Thursday, July 31, 2014

Art Experiment, gelli printing on Interfacing

Art Experiment is a a series of posts using supplies which I own but have rarely (or never) used. Failure or success is not important, it is trying something different and seeing what can come from it.  There are three goals: try something new, use something in my supply stash, and have fun/experiment in the studio.

I have a bunch of interfacing that I had inherited or bought(?). A lot of it does not have adhesive on it. I was inspired by Gelli Arts video on their website, here, to gelli print on some of it.
My interfacing stash
I am sure I own this interfacing because I am enamored with the book Hot Textiles (and another book that I don't remember the name of and will try to add later. I cannot find this on Amazon for the life of me. It has a green cover and I believe the title had recycling fabric in the title. All my books are still in boxes from the move. Three days looking on Amazon and still no luck).  I really want to make some textile art with polyester materials and melt parts of it.  Hopefully I will get to that part in the future.  In the mean time, this week I gelli printed on my interfacing. I know somewhere in my stash I also have some Tyvek and Evolon for my future fiber melting experiments. Their location is not currently known, as there are still boxes from our move that have not been unearthed, so that will be a separate post/experiment when they are located. I did find some nappy liners and lightweight lutradur to add to this experiment.

I used the same process I would for gelli printing on paper or fabric. I put paint on the plate and rolled it out with a brayer.  I laid down some stencils, then my interfacing, and pull a print. If there is still paint on the plate, I try to pull a ghost print. And so on, and so on. Until my dining table is covered. Then I often add another layer to most of them. I go into more detail about gelli printing in my post here

I found printing on interfacing very similar to paper.  If using a thin interfacing, I recommend putting a piece of deli paper on top as the paint does seep through the interfacing. Typically I couldn't get a decent print on the deli paper as well, there was not enough seeping paint for that.  I had a thin and a thick interfacing and liked the thin one better, as the prints can be layered over other prints, since they are translucent.

Here are my interfacing prints.

I also did some prints on fabric.

And some on deli paper

 I also did some black and white prints (love them!), mainly on fabric.

I really liked using the interfacing for gelli printing and would definitely use it again. I have a project for these already, so I hope to get working on using these soon.

Update 9/8/14: See my post here using a gelli print on interfacing and one of these deli paper prints to make a piece of artwork.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Art Experiments

During our move last month, my husband saw that I kept quite a few supplies that I have never used...ever. Which is (of course) totally true. I have some Depression-era genes (from my mom's side) for keeping things, assuming it will be needed eventually.  Why get rid of something if I may need one in five years and would have to re-buy it then?  At least it is mainly just art supplies I feel this way about.  I also have magpie syndrome, where new sparkly things (and the latest "hot" supply) attract me and end up being added to my stash.

Some examples:
  • I have items that I got from other artists (people that can actually de-stash) like Jacquard's Sherrill's Sherberts, which are discontinued fabric paints. 
  • The latest addition, a set of three "Silks" acrylic paints that were in the clearance section of Hobby Lobby.
  • I have a huge collection (15 or so? some are the mini-size) of Shiva Oil Sticks, and have only used them twice (once with the red one, and once with a gold one). I also have a stash of rubbing plates to use with these that have rarely seen the light of day.
  • The list goes on and on, Tyvek, Hot Dots, Twinkling H2Os, Dy-na-flow, etc.

In my desire need to: pare down, use supplies that I have and don't know whether I like, and prove that all my supplies are "necessary" (cough, cough), I've decided to experiment with a different product each week.  My plan is to post my experiments on Thursdays (starting tomorrow).  These experiments will be with supplies in my stash that I have never (or rarely have) used. My goal is to try to use as much of the supply as I can. If I like it, I can always buy more right? It seems most of the art I do involves experimentation on some level, so why not try something I own and see where it leads.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

More stencil making

Recently I did a post about stencil making here. While I was at it, I also cut a stencil from a discontinued pattern book I bought at Hobby Lobby for $2.50.  Here are both the positive and negative stencils. I used the one on the left for all my prints.Note how I had to cut sections at the elbow when their arms were akimbo.  I basically have "hanging chads" on the stencil on the left (for the negative space between her arm and waist) and had to be careful they didn't flop around when laying the stencil down.

