Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Adirondack labels

A Gelli plate wasn't all I got on my birthday! But with the new puppy madness, I didn't get to try my lovely Adirondack Color Wash inks until last weekend.

I was also given a pack of labels, the perfect canvas for these little artsy craftsy projects.

Add a Dealz stencil! Here is the result.

 I can't wait for the occasion to place one of these labels on a gift for friends and family!

Tuesday, July 30, 2013


Even the back of a mask can look cute. I printed this cat silhouette, which I found on the internet, I haste to say, on plain A4 paper. I was concerned it might be too flimsy to act as a mask, but far from it. I've actually used some of them twice already and they've kept their shape and structural integrity. So much so that I think they will improve over time, with more and more layers of acrylic paint.

Do you think these will make good Zazzle cards? 

Siobhan Ryan, green outfit, 28 July

Is that Kelly green? It's a lovely colour on Siobhan - she carries it with confidence. A beautiful look.

Flower Power Cats

More Gelli Plate fun last weekend. Using roughly the same method as for my Polka Dot Cats, but this time with a flower stencil I got in a Crafty bits set from Dealz (€1.49!!).

The picture in the bottom right is a reverse colour effect from Picasa. Which makes me think... It could be interesting to try this on black paper. I know that's been mentioned in the Gelli-sphere - I won't pretend to be an original artist! - and I must explore that further. I have some dark papers in that Dealz set, begging to be put to good use. Maybe next weekend - bank holiday weekend - in between visits to Deer Park and Marlay park with Timber!

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Gelli Geisha 1

Another Gelli print. Artistcellar stencils, masking with a cutout of this lovely geisha I found on the Internet, then re-applied another cutout of the same lady. I didn't glue it, I just placed it on top of the print and took a photograph. Maybe that's cheating a little bit, but I was afraid the paper would buckle with the glue.

I didn't take note of where I found the woodblock print of the geisha, and now it's going to bug me. I like to acknowledge my sources, but it's months ago since I found this one, so it's not going to be easy to trace its origins again!

- Here we are - It was a postcard I got from a friend - it's called "Evening Snow", by Kunisada, from the "Eight Scenes of Edo" series

Polka Dot Cats

I can't claim credit for drawing the cat stencil. I simply googled "cat silhouette" and I picked the image that appealed to me the most, for its simple shape.

I applied a thin layer of yellow acrylic on my gelli plate, then my favourite big bubble wrap. And I took my first print.

I think there is only so much that the human brain can absorb from YouTube videos and blog instructions at any one time. Particularly when you have a new puppy at home. (Timber is settling in very well, by the way. We went to the King-Of-Paws senior puppy training yesterday and he's learning fast. Well, he was the most boisterous doggy in the class, but he was just happy to see all his four-legged friends, and he settled after a while. And did I tell you that Maxi Zoo have posted a picture of him on their Facebook wall? We're such proud parents!!) My brain is quite frazzled. I start something, and then I find hours later that I never finished the task, and the day has gone in a blur. But I did notice a couple of days ago on one of the Gelli Arts videos that only a single blob of paint is all that's needed. And it worked out much better than my earlier attempts with more paint on the plate.

After cleaning the gelli plate, another thin layer, of magenta this time. A light press of a free stencil I got with the gelli plate. And two cutouts of the cat silhouette. Firmly pressed the paper down over the paint.


And then, I couldn't resist using up the paint that was left on the plate and made two Cat labels, with yellow polka dots on the reverse.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Malin Head

Apart from the weather station at this, the most Northern point on the island of Ireland, I really didn't know what to expect from Malin Head.

We were lucky with the weather - we were there in early June - not quite the perfect blue skies we've had throughout July, but dry and bright (except the day we were leaving for home).
We found that there was plenty to explore - a good cliff walk around the most Northern point, good beaches, crystal-clear waters, quaint cottages.

We stayed in the Seaview Tavern in Ballygorman, the last town before Malin Head. Loved the place. There are three rooms with sea views. Our room was really nice and modern. And they paid attention to the little details - like bottles of water in the room, and biscuits! The food was excellent. And the owner, Michael, will tell you all about the area over breakfast. A great spot!

Despite Michael's explanations, we didn't find the way to the raised beach with the semi-precious stones. We could see it from Malin Head, but we couldn't get to it. Maybe they don't want the tourists to find it too easily!


or is it Downings? Actually, according to Wikipedia, it's both.

We didn't stop for long in this town in Donegal on our holiday last month. But I loved the colour of the water in that little harbour. The most perfect clear green.

La mer, qu'on voit danser, le long des golfes clairs

I was trying out another technique with my gelli plate at the weekend - using acrylic gel as a resist, and spraying ink over the resulting print - I think I will need a bigger stencil to do this. And thicker paper. And a lot more practice.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Gelli Geisha 3

Here she comes again, this time on a more abstract and colourful background. Nice contrast I think.

Gelli Geisha 2

Here is another version of my Gelli Geisha, again with artistcellar stencils (Traditional Japanese series). A softer look?

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Gelli Gelli Gelli

Learning how to use masks with Gelli printing... I printed a cat silhouette from the Internet, and cut it from plain printer paper to create a mask. Not all my attempts were successful - I had used a picture of Willow to start with, but his silhouette is more blob than cat.

I used black acrylic as my first layer, printed with a texture from my Dealz doilies. Then I spread red paint onto my Gelli plate before applying the cat mask. I'll definitely need to experiment more, but it's not a bad start.

And here is a detail from a print that I didn't think was quite as successful. What do you think? 

