One of the rewards of de-cluttering and organization is finding things you haven’t seen in a while! One of the discoveries I was excited about was in with my printmaking supplies. I’ve not made any new prints for quite some time and actually have some new materials to try out so getting the supplies together and ready made me even more anxious to explore the media again. The bonus was that I’d stashed a pile of gelatin prints from previous explorations in with the supplies, it was such fun visiting with them again. 🙂
I am going to go right now and find a spot on my calendar and mark it in bold letters: EXPLORE PRINTMAKING! Look for some newness in the next month.
These are a few of the new prints I created when I had my open studio/play dates last month. It was fun just playing again and I really like the textures in these pieces. I may use them for something else or some of them may stay exactly as they are, it’s hard to say at this point.
I had a total of 11 visitors come by and play with gelatin prints during the open studio times! It is always so fun to see how others create using the same materials and processes, I’m always amazed.
I plan to have more open studio play dates in 2012 – stay tuned for details!
After completing the last group of gelatin prints I posted I did one more set, this set using a few brighter colors. I finished with two landscape images that I was very please with. I hope to have time in the studio soon to work on more prints but my schedule seems overwhelmed with demands lately. I hate when that happens! In the meantime, enjoy these two prints until I can get back to making more.
Yes, it’s true…I was told not to play with my food as a child but, evidently, I just never took the rule to heart! 🙂 Today I’m going to show you the first of several new printmaking projects made using gelatin as a printing plate. This is a fun way to explore printmaking without having to use a press. The plate is basically just a 1/4 to 1/2″ deep slab of thick gelatin. Although fairly durable it can develop cracks and other imperfections – you can either embrace them and use them within your art or move to the next plate if you are wanting a mostly smooth, blemish free surface. I divided my sheet into two different plates and placed them on a large piece of plexiglass so I could make slightly smaller prints (around 8×12″ each) instead of large ones. Once that is set up I tape my printing paper in place in one side so that I can flip it over to print and reprint in the same place with each layer.
I used very thin layers of colors for this project so that I could build up the color gradually and manipulate darker & lighter areas.
I was also working on some “shadow” prints at the same time (using the leftover color on the plate after the first printing). I took some charcoal and added details to the shadow prints, when I printed them again some of the charcoal left it’s mark on the plates. I left it there, added more color and transfered it to these two prints. (I will show you the shadow prints in my next post!)
After adding the last layer of color and letting the prints dry I went back in to both of them and added more lines. The images at the top of the page had pencil added to it, this one I used a fine line marker:
It has been a while since I’ve done any printmaking projects and these are a departure from the style of the previous ones. It’s always fun to see where my art takes me!
Going with the flow…
Here are a few of the prints that I created during last weeks nature-based art class. These were all printed using a gelatin (yes, like Jello) plate for the printing surface and acrylic paint as “ink”. The paint is either rolled or brushed on the gelatin plate, the print paper is laid on top of the paint and then you use your hands to rub & smooth the back of the paper. The gelatin releases the paint onto the paper and when you peel the paper off of the plate you have a print. To intergrate the leaves & shapes into the print you lay them on top of the inked plate before putting the paper in place. When you remove the paper from the plate you get the blank silouette/outline of whatever item you laid on the plate. If you remove the leaf/item from the plate it will leave a detailed image on the plate which you can print either as an additional layer on the original print or on a second piece of paper. Often there is enough ink/paint left on the plate to make subsequent “shadow” prints. These shadow prints make a nice “base” to print a different composition on top of or can stand alone.
Image 1 – multiple drop monoprint
Image #1 – This image was printed first with red ink/paint, then later a different arrangment of leaves, etc. were printed on top of the red print using black ink/paint.
Image #2 – monoprint
Image #2 – This image was made by applying two colors of paint onto the gelatin plate & blending them together. After the ink/paint was applied I used a textured plate to imprint a background pattern and then placed pine needles on top of the paint. I decided to use black print paper for a sharp contrast between the paint & the background.
Image #3 – This print was made on green paper. The rectangular base color was a “shadow” print from a previous composition. The next layer was made using a round gelatin plate, it is also a shadow print of a leaf. The following layer was made with white ink covered with lace, followed by a shadow prints from the same ink.
Image #4 – This image was made in a similar fashion to the second image above, the base print was made by applying muliple colors of paint onto the gelatin plate & blending them together. After the ink/paint was applied I used a textured plate to imprint a background pattern. I then inked the plate with black paint, for a sharp contrast between the paint & the background, then I placed various leaves on top of the paint and printed the second layer.
With their permission I hope to show some of my student’s work soon too!
Greetings! As you can tell by the time between blog entries life has continued to be extra busy for me. When I peek at the calendar for September it looks like that may be improving soon, I am excited by the prospect! Up until last weekend I hadn’t had (or taken) time to make any art since early July. Thankfully that has changed! I know I have mentioned in newsletters, as well as on the website, about my involvement in the Best Buddies program. It’s that time of year again and I got to meet my new buddy for this year’s art project on Saturday. He is a great young man named Carl and we spent several hours together creating artwork to be auctioned off at the upcoming “Art of Friendship” event. The last two years I’ve taken my buddy out, given them a camera & instructions and then used their photos to create a digital art piece. This year we changed it up a bit and made a mixed media piece on canvas. The process started by doing several printmaking images on gelatin plates. It’s an interesting and unique process that used a slab of thickly mixed gelatin (yup, just like Jello!) to print with. Carl took to the process right away and made some wonderful prints in a very short amount of time. While they dried we started work on the canvas, covering it with a variety of printed tissue paper and a few other patterned papers that Carl chose. Then he picked a few of the newly created prints to coordinate with what we had on the canvas and, after tearing & cutting them into interesting shapes those were layered on to the piece. Although I still need to finish the edges and add some red paint here & there we were both pleased with how the piece turned out. Carl chose “Red Masterpiece” for the title. Here is an image of it thus far:
That same day I got a call from one of my best artist/friends that I hadn’t seen in several months. As it worked out we were able to set aside time the following day to get together, catch up with what was going on in each of our lives, and collaborate on some art. It was a beautiful, sunny day so we took a couple of easels out into the woods, carried out the paints and supplies, pulled a vehicle close (for musical purposes) and just let the art flow.
Being outside was a great change of pace, I enjoyed the freedom to make a mess, drip paint on the ground and just be free about what I was doing. We each started one piece, then somewhere in the process we switched to work on the other, then back again until we were happy with the final results. Once I get past the intimidation of painting on someone else’s work it’s a lot of fun to combining different styles and techniques. Here are the final results:
We had such a great time we are hoping to get together on a more regular basis and create even more!
I am posting this entry from the Mary Anderson Center in southern Indiana, where I arrived on Thursday. I was so excited to get away and retreat here for a few days! Thus far I have unpacked, settled into my room & studio space, dabbled with some art, eaten well, spent time outside and met my fellow artist’s in residence for this visit. I’m sure I’ll have more to tell you, as well as some new art images to share, as my stay progresses. Take care, have a safe holiday weekend!