her Dina Wakley art journal. Ok then!! I’ve just got some new Dina Wakley MEdia paints and stencils – okay okay – and collage tissue and glass sprays – from Fiona at Create in Auckland so was all set for some playtime. It was fun linking the three pages together by making sure the window on the burlap page worked with the layouts on either side. It’s something I can see me doing more of, especially with the burlap pages.

#cjs20 day 26

Today’s artist is the lovely and talented artist Mary Beth Shaw, creator of StencilGirl Stencils. I own a *lot* of their stencils, and love them, so was delighted to see Mary Beth’s name pop up. Most of the work I do for #cjs each year is in a cheap A5 journal; today’s piece is one of those times when I wish I’d worked on better paper. Damn it!

day 26 MaryBeth Shaw

#cjs20 day 19

Today’s #cjs20 artist was Marsha Valk, whose colourful work I’ve seen (and liked) before. Her entire project wasn’t something I wanted to tackle in an evening so I used elements of her style to decorate a manilla folder. I use plain brown manilla folders for storing collage elements, painted papers, gelli prints etc so this was a useful project and a lot of messy fun.

 

#cjs20 day 13

The day 13 #cjs20 artist was Mystele Kirkeeng – I love the textural quality of her work so was delighted to see her name pop up. I decided to concentrate on her mark making and background style so did the dress but skipped the face. (I’m also playing catch up with posting as Tony has been away so I got a bit behind)

day 13 mystele

Music of my life

I have music on most of the time – at home, in my car, in my office… music keeps my brain busy so that I can concentrate on whatever I’m doing. I know that sounds odd – but it’s common with addicts, including food addicts like myself.

I listen to a wide range of music from opera to rock and hip hop. Favourites include HIM, Queen, P!nk, Meatloaf, Kiss and Nickelback. I often record the lyrics in my art journals. Why? Because my journals are about the things in my life and in my head – and music is a big part of that.

Dylusions – Paint: After midnight, Calypso teal, Mushy peas. Stencils: Diamonds in the rough, Shutters, Squares. Stamps: Dy’s alphabet. Other – Pitt big brush pen, Ranger collage medium, Distress black soot ink, black Archival ink, white gel pen.

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Art classes in Greymouth went well

I taught an art journal class on Thursday night and a gelli print class on Saturday in Greymouth, through Left Bank Art Gallery. The classes were held at CoRe, a fantastic community facility run by Cassandra Struve, one of those people who has so much passion for community development and can see the possibilities then act on them.

Some of the people who attended didn’t want to be photographed, which is fine, so these photos are entirely representative. People seemed to get a lot out of it and enjoy the processes. I had brunch with Penny Kirk yesterday and spotted a women who had attended the gelli class. I said hi and she told me she’s already turning her gelli prints into cards and will be buying her own gelli plate.

I’m already talking with Cassandra about running more classes in the new year, taking people to the next level with art journals and printing. As I said to Tony this morning, it’s funny that when you travel away you quite often get more support than at home. Perhaps when you’re local people assume you don’t have much to offer, or figure they can catch you any time?

Here’s a few photos of the classes and what people created. Enjoy!

An iterative process

Developing a body of work is a strongly iterative process for me. I start with an idea and play with it, refining and revising until I have a huge pile of works, especially if I’m working on paper. Perhaps only 30% of those works will make the final cut.

The final works often bear no resemblance to the initial ones; sometimes I can only ‘feel’ the linkages, not really see them. But the linkages are there, because each work is a visual representation of the ideas in my head. When I am deeply engrossed in a body of work there are repeating colours, shapes, lines and patterns that appear over and over, often without my being aware of it at the time.

My process is really about the process, not the final image. A lot of my current works are small – either A6 (4.5×6”) or A5 (9×6”) on beautiful Hahnemuhle watercolour paper. I might have 10 or 20 pieces of paper on the go all at once. I put down colour on each piece in layers, then work back into them making marks, adding patterns or collage – back and forth amongst the pile, strewing them all round me as I work. It’s messy and intuitive.

Choosing pieces for on the advertising ahead of time is stressful because I don’t know what the final works will be. But choose I must – and I have. Dimmie, who I am exhibiting with, is going to produce the poster etc with her awesome design skills.

The photos show some of the possible works, and a pile of works I’ve done to date. 

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Well, that pushed my buttons

The journaling on this page tells the story!

This is the first layout in a new 5×8″ Dylusions journal – I love the high quality stock for working on. I used Dylusions paints (Periwinkle blue, Vibrant turquoise, Mushy peas), stencils (Diamonds in the rough, Teardrops, Squares) and stamps (Dy’s alphabet), letter stamps (Tim Holtz tall text), Pitt Big Brush pen in walnut, Distress Ink in black soot for the edges of the journal strips, Ranger Distress collage medium & Tombow Mono adhesive. The image is from an old magazine – I keep files of people, buildings, angels, religious icons and flowers.

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