Tag Archives: printing

Child’s Play

Gather your Ingredients:

1 crazy Gelli Plate addict (moi!)
1 Gelli Plate
3 double-sided children’s texture plates
Your choice of acrylic paint colours (I use them All!)
Some glitter paint (if you have them)
Brayer
8 sheets of A4 art paper (I use 190 gsm, but anything from 120gsm upwards is ok)
Sheets of Deli Paper (or Greaseproof paper for those who can’t get hold of Deli Paper)

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One side of the 3 children’s texture plates I used.
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The reverse side of the same texture plates.

Method:
1. Load up your Gelli Plate with several dots of different coloured acrylic paints at the same time.

2. Use brayer to spread paint over the Gelli Plate. Do this quickly and try not to smear the colours too much, or go over the same areas more than once or twice. Otherwise you will get mud.

3. Use the kiddy texture plates to stamp patterns onto the painted Gelli Plate. Take the painted texture plate and stamp it at random places on some of the A3 sheets of paper.

4. Place a sheet of Deli Paper/Greaseproof Paper over the Gelli Plate to absorb excess paint. Pull a print. Remove and put the printed Deli Paper aside for other projects.

5. Place a sheet of the A3 art paper over the Gelli Plate and pull a print. If there’s any paint still left on the Gelli Plate, pull another print.

6. Repeat steps 1 to 5 above with different colour combinations, until both sides of all 8 A3 sheets are filled. Leave some white spaces, for contrast.

7. Frame your favourite prints. Or, I would tear the A3 sheets into smaller pieces to bind later into my Juicy Journals.

Some of the results:

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And some close-ups:

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You can’t really make it out in the photos, but there is a glittery shimmer to the papers, as I’d mixed some glitter paint into some of the Gelli prints. I love the effect! It’s quite sophisticated, instead of being childish.

Now, go play! :-)

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.

Child’s Play

I have a confession to make. And I make it with great pride.

My Kid makes better Gelli prints than I. Mine come out all muddied colours and smudgy. I reckon I’m trying to cram too many techniques, too many stencils and templates, too many marks on one page. I’m impatient lol.

The Kid, on the other hand, keeps things simple. A couple of colour splodges at a time, careful brayering and a judicious selection and layout of templates.

Look at the results! Neat, huh? These are just his first 9 prints on sketchbook paper. That’s my boy! :-)

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THE INSPIRATION DECK

I wrote about my INSPIRATION DECK Project a short while ago, in the post “The First Twelve”. Since then, I’ve completed 25 different card designs, all with inspiring phrases on them. And I’ve decided that they should be part of a deck that’s expandable. So, the first deck of extra large (3.5 x 5.75 inches) cards will have 50 different designs. And any subsequent “booster” packs will have the same back designs, so one can simply shuffle the new cards into the old.

I’ve gone ahead and ordered a deck with 2 of each design. Now, here’s the method to my madness:

1) the printer’s templates offer a maximum of 54 cards per deck. The price is the same regardless of whether your deck has 1 card or 54. So, it makes sense to double up on the designs and use up all the card allocations, for the one price.

2) I’ve sent off for a deck now because I’d like to be able to let my adult cousins and my Uncle and Aunt choose a card for themselves over our annual Chinese New Year Reunion Lunch at my 2nd Uncle’s. Like a party favour. I’m the “poor” cousin, and good for comedy effect as well as entertainment value LOL. CNY 2015 is on Feb 19th, which is mid-week, so I guess our family reunion will be the weekend after.

3) I’ve promised The Kid that we’ll have the cards ready before Easter. We intend to pop the cards into envelopes with Art Abandonment tags or labels on them, and then randomly drop them into people’s letterboxes around our area. Might make someone’s day, who knows?

It’s going to be such fun!

Anyway, here are some of the 25 designs, which I’ve collaged together into a frame, for ease of uploading to WordPress. See, this old dog can learn new tricks still! 😄 When the deck arrives from the printers, fresh off the press, I’ll be sure to photograph them all and blog about it in a later post.

Meanwhile, enjoy!

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Artist Inspiration : BOBBETTE ROSE

The third artist in my current lineup of artists that inspire me is Bobbette Rose. Bobbette’s art falls into the Colour Field category, but her chosen medium is very different from that of Helen Frankenthaler and Ana Elisa Benavent, the other 2 artists I have just written about. Bobbette’s technique involves the use of Encaustic wax.

