I’m doing two #100dayprojects, and am up to day 84. One of them is about making a collage a day, and I’ve been playing along with Froyle, as she inspires us to try different colours. This week she asked what colour represents hope for us. My initial thought was orange but, the more I thought about it, that’s not true. I love orange, it’s about fire and passion and danger, not hope.
For me hope is a mix of blues and greens; the colours of nature and the sea. The land and waterways being healthy is what will give me hope for earth. I particularly love the colour of the Hokitika Gorge, and the greens of the land as it meets the blue of the distant hills on the West Coast. When I’m there I create lovely gelli prints inspired by the land around me. When I get home I stop. Not because I’m home, but because – as beautiful as it is – the land around me doesn’t inspire me in quite the same way.
Here’s the first of this week’s collages inspired by the colour of hope.
Today I’ve made nine A5 collages, using a variety of gelli printed and stenciled deli, tissue, rice and copier papers. The circles were inspired by Froyle, who I’ve started following on YouTube. I love doing small collage, it’s a great way of testing ideas. The ones that are successful are a good price point for selling.
Here’s a sample of today’s work, plus a shot of the chaos while I was creating; I make a point of cleaning up when I’m finished so I don’t feel overwhelmed by the mess when I next sit down to create.
Tony has been home for days in a row; yesterday I took him to see his friend Len who isn’t doing so well,. Tony had a rough night and was super tired today – we need to watch next weekend that we do even less.
I haven’t had a lot of art time, but managed to squeeze some inky finger time in today. I’ve been making gelli print papers with my new Klimt inspired stencils by Elizabeth St Hilaire for Joggles.com. I’ve worked on deli paper and Hahn sumi-e rice paper. Once that was done I played in my 6×6 Dina Wakley art journals for a couple of hours. Some of the pages are cut and extended so the writing looks odd unless you see it in person.
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.