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.
Today’s #creativejumpstart21 artist was Martice Smith. Martice talked about her art practice, which is strongly influenced by her surroundings, and then showed how she develops gelli prints. I chose to use a variety of leaves from the garden to gelli print with, then worked back into some of them with various pens. I ended up with a nice stash I can use for collage.
Tonight I’ve added more layers to last night’s gelli prints. I added some strong darks, lighter green and pinks, then finally a brightish yellow and medium creamy brown. Some of the time I used hand cut stencils, focussing on the shapes that appear throughout my artwork. That way, the final prints will show my hand in them.
These will get final marks in the next few nights. I’ll spend time looking at each one, thinking about what I like, what’s not quite right, and so on. Not all of them will end up as completed works, and that’s ok.
The photos are quite bright night time ones taking with my phone, so a bit of flash glare etc.
If you’re coming to the class in Greymouth, please book at Left Bank Art Gallery – I need to know numbers so I can make up the class packs … thank you!
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!
I decided I wanted some gelli print samples that have a description of my process on the piece of paper, so people who come to gelli classes have visual reminders. I’ve spent time this afternoon recording my process. I don’t find that easy because I get distracted and keep creating, then can’t remember exactly what I have done! Here’s a sneak peak ahead of classes in Hawera this coming Wednesday 10 July and Greymouth on Saturday 20th July. Email at cathsheard @xtra.co.nz if you’d like more information.
I’m teaching a couple of art classes in Greymouth next month, so I’ve been busy putting class packs together. I love gelli printing because it’s something anyone can have fun with, regardless of artistic or physical abilities. There’s no toxic chemicals and you don’t need a lot of time or materials.
I thought I’d share a few fav prints from the last two or three years; as you can see, gelli printing can produce a wide variety of styles. Some prints I keep as artworks in their own right, some become the base for mixed media works, some become part of collages, some I cut up and use when I’m making cards.
Some of the gelli prints I did yesterday *needed* me to do some more work on them 😉
I’m using hand painted papers as collage materials to add circles. I suspect they echo the rocks I saw at Hokitika Gorge but I’m not sure. That’s the thing with my art process – it’s intuitive and iterative. The first few tentative works in a series and the final pieces are often worlds apart and, for many people, the final works have little or no relation to the initial inspiration. And I’m totally ok with that.
The collaged shapes are very specific. I have quite large sheets of randomly painted papers and when I cut a shape it is carefully chosen for the colours. Then I test the shape on the base work and sometimes trim a millimeter or two off here and there, more than once, before it feels right!
What I know of this Hokitika series is there’s some distinct colours, lines and shapes that are appearing over and over again. I’m still working quite small – these are about 6″ square – but will work bigger eventually.
In November I spent a few days in Greymouth and Hokitika, and visited Hokitika Gorge. The shapes and colours have invaded my mind & are appearing in my art.
When I did my final (4th) year at The Learning Connection a few strong marks emerged, including a sort of curved power pole with a cross beam, normally in cream. (I can’t find an image of these works anywhere)
I’m finding those marks have reappeared in a new form – this time as a cross with some tiny hatchmarks near it, a cross and some hatchmarks inside a circle, and a curved pair of parallel lines with a cross beam. The circle / oval are featuring too, and are fairly new to me in terms of consistent use.
I’ve shown below some works from 2008, and some of the new works I’ve been doing, which are gelli prints as a base with mark making in subsequent layers. Looking at these, the connection between the 2008 marks, and today’s marks, isn’t as obvious as I thought it would be …
(in other news, I think my scanner glass needs a good clean)
I’ve spent a couple of hours today making more gelli prints using stencils, masks, stamps and bubble wrap. What do I do with them? I use them for collage, in my art journals, card making and even in finished art works. Some of them will end up with more paint, crayon, pen etc over the top yet.
Today’s artist is Annie O’Brien Gonzales demonstrating collaged monoprints. This is something I do anyway, but her style changed things for me a bit and I got some really lovely prints – interestingly the scrap prints I made as I pulled the ‘real’ ones are possibly my favs!