Printmaking fun!

Creating abstract fun with a Gelliplate

I recently bought a smaller sized 5×5 inch square Gelliplate for abstract and nature printmaking projects. I found this size perfect for my Hobonichi journal. It’s a fun and relaxing way to collect ephemera for future art journal projects.

I usually like to use nature samples for my imprints, like leaves and ferns, but here I cut out my own stencils from file folder cardstock. Part of the fun is learning to enjoy the happy surprises that you end up with, even if you do get a few “not so great” prints along the way. In the end, it’s all about having fun in the process–re-visiting your child-like experience with art.

Speedball lino carving some new stamps

Speedball carving tools for mixed media projects…

Today it was rainy and quite dreary looking outside here in Central Florida, not to mention a few powerful thunderstorms rolled on through. I decided to stay inside for the day and play in the art studio. I had a small piece of Speedball pink carving rubber that I found in “the” closet, and I thought carving would be a great way to relax and listen to the rain while keeping myself busy.

There are a lot of wonderful YouTube videos on how to use lino cutting tools, so I won’t give a detailed account of technique. Just remember to keep your fingers out of the way. And when you want to make curved lines, turn the rubber underneath the cutting tool… things go a lot smoother that way. 😉

For this coffee stamp I must admit that I did not sketch on paper and then transfer onto the rubber, but you should. I figured it would be easy enough use a smooth ballpoint pen and just draw on the rubber directly. Luckily for me, my brain flipped the letters around correctly, and when I printed the stamp the word “coffee” was readable. This is no small miracle. But some days, art studio magic happens.

I also just used the direct “draw on the rubber” technique (do not judge my impatience!) LOL for the rest of these stamps. I was on a roll, finishing quite a few designs today. But I am almost out of tins–my tin stash is slowly being depleted. Sigh. I guess I will have to go tin shopping again soon! For those who know me, there aren’t enough tins in the universe. Tin obsession!!!!

Happy carving friends. Please keep all your fingers!

Printing with craft foam

For many people in the mixed media world, this is nothing new. But I find people are generally amused by the use of simple materials to create impressions and designs in mixed media art journal spreads.

Although I have demonstrated this on Periscope, I thought a quick visual overview on the blog would help you get started.

Any craft foam found in the craft stores will work. I’ve used the thinner foam, and it was just okay. I guess you will have to experiment, but I personally like the medium-thick kind. And of course, I threw out the label, so… ahem–yeah, I can’t tell you the exact thickness in any helpful measurement form. Aaaagh.

Select any stamp pad ink, depending on your personal preference and paper needs. In this demonstration I am stamping directly into my Hobonichi Techo with VersaMagic Gingerbread chalk ink.

Just trim off a little piece to desired shape, and use a blunt, yet pointed instrument to press a design into the foam. I like using a steel crochet hook. Press hard enough to leave a mark, yet not so hard you rip right through to the other side! That’s really all there is to it… tap the finished design onto an ink pad like you would with any rubber stamp and print your original image on ephemera or directly into your journal.

Sometimes if I want to keep my fingers clean, I will use double-sided tape on the back, which makes for a cleaner inking and stamping process. It’s a quick, inexpensive way to add an artsy, one-one-a-kind look to your journals. I store my foam stamps in pretty boxes from Tuesday Morning–beware, it gets addicting. Have fun!!!!

Gelli Plate printing in Composition Notebook

This morning I wanted to make some quick Gelli Plate printed pages in my composition notebook to see how much paint these thin pages could handle. I had started this notebook a few years ago, but I lost interest in working on the lined paper after having filled about 4 of them with collage and daily writing entries. I was drawn to this one because I had decorated the front cover with acrylics, and it looked so pretty sitting on my bookshelf. I think I was going to use this notebook for capturing free writing exercises, having been inspired by the book Poemcrazy. (love this book) Note to self… I must get back to those writing prompts and let the brain purge all these creative words that are floating around.

I am always amazed at how much stronger these thin, ruled pages become with the added layers of acrylics. The traditional sewn binding makes these school notebooks withstand the toughest art studio abuse. Here is a little photo sample of this morning’s printing adventure…

DSC_1004

Using some old sheet music to lift off extra colors and to have a place to wipe off the brayer.DSC_1003 Printing directly into the composition notebook.DSC_1001Styrofoam egg carton as a printing tool

DSC_0999DSC_0991Traditional black and white marble composition school notebook turned into an art and writing journal.

DSC_0990Homemade stamps. One cut out of folder stock. The other is a piece of cardboard with rubber bands wrapped around it.DSC_0988I painted the cover of my composition notebook with artist acrylics.
DSC_0982

Today’s Gelli Plate Art #monoprinting #gelliarts #printmaking #abstract #followart

"Inkblot"

“Inkblot”

 

Today’s Gelli Plate print was created with various craft and artist acrylic colors and some of my homemade masks. I cut out a bunch of freeform stencils from old file folders to use in the layering paint process. The fossil looking on the left top area was actually created with a hot glue gun–melted glue drawn onto a scrap piece of cardboard and allowed to dry. It’s a great impression stamp, and although I’ve made several glue stamp plates, this design seems to be one of my favorites. The center image was an actual leaf from one of my garden specimens (an added bonus to living in Florida–year round nature specimens!). Although it didn’t pick up the veins, I liked the resulting bold silhouette. The black inkblot section was created by fingerpainting with my gloved finger so as to have a more free-form color block instead of rolling it smooth with a brayer.

After a printing session, the best part is sitting in the family room sorting through the art prints of the day. As usual, they get a few added embellishments with colored pencils and any other mark making tools that are within reach–apparently I cannot help myself–always interested in the details that I can place into the layers . I’m looking forward to tonight’s creation.

Gelli Plate Beginnings #mixedmedia #gelliarts #abstract #printmaking

rushhourr

 

Wind Chimes

 

I’ve been having a wonderful time experimenting with the large Gelli Plate as a starting point for creating my newest mixed media abstracts. The layering process sets up a unique base to add other marks and sometimes, additional paper layers. After pulling several print layers from the plate, I decided to add hand drawn elements using colored pencils and acrylic paints. The overall effect is varied and leaves a lot of visual eye candy to enjoy.