Friday, March 29, 2013

"Soar & Fly" Art Journal Page

"Soar & Fly" ArtJournal Page : Before

From this ...

"Soar & Fly" Art Journal Page : Before 2

... to this ...

"Soar & Fly" Art Journal Page : Full

... to this! Ta da!

This page had more planned for me than I did for it! My muse was here in my presence. I could hear her whispering to me to "let my Little Bird fly". 

"Soar & Fly" Art Journal Page : Bird Cage

Fly, Little Bird. 
Fly and soar. 
Trust your wings. 
Sing your song! 
Your amazing tiny heart 
will take you anywhere.

"Soar & Fly" Art Journal Page : Bird

This bird stamp is my design, and is made from foam sheet and cardboard. It is outlined in orange Copic marker and then black Stabilo pencil for dimension. The bird cage is white-out pen. I drew over that with a sparkly gel pen to make the bars look shiny and metal. 

"Soar & Fly" Art Journal Page : Trust Your Wings

The purple circle and scalloped dictionary page were scraps laying around. I added my handmade button stamp to the circle and layered them. I used my label maker to print the words because I was in a hurry. They are pixelated, and that bugs me, but it's not a deal-killer on this piece. 

"Soar & Fly" Art Journal Page : Soar

The letters for "soar" were brown to start with. I painted them and stamped some dots and lettering on them with paint. The dimension the raised letters add is lovely! 

The little heart banner is punched hearts from book pages and baker's twine. A little watercolor splashed on the hearts creates some interest. 

"Soar & Fly" Art Journal Page : Stitching

Look! I managed to sew in curvy lines - not jagged straight-ish arcs! The paper itself is created with gelli plate printing and white gel pen. This is before I drew the heart and swirly black line.

"Soar & Fly" Art Journal Page : Banners

To connect the theme of singing I glued down some tissue tape with music on it. That needed some color so I washed a little acrylic paint over the tape. Using a Molotow white paint pen I wrote the words "sing your song" and added black to make it more readable. Some little doodles and stars here and there finished the piece nicely. 

There you have it! This is the first art journal page I have completed this year. It took several days to work out. I printed the background about a month ago with my gelli plate right into the journal. 

I worked on it here and there for a while until the full image finally came together. I wanted to experiment with some ideas I had in my sketchbook, and this piece gave me the chance to work those ideas out more thoroughly. That's what I love about art journaling! Mad science experiments! Focusing on the process! Mastering techniques! Practice  Practice. Practice!! 

I hope you have a wonderful weekend! Happy Easter if you celebrate! Also, Mr. M turns 40 this weekend! Huzzah!
- Vickie

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

"Summer Evening" Gelli Print

Since my Artist Spotlight post went up at Gelli Arts' Facebook page I've had some inquiries into how I've created some of these prints. Several people had questions regarding the vibrancy of my prints. How do I do it?

To be honest, I'm not completely sure. I really had to go back and almost dissect my work to produce an answer. 

Right now my best "guess" is using color theory to not layer colors over each other that produce muddiness (like putting a bright yellow over a purple because red + blue + yellow = mud). 

I use rather bright paint colors to begin with. As with any kind of paint the colors vary in opacity and translucency. Knowing your paint helps a lot. 

Let's take a look at my "Summer Evening" gelli monoprint.

I will freely admit much of this print is a happy accident. This piece was very experimental from the start except for the leafy vine stencil I cut freehand. 

"Summer Evening" Gelli Monoprint

The first layer of paint is a dark cranberry purple -  Yes, I know I just ignored the suggestion above about putting those colors in a bottom layer. Experimental, remember? 

The large circles, when wiped out with my finger and a paper towel, looked really nice with how organic the edges became when printed. 

I added a little fuchsia over that cranberry purple. You can see in the wiped out circles the little lines and squares of fuchsia. 

"Summer Evening" Gelli Monoprint 3

I wanted a lot of color and layers under the vine to create a lot of dimension. Intending to just print on the left side under where I planned to put the vine stencil, I inked up my gelli plate with yellow. While printing the left side of the piece, the right edge of the paper fell out of my hand and into the yellow paint. EEEK!

Mud! Instant muddy brown. What to do?! Grab a baby wipe!