Here is the glorious piece that first caught my attention, and the description of Bobbette’s technique, courtesy of Grace Chosy Gallery. It’s called “Liminal Moment”. (Incidentally, I looked up the Grace Chosy Gallery online, and found out it’s now closed in 2013 after 34 years in the business. Such a shame).

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“Liminal Moment by Bobbette Rose – Encaustic Monotype on Paper. These are paintings done directly on a heated plate with pigmented wax. Paper is laid on top and the image is offset onto the paper, similar to a typical monotype but no press. She does sveral thin layers, each time laying the paper down on the heated plate. In the final stage she often paints back into the image with a oil paint and a brush. Japanese washi paper used for this process, then matt and frame them under glass”.

Here’s Bobbette’s own Artist Statement:

“Inspired by the relationship between the physical and the spiritual, I delve into what lies beneath our surfaces, revealing the mystery and fragility of the lives we build within a context of growth and decay, memory and the passage of time.

My work mixes the ancient with the contemporary as I find new meanings in age-old materials and processes using mineral pigments, egg tempera, and beeswax. Making my own paint from ground pigments, I dive deeper into both image and process.

I work in mixed media and painting and widely exhibit and sell my work. I earned my MFA from UW-Madison and work professionally as a designer for print and web media. I teach classes and workshops through both university and community arts programs in design and fine art and have spoken at national and international conferences. I currently live in Madison, WI and am represented by Grace Chosy Gallery in Madison. I am a member of Wisconsin Visual Artists, International Encaustic Artists (IEA), the Chicago Artists’ Coalition, the artsTribe collective and the Madison Artists Alliance (MAA)”.

 Some more of Bobbette’s fabulous encaustic art, for your enjoyment (courtesy of Google images):

TheHill

 

Winnowing

 

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Exchange_Of_Vaporlg

 

Deep_Thunderlg

 

Spring

 

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MorningMeditation

 

Posted from WordPress for Android.

http://www.alyzenmoonshadow.wix.com/alyzenmoonshadow

My Search For The Perfect Gloss Varnish Spray

For a while now, I have been searching for the perfect gloss varnish to seal and protect my artwork. My regular readers will remember my preferred printing method, that of printing onto tissue paper or baking parchment, then adhering that to my substrate, which could be a boxed canvas or cradled wooden panel.

Two-part Resin failed to hit the targets for me. I could never get the surface completely free of bubbles. It was also a messy affair and I always ended up mixing too much or too little of it. And it was over $20 for very little. So that was the Resin idea out the door.

I turned to varnishes instead. I first tried Art shop gloss varnish in liquid form. I wasn’t happy with the results as my efforts did not turn out glossy or smooth enough. The ones applied with a brush showed up brush strokes, the ones applied with a sponge applicator had traces of bubbles.

Art shop gloss varnish spray was my next try. It was better, but somehow did not have the high glossiness I wanted. I was going for an almost lacquered look. All I was getting was an almost matte look when applied on canvas, no matter how many layers I’d applied.

On a visit to our local hardware store, I picked up a furniture-grade high gloss spray varnish. Now this DID work, but it was rather expensive, a small can of it cost as much as a large can of Art shop gloss varnish spray. It also smelled very strong, and took hours to dry in between applications.

And then I decided to think outside the box. I popped into an auto accessories shop. And I found the Perfect Acrylic Gloss Varnish Spray. At last!

It does the job marvellously, it’s water-based so it dries quickly, it gives the final product an even, glossy sheen, and it’s cheaper than the Art shop varnishes or the one from the hardware shop. I like how it feels under my fingers, it’s not quite lacquer or mirror glossy, but I figure if I were to give it 4-5 coats, followed by a light sanding, then a couple more coats, that would do the trick. But right now I’m happy enough with the even sheen I get from just 2 coats of it, with a drying time of about 4 hours in-between. It’s also UV resistant, which means it will not only seal my artwork but also protect it from fading, for many years to come.

And…here it is, the unlikely Hero of the Day!
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Posted from WordPress for Android.

http://www.alyzenmoonshadow.wix.com/alyzenmoonshadow

Banner Printing on the Epson Artisan 1430

I used to wonder about The Beast’s (my Epson Artisan 1430) ability to do banner printing, for panoramic photos. I looked online, and also on Epson’s own Manual, but all leads seemed to point to a “User Defined Dialogue”, which, try as I might, I couldn’t find on The Beast’s print dashboard on my Mac. Scratch head.

Then it occurred to me that perhaps it was no longer called the “User Defined Dialogue”, but something else. So I threw away my preconceived notions and looked at the print dashboard with fresh eyes.

