Category Archives: Mobile Photography Art

Some more Mashups

Just some digital mash-ups of my Gelli plate monoprints, that I created using just 3 Apps, namely Photo Blender, PicsArt and Photo Editor. I love the riot of bright colours.

I might put these up on Kess InHouse Design’s website. I’ve been rather neglectful about updating my artist portal on Kess InHouse Designs. It’s high time I posted up more designs to be licensed, and why not these? I think they would translate very well to duvet covers, cushions, wall art, rugs etc.

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Gelli Printing with Deli Paper

At last! As part of a job lot I purchased from Interweave (the people behind the mixed media mag Cloth Paper Scissors), I was able to get my grubby paws on the almost-mythical, legendary American “Deli Paper”. The paper that American artists have been waxing lyrical about, pun intended.
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Now, I haven’t yet done a comparison study between our Aussie Greaseproof Paper and the American Deli Paper, but to me they feel pretty alike. I was intrigued by the claim that Deli Paper will become transparent when glued to other substrates. So, let’s take this baby for a spin, on my Gelli Plate.

First, I must share with you the object that inspired this latest experiment. It’s actually a teacup and saucer that The Kid picked out for me from T2 in Perth City. The range is called “She Loves“, and my teacup and saucer are no.633 of a limited edition of 900.

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The wrapping paper it came in echoed the theme, and once I’d painstakingly removed the sticky tape cleanly, said wrapping paper went up on my bedroom wall. I used a couple of Apps on my Samsung Galaxy Note 4 to edit a photo I took of the wrapping paper, and added slme more colour and texture to it. It is now my Note 4’s wallpaper.

Here it is:
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So, with this colour palette in mind, I decided to play with my new Deli Paper, to put it through its paces and see what all the hype is about.
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As my Gelli Plate is 8×10 inches, and the Deli Papers are 6×10.75 inches, I found the best way to marry the two was to use 2 pieces of Deli Paper. I’d already tested out 2 sheets previously, glueing them onto a large art tag, and making more art tags seemed a good place to start. Of course, in retrospect, I could’ve used all the Deli Paper on my Gelli Plate, leaving some extra paint on the outside of the Plate…but hindsight is always 20/20, right? ;-)

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I deviated from my usual method of Gelli printing, by experimenting with the way I laid my acrylic paints down. Normally, I would work with 1 colour at a time. This time, however, I decided to go for a mixed, ink splashy look, just like on my teacup and saucer. So, this time I squeezed a few drops of 1 colour onto the Gelli Plate, followed by a few drops of a different colour, and perhaps a third colour, before using my brayer to smoosh the colours around. I tried not to mix the colours too much, as I didn’t want to end up with homogenised mud.

So here are the results:
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These are the printed Deli Papers. I’ve put them aside to dry. I also have 4 A3 sheets of paper, printed on both sides, as a result of brayering off excess paints and stencils etc. Because I only used 4 sheets this time, as opposed to my usual 6 or 8, the sheets are super-saturated with all sorts of interesting abstract shapes and colours. I don’t think I’ll be needing to use any or much Dylusion Ink Sprays to fill in the blank spaces, as there aren’t that many blank spaces!

Not sure what I’ll do with all these yet, but watch this space!

Gelli Printing Experiments using Homeware Finds

Yesterday I wrote about finding new sources of textures-making tools for Gelli Plate printing, from the homewares departments of my local stores.

I have put my newly acquired treasures to the test. And am very pleased to report that they have all performed superbly. I printed several A3 sheets on both sides, in preparation for making handbound art journals out of them. But I like some of them so much that I’ll be keeping them as part of my growing portfolio of Gelli prints.

Re: the art journals idea. I initially thought the pages could be used for doodling on, adding ephemera to, painting, gessoing etc…but now it’s evolving to mean that the Gelli printed pages themselves are “juicy backgrounds” for my handbound art journals, and the sum of the parts, Prints + Book = ART. The pages can be enjoyed just as they are, as part of a Juicy Journal. Yes, I’ve decided that’s what I’ll call these art journals.
Here are some of the prints I made. Enjoy! I hope you like them as much as I did printing them.