I figured there was enough paint on the paper already that it would hold up to a wet wipe down. When I wiped away the yellow paint it left this glowing, bright yellow orange behind. The fuchsia and yellow created this color in the white space of the wiped out circles. So basically this side of the print received a yellow color wash. Nice happy accident! 

Incidentally, you can see how awful that yellow muddied things up if you look in the upper right corner of the piece. There is some of that yellow that I didn't wipe off. (I suppose if I wasn't going for bright colors and wanted brown I would have been satisfied with that yellow.)

"Summer Evening" Gelli Monoprint 2

I printed a thick layer of turquoise while masking out the vine with my hand cut stencil. Then I used a handmade stamp over that with more fuchsia. Several more handmade stamps, some stenciling with punchinella, and some white gel pen brought the piece together.

Ta da!

"Summer Evening" Gelli Monoprint 4

Working on this piece got my brain wondering how color washes over prints would look. I added Distress Stains over some parts of other prints, and it looks really cool. Adds a pop the piece didn't have before. I also seem to have a thing against white space. I love full blown color all over. I made some prints on paper I covered completely in Distress Stains and watercolor. 

Color washing first also helps me avoid the "white blank page" staring contest. It's already started! All I'm doing is adding to it, I tell myself reassuringly. 

I would love to share in the joy of your happy accidents! Link up to your posts about them in the comments, please!

- Vickie

Monday, March 11, 2013

{be creative everyday: 2013} MARCH 8

Gelli Print Collage - work in progress

paper collage of acrylic monoprints, gel pen, ink, handmade stamps
5.5" x 4.25"
© 2013 Victoria Porter

This isn't quite the finished version. I added a little more detail to it after I took this photo with my phone. 

All of these pieces of paper were printed on my gelli plate. Some were already printed with text, like the Japanese newspaper I picked up on a visit to Austin, Texas, and some dictionary pages. Using my hand-carved stamps and black archival ink, I stamped some designs on some of the pieces.  

I'm deciding whether or not to send it through my sewing machine for some random stitching. It feels disparate to me and needs some cohesion. 

What do you think? Stitching or not?

Happy Monday!

- Vickie

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Gelli Arts Artist Spotlight: ME!

If you've been reading along then I don't have to tell you how much fun I am having working with monoprinting. Printing has always been in my blood in some form or another - from lino block cutting and printing, rubber stamping (it is too a form of printing), making my own stamps out of anything and everything, creating collographs, screen printing, and now making monoprints with a Gelli plate.

The joke around here is that if it sits still long enough I will either print on it or ink it up to make a print on something else. Nothing with wonderful texture is safe around my inky and painty fingers! Yes, I've been caught inking up interesting cracks in the sidewalk and making prints from them!

Right now I'm having such a blast with my Gelli plate that I've hardly had time been able to stop printing long enough to fill you in on some extremely cool news! 

I was contacted by the folks at Gelli Arts, the company that makes the Gelli printing plate, about the prints I posted to my Facebook page and blog. They enjoyed them and asked for some images to feature me in an Artist Spotlight on their Facebook page. They posted 18 images from various pieces I have made in the last few months. 

Vickie Porter Artist Spotlight Album on Gelli Art Facebook Page

How cool is that?! 

Rendered even more speechless by the response - thus delaying this post further - I am still at a loss for words over the number of comments and "likes" my work has received. 

(The album itself currently has over 100 "likes" and 13 shares. One piece has 125 "likes"! The amount of traffic here and almost every other site I have for In My Head Studios has roughly tripled.) 

Gelli Arts, I cannot thank you enough. To have my work shown alongside the work of many of my favorite artists is intensely humbling. The positive response is icing on the cake, next to which I have been doing the Happy Dance of Joy for more than a week. 

Several people have had questions about how I make my prints. I don't currently have a tutorial about gelli printing on this blog to share, but I am working on a few ideas for showing you how I do the printing. Stay tuned!

In the meantime, check out the rest of the Gelli Arts Facebook page for some awesome artwork and a ton of resources about printing. Their Pinterest page is chock full of eye candy, tips, and tricks, too.

As for me, I am headed back into my hermit hole to make more prints! 

- Vickie