Monday, April 27, 2015

Cow Gelli prints

I have been wanting to make some "cow" art for a while.  Even before I moved to Nebraska, I was interested in them.

I've been really enjoying making my own stencils (see that post here), and thought I would make a cow stencil, and Gelli print with it.  I used a picture I took at the Nebraska State Fair last summer.

I decided that I needed two stencils, one a generic cow shape, and one a detailed outline stencil.  (Both of these pictures were taken after I printed with them)

I used the generic cow shape stencil to print backgrounds and the cows with colors and patterns. Most of these are three layers of printing, if not more.

When I print a second time on a previously printed one, I line the stencil up on the print, and tape the stencil to the paper with blue painter's tape. This worked pretty well to keep the prints overlapping correctly. You can see a few were off a little bit. Originally my plan was to keep these backgrounds simple, but the more layers I added, the more interesting they became.

After printing the base layers, I then printed the detail stencil, again aligning the stencil on the print, and taping the stencil to the paper.

I covered my gelli plate with black paint (Liquitex Basics), laid the stencil/paper on top, and used my fingers to press into the stencil cutout areas.

After pulling the stencil/paper off the gelli plate:
After I removed the stencil:

Since I had to leave "bridges" so my stencil would stay in one piece, there are spots I filled in with a paintbrush to give a bit more detail.

 Some of these prints are absolutely delicious. 

I love the way these turned out, but the detail stencil was difficult to work with. I think some of the details were just too small, and many times they did not get printed and I had to do paint touch-up. I purposely avoided cutting a mylar stencil, because it is easier to make a mistake than the cardstock/contact paper stencil, and I find mylar more difficult to cut.  Cutting this detail stencil took three episodes of CSI (now available on Hulu, yay!) and the tip of my index finger was numb for a week.  What I wouldn't do for a ScanNCut, or other stencil making machine. Maybe I will splurge on one in the future.

I do plan to mount six of these on one canvas, and may do three canvases like that, since I have enough prints.  The first print at the top of the page is my favorite, for my personal collection.  The background was just "brayer cleaning" paper from another project (I don't show the brayer-cleaning papers, but you can see the project they are from on my guest post on Julie Fei-Fan Balzer's blog).  I always save my cleaning papers and not-so-good prints, because another layer or two can make them amazing.

I did order a Thermofax of the detail stencil, and it's a bit smaller as the Thermofax can't come this big. I am looking forward to playing with it as it is the first one I've owned. And my index finger is thanking me for the break from detail cutting.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Goldfish felt wall art

I have been taking on online surface design felting class with Fiona Duthie. It has been great and well worth the cost.  I did have a few weeks when I was having issues with vertigo and did not complete all the technique samples, but I look forward to finishing them all.

For our last week of class, we are to work on a project of our choice using some of the techniques we learned, so I included techniques from the weeks' lessons that I was able to finish. 

When I first started felting wall art, I learned my technique from Moy Mackey's book, Art in Felt & Stitch. I still used a white base layer per Moy's technique, as I want my wall art piece to hold it's shape over time, and using many layers will accomplish this.
 After the white layers (2), I added corriedale wool in black, white, and blue, to add shading to next layer. But then I got carried away and added so many layers, this probably had no affect.
  More wool (this was a variegated merino I had purchased)
And more wool. I originally put this layer down before the "all over" variegated layer (which is what is pictured here), then I removed this layer, put the all-over layer down, then put these back down on top. I also included some glass gems and small round mirrors in the layers.
I wet these down, then added my goldfish and silk fabric "water".

Here is the felted piece. I need to iron it to help remove some of the wrinkles.