Wednesday, December 9, 2015

black and white gelli prints

Just because I started one project on Sunday, doesn't mean I won't work on a different one on Tuesday. I made a bunch of colored gelli prints for a project on Sunday, and yesterday I did a bunch of new prints that are black and white.

I got an instructional art DVD of Anne Bagby's, the link to it is here, and the first step is to make black and white patterned papers. Anne uses painted backgrounds, stamps, and stencils. I decided to use my gelli plate since it is so fast to make multiple prints. 

Black prints on white background.

White prints on a  black background.

Black prints on translucent deli paper.

White prints on translucent deli paper (I put them on a black piece of fabric so you can see the white paint on white translucent deli paper).

I cannot tell you how many unfinished projects I have, let's hope neither of these projects end up in the permanent UFO pile!

Monday, December 7, 2015

Gelli printing play

I have a project in mind that includes gelli prints, so I made some this weekend specifically for this project.  I hope to have some finished pieces to show next week, if this works like I want it to.

These prints are on deli paper or tissue paper.  The tissue paper I used was meant to be applied to walls to give a textured wrinkled look to them (which I bought cheap at the thrift store, it's probably from decades ago).  It seems a bit more sturdy than the average tissue paper, I didn't have a single tear.

I bought quite a few new stencils over Thanksgiving weekend, as I was visiting family in Greensboro, NC and Betty's has a great selection. There is a severe lack of cool art and craft supply stores in the vicinity of Kearney, so I go a bit overboard when I travel. I really like the giant flower stencil (left and right in the 2nd row), and it was on clearance for $3.50.  I wasn't too crazy about it when I bought it, but I love how it prints.
 More prints on deli and tissue paper.

 These prints are on interfacing. My plan is to layer some of them, free-motion sew them with cotton thread, then use a heat tool (embossing gun) to burn through some of the layers.  The colors are more subtle when printing on the interfacing. I should have probably used more paint. This interfacing is pretty thick and opaque. I really liked the thinner interfacing that I had printed previously, as you could somewhat see the underlayer through it. (That post is here).

I am looking forward to making progress on these and will post next week. I hope everything works out as expected!

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Documented Life Project, The Unplanner 2016, colorful inserts

I have signed up each year for Documented Life Project (since it started in 2014), but have not been very good about working on all the prompts. This coming year they are putting more of a focus on the "planner" aspect of it, and I am motivated to keep up with it. 

They provided some forms we can include in our planners. I wanted mine to be colorful, instead of white, so I used sprays (mainly Glimmer Mists) to color white cardstock and used some stencils and masks to add patterns. 

After they were dry, I put them under some weights to flatten them out overnight, then ran them through my inkjet printer. (Please note that my printer is old and has been used to print artsy stuff before, so I wasn't too worried about putting painted papers through it. If you have a lovely nice expensive printer, you may not want to put painted papers through it). Then I used my paper cutter to cut them. 

To fit all three inserts on one page, one of them does not have much space for paper-punched holes for the 3 ring binder. I plan to add a washi tape edge for the holes.

I know that sometimes doing stuff ahead of the start in January may be a bad idea, but it looks like the Art to the 5th sample shows these as white, and I want to start with some happy color!

Monday, November 23, 2015

Gelatin monoprint workshop

A few weeks ago, I did a gelatin printing workshop for Becca and Laura, and wanted to share some photos.

Here is our work table with lots of paints, papers, stencils, etc.

Here are some prints. I believe both of these are Laura's. These have two or three printed layers on them.

Becca, working on her final layer.

Laura, also working on her final layer

And here are some finished pieces.



It was a very snowy day, which makes for a great art day, and we had a great time! I am so glad they were able to make it through the snow and play with monoprinting. Thanks Laura and Becca!

Monday, November 16, 2015

Art Club, paint and collage project

 I recently started an art group through the UNK Women's Club and our first meeting was this weekend.

We worked on a painted and collaged piece inspired from a Lynne Perrella class I took many years ago.

We used four paint colors and photocopied images to create our artwork. We also cut out our images to create a stencil.

Here is the group at work.

 And here are our pieces.
Lisa's, in progress, I don't have a picture of it in a more complete state

Diana left before I remembered to take pictures, so her piece is missing from the gallery. (Sad face).