 Here are my lovely ladies. I really liked layering this stencil with other patterned stencils underneath.

And some in color. Many of them get a little lost with so much pattern, but I will probably go and use a pen around sections of them to make them more visible.

I think they look awesome.  I will mat some of these for the Denver Modernism Show, where I will be sharing a booth with Simone (Susan) Maxwell the weekend of August 21st.

Update 9/8/14: See my post here using a gelli print on interfacing and one on deli paper together on a piece of artwork. 

Making stencils from photos

I wanted to make some stencils but the stencil film is always a bit of a pain. Also, I wanted to use my own pictures and transferring the design is a pain.

I printed my pictures on standard copy paper, applied contact paper to the front and back, and cut out the image.  Next time I may use cardstock to print my image on, as these are pretty floppy.

Here are my photos:

And my stencils:

in progress

finished stencil
 My dining table after gelli printing:

Most of these (below) were printed on paper that had been gelli printed before. They already had at lease one color on them, if not more.  I used the bold large curvy stencil first, that was placed over a loopy circle stencil. I didn't like how it looked, and printed over them all of them with the tree stencil. You can see that first stencil on a few of these tree pieces, they were done in orange. (All three on the bottom row have it, as well as the top middle in the second picture).

I love how bold and graphic the cacti look in turquoise and orange/pink.

I have done previous posts about gelli printing, but thought I would describe my process again.  I use acrylic paints, which may be heavy body artist's acrylic, artist's fluid acrylic, and/or acrylic craft paint (my least favorite, but if I like the color I will use it).  Now that I live in Nebraska, I am not worried about the paints drying out before I get the prints made.  When I lived in Denver, I sometimes used Golden Open acrylics or added Open Medium to my paints to slow the dry time since Denver is such a dry climate.  When I print on fabric, I prefer the heavy body acrylics so I can get better coverage.  For paper, I prefer the fluid acrylics, but will use any of them. 

First, I splurt paint on my gelli plate. I use a Speedball hard rubber brayer to roll the paint over the surface. Sometimes I may do different colors on different sections, use two colors (not over-blending) over the whole surface for a mottled affect (some of the cacti have an orange/pink mottling),  or a solid color. If I want to lighten a color, I will add white directly on the plate with the other color and brayer it until it is a uniform color. Now I have a painted plate, and a brayer with paint all over it.

Second, to "clean" my brayer, I roll it on a piece of deli paper I have next to my gelli plate until no more paint is transferring.  Lately, I have been putting a stencil under the paper, then rolling the brayer over the paper, and the pattern from the stencil will show on the deli paper.  So I get another print of a sort from this. Since I haven't put a stencil on the plate yet, I could use the same stencil for cleaning my brayer that I use for my gelli prints. (I will use the same piece of deli paper for cleaning my brayer multiple times with different colors. These papers often are my "starter" papers when I gelli print again. The last cactus picture above is a blue print over one of my brayer cleaning papers).

Third, I either put one stencil, layer a few stencils, or butt stencils next to each other, on my plate. I put my paper or fabric down and rub.  I usually use my hands and fingers, but sometimes use my brayer.  Typically I use my hands and fingers when there are stencils on top of the plate so I can get the paper or fabric into all the details. I may do a second and possibly a third print on another piece of fabric/paper if I think there is still enough paint on the surface.

Fourth, I remove my stencil and lay it paint-side down on another piece of fabric, paper, or deli paper. I use my brayer over it to transfer the paint. I typically only get one print from this.

Fifth, I make another print from my plate on a new piece of fabric/paper. Usually I can get one good one, but may get one or two more that aren't so great.

Sixth, I usually lightly mist the plate with water and get one or two more prints. These are usually watery and messy, but are great starter pieces to add more layers to, when I do gelli printing again.