Siobhan Ryan, orange-yellow dress, 20 July

A dress to match the glorious weather we've been having all month!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

More Gelli Prints

Trying multi-layered prints. I've got a lot to learn! I think I'm applying a bit too much paint and the brayer sucks it up - interesting texture, but not exactly what I was after.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

More Gelli Plates

You're going to be sick of me going on about Gelli plates! But they're such a joy to work with. As you know, I was struggling to execute new ideas in watercolours and acrylics over the last few months. I felt that nothing I was producing was good enough. And when you hit that feeling, it's very hard to pull yourself out of it. It just doesn't make you happy any more. Maybe it's because you feel that you should be able to achieve a much higher standard, and the reality is that you can't.

But all that is forgotten now - you just need a Gelli Plate, a brayer, a few stencils, acrylic paint, and plenty of paper! Once you start, you can't stop. You do a first print, a ghost print, a print with just the stencil, you add a layer, and another layer, you add pictures, you add doodles, you play with corks, string, paper cups, corrugated cardboard, bubble wrap, ... The possibilities are endless. And the colours glorious! What fun!

Here are a few variations on the theme of coral - using the Artistcellar Coral set of stencils

Sunday, July 14, 2013

So cool

How to make a Gelli Plate print into something more?

I had a lot of fun with this one, applying two layers of colour, one red and orange-yellow with a keyboard template, bubble wrap and corrugated cardboard, and one blue and black with a doily template (really cheap doilies chez Dealz!).

Then I thought it would be nice to add a silhouette to give it shape and focus, and I went through some photographs I had come across recently. When I cut the picture I had chosen and placed it over the page, I knew my work was done!

Isn't she so cool!

More Gelli Plates

We had a great day with Timber yesterday, two visits to the dog park, a successful walk near home, recall and heel training. He's been doing great. I also managed to set aside an hour to experiment further with my Gelli Plate.

I tried out one of the techniques they showed on the Gelli blog a few weeks ago - you apply lovely patterns, and then you let the paint dry on the Gelli Plate - let it dry completely - and then you lift the paint by applying clear adhesive packing tape (I've read somewhere you can also use transparencies - though I don't know if that's still available in the shops, as presentations are all done with laptops nowadays, but I am certainly curious to try that out.). The result is really vibrant strips of patterns. Photographs don't do it justice.

(patterns applied with a plastic cup, a cork, a piece of corrugated cardboard and a soft painting tool)

What I'm going to do with them, I'm not quite sure yet. Could be lovely with plain white wrapping paper for gift wrapping.

I've applied two strips over a page of my old Russian phrasebook, "Русский язык для всех (Russian for Everyone). But I'll have to develop this into something more.

I will look for sheet music (Neil Diamond's Kentucky Woman or Wagner's Tristan und Isolde?), as the samples I have seen on the Gelli blog look quite lovely.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Summer meadow

I meant to post this a few weeks ago. Having fun with stencils from the Dealz Crafty Bits n Bobs set!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Gelli Plate

For this one, I took my previous print, and used the "Invert Colours" tool in Picasa. Simple!
 (stencil, Picasa)

Tuesday, July 09, 2013

Gelli Plate

I really like this print - this is a ghost print, i.e. a second print. The first one was done with an Artistcellar stencil (from the Coral Series pack). The first print was done with the stencil between the plate and the paper. The second, with the paint left on the plate after lifting the first print and the stencil. You can still see in a slightly darker blue a remnant of the string print I had done first. Hours of fun!


Siobhan Ryan, beige dress, 8 July

Siobhan was bringing us good news for a change, and was clearly enjoying it!

I like the weather
And I like the dress too.

Monday, July 08, 2013

Gelli Plate

A new puppy is like a new baby!! Not much time for anything else!! Here is another sample of a Gelli print I did. Gelli printing is completely addictive. I sat for about an hour and printed page after page. Couldn't stop! When our puppy is settled, I'll be doing plenty more! In the meantime, it's pees and poos, preparing food, going for walks, and learning on the job how to raise a happy, well-balanced dog!

 (bubble wrap)

Friday, July 05, 2013

Gelli Plate

I was given the present of a Gelli Plate for my birthday - just what I had been hoping for. The perfect tool to conquer artistic doubts. When we have our puppy fully settled, I'll go into more detail, but for now, here are my first prints:
 (a piece of string)

 (polka dot stencil)

 (bubble wrap)

Colours of Donegal

I'm still struggling with my painting endeavours, but I'm not one to give up. Though I have to admit it is getting to me sometimes. Here is a little journal page inspired by the colours of Donegal - I was very much taken by the clear waters - I can only imagine that a hint of sunshine would turn them into the most dazzling Maldivian turquoise.

After applying my Neocolor II blues and greens and earthy reds, I decided to frame this little landscape with some paper I bought in Dealz. It's a pack called "Crafty Bits n Bobs" - it's full of coloured paper, stencils and ribbons. All for €1.49. I can see endless possibilities. I must show you a page I did with a flower stencil from the same pack - it's so much fun. And all for €1.49!! I love Dealz! One weekend, I wanted to treat myself to something nice, but I didn't want to spend loads of money. So I went down to Dealz in Dundrum, and I filled a basket with goodies (including these crafty bits n bobs, and acrylic paint, PVA glue, hair conditioner, a picnic blanket, plastic cups, bird seeds, and a few other things) - and it cost me something like 22 euro in total. Unbelievable! Who needs to spend loads of money when you can have so much fun with €1.49!