We had a great time, ate Melissa's excellent coconut brownies, and had wonderful artwork in the end.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Layered and painted fabric landscapes

It has been a while since I have posted. I have been working on art pieces since my last post, but I feel like I have been spinning my wheels.

I had been thinking of just posting finished work on the blog, but then my posts would definitely be less frequent, so I shelved that idea.

A while ago, I created some patchwork backgrounds that I planned to paint, see here for the original post.  My original thought was to have a dripped paint effect, but decided to do some abstract landscapes on some of them.

For my first paint layer on two different pieces, I used watered down acrylic paints. When these dried, they dried much lighter and I decided they needed another paint layer. I switched to Setacolor paints because I know how they behave on fabrics and I could get the colors I was looking for.
 Here is the final piece. I plan to add some stitching and some additional fiber layers to this.

Another piece started with acrylic paints. This is when it was still wet.
I did add another coat of Setacolor blue for the sky.  I like how the brown migrated in that one strip of fabric above the horizon, as it looks like trees. I plan to add some opaque paints to add a bit more realism.

And the third one. I love how the diagonal piped fabric at the bottom gives the look of a farm field.
All of these need more work and details, but they are looking good so far.

I did try dripping paint on another piece, but it looks horrendous. I also worked a bit on the last two patched backgrounds, but I was experimenting and they are pretty awful. I won't be showing them on the blog until they make a turn for the better.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Chicken monoprints

 This weekend I worked on some chicken monoprints with my new stencils.

I have some more with the background and main body printed, and I just need to do the detail stencil print.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Stencil making with my ScanNCut

I have been doing a lot of gelli printing and was previously designing my own stencils and cutting them out by hand.

I decided to get a ScanNCut as I wanted my stencil making to be quicker and easier.  The best part is, after you save a design, you can cut it again and again, and in different sizes. 

Here is a design I did using the "add shapes" function in word and and copying and pasting the repeated shapes.  I know that ScanNCut has their own software or website for making cut files, but I haven't tried it. I stuck with the "animal I know".

Here is my stencil. You can see I have some "hanging chads" that did not cut out completely, but these were easily cut out with an Exacto knife. 

In addition to the stencil, I know have all these diamonds I can use as masks.

This design I also did in Word, using the "insert shapes". These shapes are all just lines that I made a thick point width.

Here is my stencil. I can't wait to try it out.

So now we get to the type of stencil I really bought this machine to cut out. This type of detailed stencil would have been time consuming to cut by hand. And if I didn't like it in the end, I would have felt that all that time was wasted.  This is my image printed on paper.
 The ScanNCut does not disappoint (matte stencil). I love how much detail I can get with it.

And I thought I need an egg stencil as well. I just used the pre-programmed egg shape in the machine and added multiples and lined them up. Seriously, this took me 10 minutes to "design" and cut.

I love how much detail I can get with this machine.  I will add the following remarks.

-I like the matte stencil material better than the clear (both are Duralar .005 mil). I also think the matte cuts a bit easier for some reason. 
-Using the built-in designs gets a much cleaner cut, especially for round or curved shapes. I did some circles in Word (printed, scanned in and then cut), and they were very jagged around the edges.  Any hand drawn patterns are a bit rough around the edges (as in, not a nice smooth straight cut, a bit jagged). The straight lines from the Word documents (printed, then scanned into the machine) were straight and smooth.
-If you draw a small design, but then have it cut big, any unevenness in the drawing will be more obvious in the bigger version. (In other words, it is better to draw big, and cut small, instead of the other way around). 
-Sometimes there are cut lines where I don't want them. Usually these can be deleted without affecting the design (before cutting), but sometimes I miss one. I don't realize it until I have cut the stencil.  If it is a wide section, I will just use contact paper on both sides of the stencil to re-attach it. Otherwise, I either need to live with it (or cut out a section) or re-scan the picture and pay more attention (zooming in)  to all the cut lines.
- I always have some "hanging chads" (except the eggs) which need to be removed with an Exacto knife.
-I do think it's a bit on the pricey side, and it really comes with no instructions. I watched YouTube videos for a week before I even took it out of the box.

Is this machine perfect? No. Does it give me what I want? Yes, most of the time and with a little perseverance. I like the hand-drawn stencil quality I get with my hand-drawn drawings, but am no way a perfectionist anyway. I think it was a good investment for me and I have been using it quite a bit.