If you, like me, have been wondering how to do banner or panoramic printing on an Epson Artisan 1430, here is the key.

Simply follow the pictures below, or:
In Preview, go to File > Print > Manage Custom Sizes > Paper Size.

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You’ll have to play around with your paper size until you find one that suits you. As it was my first time, I mistook the Paper Size to mean the actual size of the image I wanted to print. Which is why you can see I pegged it as 300mm wide and 500mm long, or 11 inches by 19.6 inches.

You can set the “Non-printable” area of your image too, by tweaking the Top, Bottom, Left and Right margins. Note this is the only part that bears the words “User Defined”, however it relates not to setting up the paper size but rather to setting up image borders. I haven’t quite figured out how these translate in real terms, so I shall simply have to progress by trial and error. Hopefully I won’t run out of canvas before I get it right…

Oh, Eureka! Face palm. A thought just hit me. Of course…I should use my canvas roll as a carrier sheet and print instead onto my favourite medium, baking parchment. That way, if I run out of baking parchment, it’s only about $3.50 for a roll anyway, no biggie when compared to over $25 for a roll of primed canvas. Do the math.

Maybe I should’ve experimented more with the sizes before printing, but I was too eager just to see if The Beast would actually take a roll of canvas that was Not a standard A3 size. So, for this particular experiment, it mattered not if the size of the image wasn’t quite as expected…what was important was to to see if I could get The Beast to co-operate today.

First try: after a lot of churning, the “eejit eject paper” light came on and I was forced to press the button, whereupon my roll of canvas, which was about 300mm x 900mm, was summarily spat out by The Beast.

Second try: paper misfeed. The Beast grabbed one corner of the canvas roll but not the other, so it got skewed up and jammed.

Third time was a charm. And here you can see the resulting print as it came out The Beast’s maw.

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As you can see, Yes, I got The Beast to do a banner or panoramic print for me. And No, the dimensions are not quite right.

But at least now YOU know how to print a banner or panoramic photo on the Epson Artisan 1430. No need to Google “User Defined Dialogue”, as it does not exist!

Posted from WordPress for Android.

http://www.alyzenmoonshadow.wix.com/alyzenmoonshadow

From the Smartphone to the Wall

Many people still don’t believe that a mobile phone’s camera output is capable of producing large prints. Some reckon it’s only good for 6x4s, or at a stretch, A4 prints. Others turn their noses up and claim that a smartphone’s photos can never match or rival that of a DSLR. When I mention that I’m researching textile design and wallpaper and rugs to put my mobile photography images on, I get skeptical looks and raised eyebrows. And when visitors to my home see my prints hanging on the wall with their very own eyes, they still can’t believe they were done using a smartphone’s camera.

Now, I’ve already written about image resolutions and print sizes previously.  This post is not a rehash of previous material. I just want to share with you how I got my image “BIRD WITH CHERRY BLOSSOMS” from my smartphone:

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up on my bedroom wall like this (it’s 18 x 24 inches, or 46 x 61 cm):

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The first image was created on my trusty Samsung Galaxy S4. The image resolution is 1514 x 2018 pixels. I wanted a feature for my bedroom’s newly created “Altar to Simplicity”, ok , it’s where I burn my fragranced candles and pretend I’m a New Ager. The space was huge and devoid of any other pictures i.e it was a blank, albeit light pink, canvas.

For a pink bedroom, the curtains were dark blue. That’s because the hubby liked a darker, more masculine colour, and also because the curtains are black-out lined. They have to be; the previous curtains were floral and let the morning sun through. Which is fine…except for when the sun rises before 5 every morning and hits your face on your pillow and wakes you up all grumpy!

But anyway, I digress. The reason I chose this particular image “BIRD WITH CHERRY BLOSSOMS” was because 1) it contained metallic colours which I was curious to see how they translated into real life, 2) it contained shades of blue and red, to complement the colour of the curtains and the bedroom wall, and 3) my “Altar” had a cherry blossom branch on it (the white IKEA flowerpots contain my candles, btw), and the image had similar blossoms on it.

I’d already seen how my images of similar resolutions as the one above, can get translated successfully onto wrapped canvas and as posters.  Using OnOne Software’s “Perfect Resize 7” on my Mac, I’ve been able to resize my images to fit a canvas of 12×40 inches (or 31 x 102 cm) and a poster 2 x 3 feet (61 x 92 cm).  I could, if I wanted to, prime my Epson Artisan 1430 to print the image onto tissue paper, to be pasted onto an A3 canvas and then sealed and varnished – but that process is very time-consuming, and printer inks are expensive, so I decided to use the services of a Print-on-Demand (POD) site instead.