Tip: If you want to do some fabric and paper prints, print the fabric first. The fabric needs a lot of paint on the plate to make a decent print.  I usually will do Step 3 first with fabric, then with paper for my additional prints. Same with step 5, fabric first, then paper.  If I am doing a fabric print, and peek to see how it looks and it is not transferring well, I sometimes mist very very lightly with water on the back side of the fabric and then rub it some more. 

Update 4/27/2015: A new stencil cutting/gelling printing post is here.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Fabric storage

I had a lot of fabric to put away after the move. The fabrics in the green bins with pink striped lids will stay in those containers, but the other fabrics will get new homes from the two large plastic storage containers, one of the smaller plastic containers (the other like this is UFOs), the black trash bag and other miscellaneous containers.

The majority of the fabric will be stacked in this shelving unit (which will be replaced in the future by something prettier). The cardboard boxes are office supplies and such.

I also will be using this plastic cubby unit. This was originally a sales display for toys at a defunct Borders store, where I bought it for $30.

Full disclosure, I do have other fabrics in a few of these Ikea units. 

And fat quarters in these cabinets.

We are going from this:

To this. These are commercial fabrics, vintage sheeting, and on top, canvas and a chenille bedspread. There are some unfinished skeleton pillows in the mix too.

And this. 

And also this.  I bought three of these "under bed" storage drawers at Bed, Bath, and Beyond because they will perfectly fit in the built-in in this room.  I bought three of them, but only filled two. I told my husband I must need more fabric since I have an empty one.  One is all whites (some cottons, some polyester, some large lace pieces). The other is all hand dyes.  Most of the fabric in the Ikea drawer units are also hand dyes.

Here you can see the black storage drawers in the built-in.  You can also see one of my Ikea units in the closet with the small white cabinet that has fat quarters inside.  The red bucket holds my batting and some clear vinyl. I hung my pillow inserts from pants hangers on the clothes rod.

This certainly isn't the best organization in the world. I do have hand dyed fabric in multiple places, as wall as marbled fabrics and some other categories that are located in more than one place. But at least all the fabric has a home. There is still a section of this room that has not been dealt with. I will do a complete room shot when that part has been straightened up.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Dining Room Update

Here is a picture of the dining room, almost complete.  We still have some boxes being stored in here.  I want to recover the dining chairs, but haven't decided on a fabric yet.  The back wall is in dire need of art, and I have painting/fabric collage planned but haven't started it yet.
I love this yellow rug from Ikea.

The "before" shots. After removing the spackled stencil patterns on the arch.

After priming.

The house has good bones and after refinishing the floor and changing the wall color, it really shines.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

A room of one's own

I have a lovely sewing room/office in one of the bedrooms upstairs, but I needed a space for painting and mixed media as well.  Eventually this will be in the basement, once we finish with the remodel.  Since we haven't even started work on the basement, it could be 3-6 months before it's done.

In the meantime, I am using a large space that is part of the living room/dining room. I will try to keep it somewhat neat, in case we have company/people over for dinner.  I am lucky that my husband understands an art room is a requirement for me.  He is fine with my temporary studio location as he knows 3-6 months is too long to go without one. 

Monday, July 21, 2014

The cupboard under the stairs

Okay, it's really the coat closet, but it is under the stairs. Harry Potter would be quite comfortable in here.  We even have a hook latch on the outside (the previous owner's solution to the door knob not latching, there are three doors in the house with these hook latches).

I don't have a "before" picture because it's just a closet after all.  It did have a patchy coat of primer (over wallpaper of course). We get a glimpse of the wallpaper in here. (Behind a board, there was about 1/2" showing)  Since it's just a closet, I didn't bother removing any of the wallpaper (even the pieces barely hanging on, on the underside of the stairs).

As soon as the paint was dry, I moved a lot of art stuff in here, since it was so spacious. There is still room for coats...

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Living Room Update

We finally finished painting the living room and dining room.  We have the living room pretty much ship-shape. We still have a lot of boxes in the rest of the area, so once we get it better organized/ cleaned up, I will post pictures of the them. I do need to buy/make some accent pillows and hang some art.

If you don't remember what this room used to look like, here it is in it's caramel colored glory.  

Priming, before painting.

And some more "after" photos.
And another photo after priming.