Art Journal and Gelli Play


Is so much better when done with friends.  I spent a pleasant weekend with my friend, Annie, in her fantastic house and studio.  This was a girls’ weekend where we had no goal other than to eat good food, spend time together and art journal.  We pulled out our Gelli Arts plates as well, because I seem to need to warm up on my Gelli plate before I can get in my journal and play.



Friday evening, I worked on a page in my journal, where, unfortunately, I didn’t get photos of the in-between stages.  I was working on something that was looking like a mountain at sunset with a storm blowing in.  But I screwed it up.  I stopped working on it because I knew it was bad and didn’t know where to take it.  Saturday morning, we were warming up with the Gelli Plate again.  Annie was working with an acid green, teal, and red. 


I looked up and BAM!  Lightbulb went off.  I pulled out some green gold and cobalt teal and started going over the white areas on the left page which totally dominated it.  Then I reworked my sky, fingerpainting white over the blues, turquoise and purples.  I collaged some of my print-outs from previous gelli-printing adventures and I was on my way to this page!


I started working on the facing page Saturday, which had been a wipe-off page from Friday.  I started off by collaging a gelli-print on deli paper from my last on-and-off session in my own studio from the previous weekend.  I added finger-painted circles, collages blocks and got stuck.  So, I went on to another page.


Friday night, late, snow started falling, but not much was on the ground by Saturday morning.  Canada geese put in an appearance just as the snow started coming down more heavily. 




From Winter to Spring in 3 Weeks


It is the time of year in Central Texas where we look to come out of burrows into the garden.  The days are noticeable longer and the last of the leaves have dropped from the trees.  In my yard, the harbinger of spring is the Bradford Pear tree.  It seems to be budding out before it loses all of its leaves, but I know spring is here when the blossoms start to open.  Next are my bulbs.  Winter may still take a swipe or two at us, but the plants and birds know.  Spring has arrived.

My tree on February 1st, looking west.


My tree on February 7th, same view.


My tree on February 14th, same view.


I have spent my creative free time working on several things, many of which involved printing with my #GelliPlate.  I’ve made a lot of cool backgrounds that I’ve scanned and am using in other pieces of art.  These were all made with TCW Stencils using Golden acrylics and Master’s Touch acrylics.




One of the things I’ve used them for is my paper doll that I designed for the All Dolls Are Art Winter Swap.  My paper doll is a circus performer – I can only post a sneak peek now though as I don’t want to unveil her before the swap deadline at the end of the month.  If you would like to play – you can check out the guidelines on the ADAA blog or Facebook page.


A second thing I used my prints for is my Valentine’s card for my mom.  I don’t generally celebrate Valentines, but I did send out a few cards this year and wanted to make my mom a card as she always makes me the nicest of cards.  This card has a gelli printed background, gelli printed scrapbook paper adhered to grungeboard for the heart (a Tim Holtz die) and Gelli printed deli paper for the intermediate layer.  The stamp is my hand-carved “Love” stamp.


Last – I made a gift for my friend Annie – which I will show later in the week, after she’s received it!

And of course, I have my #StudioCats er kittens keeping me company.  They are so big that they really don’t qualify as kittens anymore, but they still have all the energy and wonder of kittens.


Cookie – curled up in a basket below my printing table


Calla giving Cookie a bath in my studio chair.

A Love Affair: Gelli Printing

I am continuing my love affair with paint and a Gelli plate.  I continue to try new color combinations and mutliple layers of stencils or combing.  Here is a look at some of my latest pages, many of which are sure to get more layers going forward.






All done with Golden fluid acrylics, stencils from TCW stencils via and of course, my Gelli Plate (8×10).

Friday Night Art Play May 23rd


It’s the start of a long weekend, after what turned out to be a long and exhausting week.  I’ve not been sleeping well, for reasons I do not yet understand, and that has made it harder to get through the day.  It has become my habit to come home and page through my journal, seeing if I can get the energy to do something creative. 

