By Catherine Tonning-Popowich
8” x 10” Gelli Arts plate, Plaid Metallic and Gelli Arts Paints
Technique: Layering with Plaid FolkArt Metallic paints and Gelli Arts Paints on cardstock
I am so excited to create my first blog as a member of the Gelli Arts® Artist team! Having been asked to join the team is an honor, I love all of their products!
"My work is informed and influenced by nature. Whether working in the colors of autumn, in the flowers of spring, or in the radiance of a sunset or sunrise, I enjoy creating visually stimulating art."
My monoprints, mixed media, acrylic abstractions and realistic paintings all focus on nature whether it be the colors, textures or spirit and my obsession with it.
My prints are one-of-a-kind using mono printing with Gelli Arts® plates. I start with an idea or feeling which, I express in textures and colors using natural and manmade found objects. I see an item's potential by how it might appear after color and pressure have been applied to the plate, that is what makes the mono print process so exciting to me. Each print is unique and the result of my experience with color, texture and form.
Having said all that, I will tell you about this Falling Leaves print. I took a photo of some leaves floating at the bottom of a waterfall in Upper Michigan last fall. I loved how they looked like jewels in the water. I knew that this print needed to be done in layers.
Step 1 – Place photo under the 8 x 10 plate. I started with the leaves first painting them in with Plaid FolkArt Metallic paint. I didn’t paint all the leaves exactly as they were in the photo but most of them. I actually added some around the edges. Try to get a variety of colors, some orange, some greenish yellow, copper etc. I used a rubber tipped tool to wipe out the veins in the leaves while the paint was still wet. Let this layer dry completely.
Step 2 – Now that the first layer is dry paint another layer on the leaves using Gelli Arts opaque paints mixed with the Folkart Metallics. This allows the leaves to be a little opaquer but still shimmer. I paint the leaves in a direction from the outside edge in toward the center vein so that the leaves have a texture of veins. Let dry.
Step 3 – When you are satisfied with the leaves (you can pick up the plate and peek at the other side to see what they look like on the front) start to sponge on the blue colors for the water. I used Folk Art Multi surface Aqua, Metallic Champagne, Metallic Topaz, Metallic Blue Sapphire and Gelli Arts Cosmic Blue for the darkest shade. I used a sea sponge but any textured sponge would work. Sponge over the entire plate varying the colors from light to dark. Again let this layer dry.
Step 4 – Now using the Metallic Blue Sapphire blended with the Cosmic blue load up your brayer with paint and roll over the entire plate. Clean off the brayer on paper and run it over the plate again. You need a thin layer of paint over the plate or all you will pick up is the blue layer. I make sure I have a thin wet layer over the plate and the edges. This step reacts with the first layers and makes them moist again so you can lift them onto the paper.
Step 5 – Using a dark blue color cardstock place the paper over the plate and rub with the palm of your hand. I use an old credit card or hotel room key card and holding it at an angle I burnish the back of the paper. I use some pressure with the card to get the paint to adhere to the paper. Check the print by lifting a corner to see if the paint is sticking. If it isn’t all lifting put the corner down and continue to burnish till all the paint adheres to the paper.
If you are happy with your print let it dry and your done. If you want a little more detail I went over some of the veins and edges of the leaves with gel pens to sharpen the details.