20150419_100001  20150419_094908

20150419_095955  20150419_095905

20150419_095927  20150419_095737

20150419_094939 20150419_094643  20150419_094648 20150419_094621 20150419_094506  20150419_094658

Serendipity Shows The Way

ser·en·dip·i·ty (sĕr′ən-dĭp′ĭ-tē)
n. pl. ser·en·dip·i·ties
1. The faculty of making fortunate discoveries by accident.
2. The fact or occurrence of such discoveries.
3. An instance of making such a discovery.

In my efforts to create “perfect” Gelli Plate prints (no such thing, actually), I’d accumulated many, many duds. Or perhaps I should say they did not turn out quite as expected, but I still kept them for the record, and also because they were actually quite beautiful in their own way.

When I first started out on my Gelli Plate adventures, a couple of months ago, I was meticulous in washing my brayer, brushes, stamps, stencils and the Gelli Plate itself after every change of colour. This meant a lot of time was spent at the sink washing and drying. Handy that my so-called “Studio” is in the kitchen-dining room itself. (My other “Studio” is in the junk spare room, which is currently occupied by a brooding box of baby Japanese Quails).

Nowadays, I don’t clean my tools and implements quite so often. Instead, I employ a technique I’ve seen many Gelli artists use, of “inking off” or “rolling off” i.e the act of removing excess paint from the brayer/dabber/stamp/stencil/Gelli Plate etc by rolling/dabbing/stamping onto another substrate. Some use copy paper or newspaper, which they then throw away. Others use art journal pages, to keep as a record of what colours they’ve used.

I use the same paper as the one I’m printing on. I lay out a sheet to be printed on, onto my work surface, and I also at the same time lay several other sheets of the same quality and size, somewhere close by, to receive the “inking off” or “rolling off”. It keeps the brayer clean by pulling off excess paint, so I can then load up a different colour without getting mud. It cuts down on the time I spend washing things at the kitchen sink, and gives me more time to spend on printing.

After several practice sessions with Gelli Plate printing, it dawned on me that I sometimes liked the results of the “inked off” sheets better than my actual planned prints.

Hmmm…I may be onto something here.

Recently I’ve started to turn my Gelli Plate monoprints into handmade mini Art Journals. You can read about that here. When I found myself short of a page or two, I used one of my “inked off” sheets, and found to my surprise that the results were very, very interesting and exciting.

So, as Serendipity would have it, I now find myself Gelli printing more and more papers, and at the same time having fun “inking off” more papers. I “ink off” both sides of my paper, because I know they’ll be used to make more mini Art Journals, so both sides have to be painted. I’ve also stopped overthinking my designs and I don’t even plan what stencils I’m using next, or where I’m placing them, or even if they’re crooked. I just “go for it”!

I’ve always been fascinated by handmade books, and in the past I’ve dabbled in bookbinding, so making up these mini Art Journals marries my love for 3 things now – Gelli Plate printing, mixed media and bookbinding.

Oh, and add to that Serendipity (I just love happy accidents and randomness) and I’m a very happy bunny! :-)

Here are some of my Serendipity prints:

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Digital + Mixed Media Mashups

I’m really enjoying myself playing with my Gelli plates, both the rectangular one that’s intact and the other which I dissected into 3 round plates of different diameters, 2 small rectangular ones, and a few small triangular and square ones.

My main medium however, is digital photography. What makes me a happy bunny these days is being able to marry the two successfully. Digital + Mixed Media.

I love the possibilities this opens up. Lately I’ve been tearing up my Gelli plate monoprints (yes, really) and turning them into little handmade Art Journals. I wrote about that earlier here (insert link).

Having accumulated quite a lot of Gelli plate prints now, I decided to take photos of them and blend them with other photos on my Samsung Galaxy Note 4. I use mainly just 2 Apps – Photo Blender and Photo Editor. I love those 2 Apps.

Anyway, here are some of my latest Digital + Mixed Media Mashups, as I call them. Hope you like them!

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DISCOVER (4 templates, 12 ways)

I’ve been spending much of my time lately experimenting with Gelli Plate monoprinting. It’s a lot of fun, and some techniques I’ve tried have come out with pretty amazing results. Others, not so. Some I really love and could keep doing again and again, others I am not so enamoured with and won’t try again. As with all Art, you just have to keep experimenting until you hit on something that appeals to you.

One monoprinting technique I learnt and liked on YouTube is this one, by Clarity Stamp.

