Working full time in retail only gives me every second weekend off. Of course on every other week, I get two other days off during the week, but they are not consecutive days like my weekends off. Basically, I take any opportunity I can get to do something creative. Being creative puts me in my happy place, and I often find myself working on several projects at a time and adding more things to my list of projects to do when I have more time. I often take annual leave from work just to stay at home and create. It's what I consider a holiday. And thankfully, I always find that I am inspired. By having several projects and adding to my list of projects, I am never short of something to do. And when I get two days off in a row, you can bet I'm crafting up a storm!
Lately I have been really focusing on intuitive art. My mandalas are always intuitively drawn. My sigils are always intuitively drawn. And just recently I have been going back to some art journaling roots. Now, because it was something I hadn't done in almost 10 years, I found that although it came much easier this time, I still felt like I was forcing things a little bit and that my work had to look a certain way at the end. This past weekend off, I decided to just let intuition take the lead. I had a list of projects that I wanted to work on, and in many ways, all the projects would somehow tie in with each other. But this time, I made the plan to NOT have a finished product at the end of my weekend, and to just experiment with some techniques that I could use in the projects I had in mind. One of the projects was Gelli Printing.
Needless to say, I've never really had much luck with gelli prints. They've often looked muddy and I've generally got the technique all wrong. By the end of a couple of hours, I've got a bunch of pages that I'm pretty disappointed with, but end up keeping because there's always elements to them that I like. Maybe I can draw a mandala over it, or maybe I can chop it up later for some other project. In true artist fashion, I end up hoarding all the useless stuff, just in case...
So, on Saturday I had another go at gelli prints. I used to have a large sized plate, but as I wasn't having much luck with results, I down sized to an A5 size and am actually looking at getting a square one, just for mandalas. Anyway! On Saturday, I wanted to just do things intuitively. After a few dud prints, I eventually got into the swing of things and although my prints were quite simple, I was genuinely happy with the results. I laid them all out on the floor and experimented a little more by adding extra elements to the prints. Then I decided that I could use these same techniques on some ink box cards that I had started (stay tuned for an ink box card post). I just let intuition rule the process and after a few hours, I was very happy with the small selection of prints that I'd made. I generally don't wash my plate when I've finished using it. I find that the build up of painty bits on the plate adds to the texture and look of subsequent prints later down the track, and I do like to have a bit of a gritty look to my prints. But I'll always do a few final prints just to pull as much of the paint off as I can. Previously, I've just added a light colour to the plate then left the paper on for a bit longer so as to soak up all the gritty bits. And I've always liked the results from those final prints.
I decided to do the same thing again, but didn't have any white paint. I rummaged around and found some white acrylic ink and decided to use that. What resulted was something I never expected and was actually really cool! As I rolled the paint over the plate with a brayer, the paint didn't spread evenly like it usually does, but separated and resisted into little puddles (like oil and water mixing). So I figured, why not? Let's give that a try and was SUPER impressed with the prints I got. I actually managed to pull about 3 prints using this technique and was really satisfied that I'd had a successful morning printing.
Later in the afternoon I was on Instagram and discovered an account called Scraps Diary and thought that maybe I could finally do something with all those gelli prints that I had collected over the years. So, on Art Witch Sunday, I would use some of the prints to create a scraps diary page. I had recently bought I little spiral bound journal that would be perfect to turn into a scraps diary. Don't ask why it's Art Witch Sunday, I just decided that tonight when I started writing this post. So, when I sat down to get creative, I started chopping up some of the prints and came across the prints that I'd made at the end of Saturdays printing session. And I had an epiphany! I wanted to use these prints in my first Scraps Diary page! I LOVED the idea of finding those little segments of paint that I really like in my prints and honing in on them to create a whole new piece of art with them. Highlighting the little bits of paint that blend nicely with the other colours, the textures, the tiny details that get overlooked when the bigger picture is all you can see. It's a perfect way to bring attention to those finer details. And for my first Scraps Diary page, I have to say I couldn't be happier with it.
I'm super keen to make more of these pages, and as soon as I get another day off, I'll be sure to create another one!
What do you think of the Scraps Diary idea! Definitely check out their Instagram page to see what other people have created as well. Let me know in the comments what you think of my scraps diary page too!