Friday, April 9, 2021

Printmaking, Oh Printmaking


Seems like every weekend I’ve been printmaking and creating piles of prints. There is the good, the not so good, and the downright ugly. Some need more work. Some might like gel pens or colored pencils on them. Some that I use to clean the plate with are almost as interesting as the ones I carefully compose.

Printmaking is a lot work before and after. Prep work to get papers ready, a space cleared, paints selected, a work surface to work on, a place to put all the prints you finish. Then, it takes quite a while to clean your tools—stencils, masks, palette knives, bone folders. It’s been a time-saver to wear gloves!


Experimenting with different papers, as usual. Computer paper, card stock, various types of greeting cards, watercolor paper, mixed-media paper, printmaking paper. You need a lot of paper. Printmaking paper is so dreamy that I’d like to make an entire journal with prints from it. I have some on hand in both tan and light blue and could begin using the folios for printing and only bind it as a book when all the pages are done.

Mixed media paper is quite good also. Shelley Rhodes great tip of carefully snipping papers from coil books has been helpful but I also rip it out when I need More Paper NOW! Interestingly, the snipped or ripped pages both readily return to the book. I like that some brands feature a front cover that is as sturdy as the back.

Some artists don’t completely clean the paint off their plate before changing colors and actually like the gungy remains. I tried doing that with these three prints. You can see some yellow ochre paint coming through earlier prints. At first, I didn’t quite like it but have come around to see the beauty in its messy imperfections.



Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Drying Area for Gel Prints

I have doing lots of printmaking lately. There are so many inspirational videos from the various commercial gel plate brands and their artists. But what I haven’t seen much of is where to put prints when they are wet.

From the first time I used gelatin up to now, the room I was working in was always full of prints drying wherever there was a surface—couches, chairs, folding card tables, the floor! There had to be a better way since now I don’t have space in the living room because my work computer is set up there. My friend Nancy and I discussed various options and I set about trying one. She suggested rigging a rope from wall to wall and using clips.

I had lots of frame wire on hand and with a quick trip to the grocery store had some light weight wood clothes pins. On the walls, I screwed in medium hooks. On the wire, I made a loop at each end. I spaced out the clothespins with some wood beads to give the prints space.

It turned out pretty good. I like that it is portable and I can take it down.

Thursday, December 31, 2020

Goodbye 2020!


This has been such a challenging and difficult year for so many people and I doubt many people will mourn it coming to the end at midnight.

But I have been very, very fortunate that I have been able to work from home since mid-March. My creativity has continued and I have even blogged more this year than in the last five.

I wish you a very Happy 2021. There is new hope with the COVID-19 vacines beginning along with a brand new administration in the White House. 

Stay safe, everyone!