Another gelli print

Pencil drawing

On the plate

Hand pulled print

I made a second gelli print and it turned out much better to my eye than the first one.  This one looks a bit like a primitive after the pull.  I did remember to use the little bubble wrap sheet to texture the background.  Of all of the ones I have done so far this is the one I like best.

There is definitely a learning curve to this technique, but it is fun because I never know how it will turn out until I pull the print.  Sometimes I figure the layer sequence not quite correctly and sometimes not all of the paint piulls off, but that adds its own charm.  They are definitely monoprints because I could never reproduce them, even if I tried to do the same thing again.

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Playing hooky

New aceos

New aceos

I must admit to playing hooky over the last week.  The weather has been warming up and while I had to dodge some rain, I was able to do my “fall cleanup” for a few days.  The flower beds are ready for spring weeding and as soon as it dries up some, I’ll be out there pulling grass, dandelions, and other assorted weeds that have already sprung up.  The redbuds are fully blooming and the dogwoods are coming on.  My red dogwood survived the winter cold and the deer with most of the flowers intact. so I am happy about that.  The daffodils are almost done though.  I have been picking them to put in the kitchen, but they haven’t lasted over long.  It is still early to buy any flowers for planting, but I’m getting the urge to.  We are having a high deer fence put around our garden this spring because we are tired of the deer, raccoons, rabbits, possums, etc. eating up everything including the fruit trees.  I might as well just been giving the wildlife the money the last few years.  LOL

I did spend some time making some new aceo/gift tags.  I have my next project in mind, but I have to do some photo research before I can start.  Here’s a peek at the aceos.  I’ll be listing some of them in the next few days.

Hydrangea linocut

Hydrangea spike

Hydrangea spike

I have two beautiful hydrangea paniculata trees (pinky winky variety if you can believe it)  flanking my front door. I had never heard of them before the landscaper put them in, but now I think they are quite lovely. They flower late summer with a large spike at the end of a branch. Unlike the blue and pink hydrangeas that we are most are familiar with, the spike doesn’t fully flower out – I would say less than 10%. There are lots of seedy looking buds that never open. The ones that do are a soft pink and beige color. I clipped off a dozen branches last fall to dry and decided to use them as a linocut inspiration.

 

Colored hydrangea linocut

Colored hydrangea linocut

I like the linocut itself, but I am not sure I like the green ink.  I wanted to use something other than the black, but I am feeling rather so-so about this color.  Unfortunately, my inking palette is rather limited in this regard.

Printed and colored

Black and white

Black and white

Stuck in the house after yet another snowfall and extra cold days, I printed and then watercolored the daisy floral linocut from the last post.  I use the slicker side of a thin printmaking paper for the black one.  After mistakenly using that side for prints a few months ago, I decided I like the way it turned much better than the rougher side. Directions said either side could be used, but naturally I chose the rougher texture that I was more familiar with.  As it turns out, it is a little bit easier to get a smooth even print on the slick side.  I have a heavier, more watercolor weight paper for the colored one.  It only took one experiment to tell me that the thin paper buckles badly and doesn’t look very good. However it is much harder to get an even print on the thicker paper and sometimes I have to print several to get what I need.  I have decided to get another brayer.  Mine has to be close to 40 years old as I bought it for a college class.  I’m checking into what to get so if anyone has a suggestion, I’d appreciate information.

Colored daisies

Colored daisies

I decided to make the colored flowers hues close to the the real ones.  I don’t know what species they are, but they grow prolifically on the road side in late summer and are a deep gold/yellow.  They actually make a rather nice bouquet.

Our mac is temporarily down and in the shop for a virus check so I haven’t been surfing through other blogs very much. Hopefully, I’ll get it back in a few days and be able to visit everyone more often.

Coloring the daisy linocut

Colored linocut

Colored linocut

I watercolored the daisy linocut the day after printing it, when I was sure the printing ink had fully dried.  I chose to make the flowers golden yellow and the vase a mossy green.  To add some depth, I edged the left side of the vase with a bit of red and put a bit of the yellow ocher on the table.  I rather like the way the subtle colors add to it.

And, in a typical klutz move, I managed to ruin the note card print.  I had made a small smudge on the back side of the card when I printed it and tried to remove it with a watercolor eraser.  I have used the eraser a few times on small smudges on watercolor board paintings and it worked just fine.  This time, while it removed the smudge, I created a wrinkle in the card paper and it is now unsaleable.  I even tried to iron it flat but no dice.  Sigh.  I guess I will have to use it for myself and not list it for sale in my etsy shop.  Next time I make a linocut print, I will try again.

Daisy vase linocut

Daisy vase linocut

Daisy vase linocut

I saw some pictures of sunflowers recently and decided to make a floral linocut. I found a reference photo of daises that I had picked and put in a vase on my counter top a few years ago.  Also, I wanted to make a companion piece  to go with the other little linocut I made a few months ago and possibly make a matching set of blank greeting cards for my etsy store.  I plan to color one of the prints, as I usually do.  I think the flowers will be yellow and the vase, the mossy green, maybe with a touch of red so it will go a little better with the red teapot print.  I’ll decide tomorrow when I paint it.  I give the thicker paper a day to make sure the ink is fully dry.

Floral card set

Floral card set

Daisies and Irises

Daisies and irises

Daisies and irises

I spent the the last few days working a little bit at a time on this one. I worked the longest session on the first day, laying in the most color, especially the purples.  I am rather pleased with the the way the irises turned out.    While the irises were totally purple, I made the artistic decision to shade them more subtly and leave a bit of white highlight.  I had a hard time deciding how much to do with the daisies.  They are so white that I needed to distinguish them from the background, but not too much to make them not look like daisies.  I think the compromises I made are pretty good, except for the one right in the middle.  I may decide to put a little white back in at some point.  I also went back and used more ink.  I only had the flowers sketched in and after the watercolor was added I thought they needed more definition.

It’s a good thing I decided to paint this now.  These irises don’t last long when cut and when I went out yesterday to get one last one to help me add a few details, they were all beyond use.  Daisies seem to last forever, which is a good thing.  I have a single huge cone flower blooming right now.  Maybe I will pick it and do a daisy/cone flower picture.  The flowers are so much prettier this year with all of the rain we’ve had.  The day lilies are next on the landscaping agenda so look for them in the near future.

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