I made 4 prints using this technique and some stamps. I really liked the torn paper effect and how it reminded me of ancient, crumbly walls newly discovered by some archaeologists.

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I could’ve just gone on and printed more examples using this torn paper technique. But the mobile digital artist in me piped up and said, “Why don’t you try blending photos of those with other photos from your Samsung Galaxy Note 4? You can use the 4 monoprints as templates and generate an entire series of different artworks, with a common theme”.

This was in keeping with one of my main reasons for venturing down the path of real (vs virtual/digital) mixed media – the idea that I could then accumulate enough source material to use as backgrounds for my digital artwork.

And so, using just 2 Apps – Photo Blender and Photo Editor Editor, I followed the suggestion of my inner voice and created these 12 new images, using just the 4 prints that I’d done.

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Homemade Letterpress Stamps

One of my favourite pastimes is searching for bargains at my local thrift stores. Depending on what I’m into at the moment, it could be books, canvasses, Art, bric-a-brac, dressmaking patterns, picture frames, teacups, toys…your guess is as good as mine. If it looks like I could use it somehow, or modify it to suit my purpose, I’ll buy it.

Last year I’d bought a set of 4 square melamine-coated MDF drinks coasters. Which I never got round to doing anything with.

A couple of months ago I’d bought a set of wooden alphabets. Which again I never got round to doing anything with.

Last week I bought a set of cork numbers. I’d been in town looking for stamps and stencils and had come across the set, and for some reason my mind did this calculation:

Coasters + wooden alphabets + cork numbers + acrylic medium = handmade upcycled letterpress stamp.

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I’d always admired Letterpress-style stamps. But they were always way too expensive to buy. So why not have a go at creating my own?

And so I did. Not just one, but 4. 2 with both letters and numbers, 1 with just letters and 1 with just numbers. The acrylic gel medium worked a treat as an adhesive. I also sealed the letters and numbers afterwards with a layer of the same acrylic gel medium.

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And now for the question – how would these stand up to being used as stamps?

I used acrylic paints and spray ink on my handmade letterpress stamps. They came out a treat, with minor imperfections, which just added to the charm.

Have a look:

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The next test was – would cleaning up these stamps be easy, or would they fall apart if they went under the tap for too long?

Turns out I was able to wash them under warm running water without any problems. I used a stipple brush to get into the cracks and spaces.

Very happy with my new letterpress stamps! I have big plans for my babies. :-) Oh, and by the way, I’ve discovered that old drinks coasters make ideal mounting blocks for stamps, so guess what I bought next from my thrift store…

My Offerings to the Gelli Goddess

Okay, I’ve had more than a week to play with my new Gelli Plate. Armed with a great book on Gelli Plate printing – Gelli Plate Printing: Mixed-Media Monoprinting Without a Press https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1440335486/ref=cm_sw_r_awd_jSFcvb053C71R, I’ve tested out a few techniques, skimmed over others, tried to integrate 2 techniques at the same time, got my colours muddied up, lost my way hopelessly, had a few “aha!” moments, tried out some fabulous ideas which didn’t quite turn out as expected, got distracted by the gorgeous Tim Holtz and various mixed media goddesses on YouTube, sought out and bought more paints, inks, stencils etc, curated countless Pins on Gelli Plate Monoprinting, made a few more mixed media pieces…

Basically, I’m torn between Mixed Media and Gelli Plate Monoprinting. So much Art, so little time! I haven’t articulated it before now, but I’ve come to the (possible) conclusion that what I’d like to do is fuse together elements from both genres. Use monoprints as the starting block, perhaps, for mixed media collage.

Or, maybe I’m just going mad.😄

Anyhow, while the jury is out debating that, here are the fruits of my Gelli Plate Monoprinting labours thus far.

Try not to laugh too hard or you’ll pee yourself.

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If you look at my previous post, you can quite clearly see who the better artist in the family is.

8 Studies

In the Musical world, we’d call them Etudes. Studies of a particular style or technique, where practice makes perfect.

I’d found a set of 8 square chipboards with ringbinder clips, at my local Spotlight store (an all-in-one haberdashers, crafts supplier, home furnishings depot).

The week before I’d been to a scrapbooking sale and among other things had snagged a lovely Stampin’ Up! block stamp with French text on it. $10 that cost me, and I’ve seen it since on eBay for over $30.