Recently, I’d researched the work of artist Kathe Fraga and ordered 2 of her images mounted onto wood (hardboard actually), from AllPosters.com. The 2 pieces were delivered really quickly (postage was by FedEx and a tad dear), and I was pleasantly surprised at the quality of the finished product. They looked really well on the wall of my living room. Inspired and encouraged by this, I decided I would like to have my own image mounted onto wood (hardboard) too. None of the other online POD sites I frequent offered wood-mounted prints, so I decided I’d try AllPosters’ service. When you go to their site, it’s not immediately obvious that you are able to print your own images. The button to click is on the right, headed “My Photos”. It will take you to another area where you can upload your photos, choose the format of your print, select a frame if required, and process your order.

http://www.allposters.com/myphotos

So, I uploaded my pic, chose the wood mounting option, like so:

All Posters screenshot BIRD WITH CHERRY BLOSSOMS

Needless to say, I’m very pleased with the product, and I shall no doubt be ordering more wood-mounted prints through AllPosters in the future.

http://www.alyzenmoonshadow.wix.com/alyzenmoonshadow

Artist Inspiration – ANGIE LEWIN

Last year, I got it into my head that I wanted to learn about textile design, specifically how to print seamless repeated patterns. The subject was as obscure to me then as the Tibetan language, but I bought myself several books on textile designs and digital printing, and away I went down the rabbit hole. I marked my progress by recording my experiments here on my WordPress blog, more for my own reference than for anything else…you can see my explorations in the 30 posts titled “Not Quite Photoshop…but close”.

Months later, I’m pleased to report that whilst I still fumble about in the dark with Photoshop, I now know a good thing or three about creating repeat patterns using only my Samsung Galaxy S4, Galaxy Note 10.1 and iPad2, along with iOS and Android Apps. And I’m glad I went through all those months of research and experimentation, because it led me to discover the wonderful works of ANGIE LEWIN.

Angie Lewin’s work is right about where I would like to be now, creatively speaking.  She uses wood engraving, linocut, silkscreen, lithograph and collage, and her subjects are drawn from Nature and include seedheads, dried seaweed, seed pods, grasses and feathers. Angie is an Art school graduate, with a firm grounding in drawing and illustration. She also runs a fabric design business with her husband, called St Jude’s Fabrics.

Here are some links to Angie’s work in interior design settings and as greeting cards, to whet your appetite. If you are a budding mobile photographer/artist, take a leaf (haha, pun!) from Angie’s book (in more ways than one) and aspire towards her level of perfection!

http://www.stjudes.co.uk/angiepdf/homeantiques_nov2008.pdf

http://www.art-angels.co.uk/cat/angie-lewin

http://www.onebrowncow.co.uk/stationery-cards/angie-lewin/cat_57.html 

http://www.theblankcardcompany.co.uk/acatalog/ANGIE_LEWIN.html

All of which I find very inspiring, as it is my fondest wish to see my own creative output on cards, posters, bedlinen, curtains, rugs, china etc etc. I’m sure you will be inspired by Angie’s work too!

http://www.angielewin.co.uk/pages/about-my-work

http://www.stjudesfabrics.co.uk/collections/angie-lewin

I will leave you here with some examples of Angie’s work, taken from Angie’s book “Plants and Places”, which is available on Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.com and The Book Depository. I have it on order, and I can’t wait for it to arrive!

ANGIE LEWIN 305671_501829546502953_1733013205_n 542650_501829679836273_645078713_n 396351_501829513169623_1146589934_n

Mobile Photography Tips: Printing on Tissue Paper

(AS PUBLISHED BY JOANNE CARTER AKA THE APPWHISPERER ON 2ND SEPTEMBER 2013) :-)