Last weekend, Saturday, I went downtown to Waterloo (#buylocalATX) Records and bought some new music.  My favorite two CD’s I’ve been gorging on are Fitz and The Tantrums “More than Just a Dream” and Rodrigo & Gabriela’s “9 Dead Alive”.  “Spark” from the Fitz album is my newest earworm.  If I can get myself in front of the Gelli Plate and put on either CD, I can get myself going creatively. 

I experimented with several techniques this week.  I embossed a bunch of white cardstock and used that to lift paint off the plates, printing in my journal and on scrap paper.  I stamped into the plate with my hand-carved stamps and used stencils and punched shapes as masks.  I used leaves from my front flower beds to create really cool organic, but amorphous prints.  And tonight, I did some more printing on the plate, and then I did a page in my art journal.  So, here’s the results of this week’s play ground.


Inspired by the chorus to “Spark”, first layer is gelli plate printed with paint lifted by cardstock embossed with a brick wall pattern (inside joke there).  The center was purposely not textured and painted on the plate with a brush using Green Gold.  I dripped FW Acrylics in orange, green and gold on the background and let it run.  Next I used jar and bottle lids to stamp circles of white gesso on the page.  I used a Dylusions Stencil to get the checkerboard and a Tim Holtz stencil to get the dots.  I used a circle stencil with smaller circles punchd from card stock to do the moon shapes.  I dry-brushed Dalyride Yellow across the top and in the bottom corners.  I used a TCW Rays stencil with a light coat of Liquitex black spray paint.  I went back over the page with the Tim Holtz Stencil and white and block paint.  I added another green gold box offset from the original and then a Turquoise Pthalo box offst from that.  I outlined elements using black and white Painters paint pens.  So far they are the best I’ve tried and do not let the nibs escape to ruin my clothes (Sad smile Sharpie).  Then I wrote in the lyrics of the chorus on the rays in white, outlined in black.  I think it’s done, but I’m not 100% sure yet!


First Gelli print using leaves from my garden and texture from a shelf-liner.


Ghost print from above.


Another leave print.


This one uses stamps I carved to lift paint from the plate and a Balzer Bits Stencil to create the tree mask.


And this one is embossed cardstock used to lift paint.  I started doodling on the top two with a Sakura white paint pen, fine nib.

I also dyed 8 yards of velvet and 7 yards of Rayon Satin for an Etsy order.  My customer is going to make a Cos Play dress and cloak based on one of the Game of Thrones characters.  I can’t wait to see the pictures she sends me!


Pulling a Gelli Print

I didn’t get out in the garage, which is my temporary printing studio for as long as the weather holds off from getting into the mid to high 90’s, until around 8pm.  I did a lot of running around and spent an hour and a half at my parents showing my mom how I use my Gelli Arts plate to pull prints.  My friend, Annie in Denver, commented on a post of mine to Face Book that she needed inspiration and so here is my step by step instructions for pulling a print or two.

First, you have to pick your colors, obviously, and I did a stint with leaves prior to this, so decided to go with Quinacrodone Gold, Quinacrodone Burnt Orange, Raw Umber, and Carbon Black.


I learned from watching a video by Jane “Danger” Davenport on Gelli printing to start with a swirl of Glazing medium.  To this I added a squirt of Quin Gold fluid acrylic, a smaller squirt of Burnt Orange, 3 drops of Raw Umber and 2 drops of Carbon Black.


I use my Catalyst wedge to mix the individual colors with medium, spreading them out a bit on the plate.


I use a brayer to mix them.  My plate and my brayer are dirty, which adds to the texture.


I cut up a piece of cabinet liner I got at the store and pressed that into the paint on the plate.


Next I used a stamp I carved a long time ago and stamped into the paint on the plate.


I used the TCW Leaf Stencil (sorry, I didn’t get the number off it) and laid that on top of the plate.


I opened up my journal to a clean page and laid that page onto the plate, rubbing gently with my hand to pick up the paint.


There was still paint on the plate, so I pulled a ghost print, also in my journal.


This is really tons of fun!