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This was an excellent fit for my square boards. I simply stamped them all the same, then sprayed workable fixative over to stop any bleeding afterwards.

For my “Etudes”, I tried out various different techniques via trial and error. Remember, I’m a greenhorn at this mixed media malarkey. I’ve years of experience doing this on my smartphone, without any mess to clean up afterwards, but in terms of “real” bricks and mortar mixed media art, I’m still quite virginal LOL.

Some techniques worked better than others. I was very pleased how some turned out quite artistic, like the ones you see in magazines. But a few came out more Crafty than Arty. Still, it’s a learning process.

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Gelli Deli

I’d read about and seen on YouTube videos on the use of “Deli Paper” for Gelli plate printing. What the heck is it, when it’s in Australia?

I know it’s some kind of waxed paper for wrapping deli sandwiches in. It’s supposed to absorb paints really well but not allow any seepage through. It’s supposed to turn virtually invisible when painted over and stuck onto your chosen substrate. But where can you get it?

There were a few sellers on eBay selling Deli Wrap/Deli Waxed Paper/Deli Paper/Deli Sandwich Paper. They weren’t too expensive to buy on their own…but factor in p&p to Australia and you’re talking about a $1 guitar that costs $599.99 to post to your country. Not even going down that route.

My local haberdashers/craft shop/home decor depot, Spotlight, didn’t have anything like it. They had tracing paper on a roll, for drawing dressmaking patterns…at $12.99 per roll of 30m. Ouch, no go.

I had a look in my local supermarket, Woolworths, instead. Did it sell good old-fashioned wax paper? Nope. There was Greaseproof Paper, Baking Paper With a “Special Coating”, Baking Paper with a “Non-Stick Coating On Both Sides”, Greaseproof Paper with “Special Dimples To Soak Up Grease”, etc etc…but NO.WAXED.PAPER.

I bought a roll of a brand that promised to keep in the goodness of cooked food by “locking in the juices”. I thought this sounded about right for what I needed my paper for – to absorb acrylic paint without going soggy.

While queuing to pay for my MultixBake paper ($7.20 for a roll of 35m), I happened to see some large squares of greaseproof paper lying in the doughnut/muffin help-yourself cubbyholes. The girl in the bakery section didn’t know anything about what kind of paper they were, or whether they were like the ones I was about to buy, or indeed where I could buy them. But she said I was welcome to take a few to test them out for my own purposes. Don’t mind if I do!

Back home, I found my roll of supermarket-homebrand Greaseproof Paper (less than $2 for a roll of 30m) and added it to my stash. So now I’m sharing with you the results of my Aussie-style “Deli Paper” test. The papers have all been folded up so as to test both sides.

Key:
Red = fluid acrylic paint
Purple = watercolour paint
Sunshine yellow = spray ink
Orange = daubed acrylic paint

image First up. The MultixBake. Notice the beading. None of the test patches were absorbed by the paper, they all sat on top of whatever coating the paper had, on both sides of the paper.

image This one’s the freebie from the bakery section of Woolworths
supermarket. The paper appears to be waxed on one side but not the other. Top shows good absorption of all 4 test paints. Bottom is very similar to the results using MultixBake paper. Both sides of the paper look and feel pretty much the same to me, so it’ll be a 50/50 chance of me using the wrong side. Besides, this is the paper that no one could tell me anything about, even where to get it.

image Woolworths’ homebrand, cheapo Greaseproof Paper. Great even absorption on both sides of the paper. No beading. No seepage. Paper is robust and stronger than tissue. (This is what I already use for my own printing projects, I stick this paper onto an A4 canvas carrier sheet, which feeds through my Canon Pixma MX870 and I can then print out any of my mobile photography art images onto it. Then I simply remove it from the carrier sheet, and stick it onto canvas or wood).

And the clear winner is: Contestant No.3, Woolworths’ Homebrand Greaseproof Paper. Less than $2 for a roll of 30m.

Australian readers, I’ve done the legwork and homework for you now, so you won’t have to. Got Gelli, need Deli? Use Greaseproof Paper. US readers, meanwhile, may be scratching their heads and wondering what the heck “Greaseproof Paper” is back in the US of A. :-)