What I’d like to talk about today is my personal exploration into the field of printing A3 size images onto tissue paper.  I have tried various methods of digital transfer printing with abysmal results.  I have Bonny Lhotka’s book “Digital Alchemy” which is a beautiful book packed with with glorious examples of inspiring images; I borrowed from my library Bonny’s second book “The Last Layer”, which explains even more printing and transfer methods.  However, I must confess I found it difficult to follow Bonny as she talks about using a Super Sauce and DASS products which are impossible to get over here in Australia (without spending hundreds of dollars, that is).  Acting on Bonny’s advice, I got some Purell hand sanitizer (one of the cheaper options suggested by her) and tried digital transfer printing using that, but all I got was a muddy, jellified mess (and very clean hands!). Bonny talks about inkjet vs laser printers, and inks vs dyes, and after a few pages of that my eyes glazed over.  I’m sure if you follow her advice and instructions carefully, and if you are lucky enough to have the type of printers she has, and access to all the “ingredients” required, following Bonny’s methods will give you the same great results she consistently gets, and may catapult your art into the same high realm as her.  For more info about Bonny Lhotka’s prioneering work on printing and digital transfer techniques, click on this link: http://www.lhotka.com/bonny/Home.html

For me, however, it proved to be too complicated, so I moved on to developing my own low-tech printing methods.

I wanted to print bigger than the standard A4 household printer size.  After some online research, I settled for the Epson Artisan 1430 printer, which prints up to A3. Please note, this is just a printer, with no fax, scan or copying functions.  The inks used are Light Cyan, Cyan, Light Magenta, Magenta, Yellow and Black.  My first foray into printing was onto canvas paper, which I wasn’t particularly enamoured of, as it tended to suck the inks in and the images looked too flat and matte.  Ditto printing onto canvas fabric.  I had some fabric samples lying around (hoarder that I am), so I decided to gesso over some and print directly onto that.  The problem with that was, the prints tended to smudge, and getting the fabric to feed through the printer smoothly was a nightmare.

My local K-Mart was selling A3 canvasses at 2 for $5, which was a great bargain, so I snagged myself 10 of those.  My problem then was how to get my images onto the canvasses.  after trying different methods I was just about to give up when I decided to give printing onto tissue paper one last try.  I had a bundle of paper left over from our last move, the sort used for wrapping glasses and fragile items.  So I cut one to A3 and taped it to a carrier sheet, which was simply an A3 piece of canvas paper. The print came out beautifully, but then I hit another snag…because the tissue had been taped to the carrier sheet, I had to then cut out the parts where the tape had been, hence the end result was smaller than A3, and left a border to be filled in somehow.

Repositionable glue sticks to the rescue.  I found that if I drew some horizontal and vertical lines of glue onto the carrier sheet, then placed the tissue paper over that, I could not only print easily onto the tissue, I was also able to remove it from the carrier sheet afterwards.  Needless to say, I was pleased with the results, as the tissue paper not only took the inks beautifully, I could then Mod Podge it to my A3 canvas really easily afterwards.  And, the little creases and folds that resulted from sticking the tissue paper to the A3 canvas only added to the illusion that it was a piece of painted art and not a photographic image.

And then I ran out of tissue paper.  And printer ink.  The Epson Artisan 1430 inks were easily obtainable, however proved to be expensive – to replace all 6 cartridges cost me AUD$140 :-(.  The tissue paper however, proved to be yet another nightmare.  I never knew there were so many different grades or types of tissue paper available – archival, craft, museum, etc!  I got some samples from a removals company, but they tore upon peeling off the carrier sheet.  I got a packet of craft tissue paper from K-Mart, but not only did it also tear, it jammed up the printer.  A packet that I got from eBay was equally bad, no, worse, as the paper itself was grey and had holes in it and was therefore useless. Yes, there were tears (in the paper),  tears (down my face) and temper tantrums.

And then I found the Holy Grail of tissue papers. Quite simply, I had run out of baking parchment while baking a cake, so I nipped out to the supermarket and bought a roll of baking paper.  Which turned out to be the exact width for A3, and all I had to do was gluestick the carrier sheet, roll out the baking paper onto it, and cut off the end. Et voila! Beautifully printed images, which peeled off with no tearing whatsoever, and a joy to use.

Oh, and a postscript: after 2 expensive ink refills of the Epson Artisan 1430, I decided to try out the CISS (Continuous Ink Supply System). I got mine from good old eBay, for AUD$140 plus $10 postage. It was simple enough to install (hubby did it hehe), and there’s about 10 times as much ink in the bottles as in a normal cartridge, plus it’s refillable, which makes it an attractive option indeed.  So I should be okay for ink now, til next year at least!  Anyone looking for a cheaper alternative to ink cartridges should look into CISS. These are the guys I got mine from http://www.rihac.com.au

I was working on my Madhatter’s Teaparty Series then, and to date have completed over 20 A3 canvas pieces, with a view towards getting 50 in total. Here are some of the canvasses, so you can see what the end results look like (after sealing, varnishing).

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