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I tried Suminagashi and it is brilliant!

I have tried ink on water marbling and it was ok but nothing spectacular, quite pale colours and I didn’t get great results.  Of course I most likely used the wrong ink and almost certainly an inefficient technique, but in the back of my mind I wanted to have another go as I love the effects of marbled paper.

I saw a suminagashi class on Skillshare and it looked doable as I had all of the ingredients so I gave it a go.

Tomoe River paper

Top Strathmore mixed media, bottom Stonehenge warm white.

Strathmore mixed media (front)

Strathmore mixed media paper (back).

I like that this technique is fairly unpredictable but not totally. Having said that, the final photo is the back of one of the prints and I really like how the ink has swished onto the back of the paper and created a very unpredictable effect.

I used Strathmore mixed media paper which was very white and smooth, Stonehenge warm white paper with a slight texture and Tomoe River paper which is thin smooth and will still withstand the printing and rinsing of suminagashi very well.

Of all the papers I think the Strathmore mixed media worked best as it seemed to give the cleanest prints with nice strong lines. I am always amazed at how much wet you can throw at Tomoe River paper and it still comes out smiling!

I am looking forward to having another go, maybe with some coloured ink and on a warm sunny day so that I can hang my prints onto the washing line to dry!

Happy Monday x


The 100 day project, I changed my mind!

‘The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry’ to quote Mr Robert Burns.

My plans for the 100 day project were not really that well laid if I am honest and they have not gone far awry, they have just moved a little bit and changed a little bit.

I still plan to do the project and I am enthusiastic to begin on Tues April 2nd, I have merely changed my mind.

I gathered some blue supplies for something else and I had a flashback to each time I think that a project all in blues would be a nice thing to do.  I have thought about this many times and done it no times, so I thought the 100 day project would be an ideal opportunity to make a lovely blue project.

So, for the 100 day project 2019 I intend to be creative each day using blue.  Blue media, blue substrate, maybe even photographing or sketching a blue something.

I haven’t decided on a hashtag yet (apparently decisions are not my strongest point at the minute), but it will be one of these.  Which should I use?

100 days of blue creativity

100 days of creating in blue

100 days of creating with blue

So I am in, I am ready and I will try and make a hashtag decision and stick to it!

Happy Thursday x

PS ‘100 days of blue creativity’ sounds  a bit saucy, so that one is out!! Ha ha ha ha ha.

Mono Printing on a Homemade Gelatin Plate.

Today I made a slab of gelatin (actually I made that yesterday) in a cookie pan and used it to make mono prints of bamboo leaves and crochet doilies!

I was reading Courtney Cerruti’s book ‘Playing with Surface Design’ and she was talking about how a handmade gelatin plate behaves slightly differently to a commercial gelli plate.  I have been using and loving my gelli plate for a few years now, so I was keen to try!

Making the ‘plate’ was super easy, I used 4 envelopes of unflavored gelatin according to the instructions on the packet (they suggested apple juice but I went for water!) and I left it in the fridge over night to set.  I forgot to remove any surface bubbles so I had immediate access to some extra texture (oops!). There are lots of videos and recipes for gelatin plates on the inter webs but I was happy with this one as it lasted for an afternoon of printing and I can make another one when I need it.

This picture was taken once I had finished printing and you can see how the plate gets nicked and pot holey.  I left it in the cookie pan to help keep it sturdy.

By the end of my printing play session, my gelatin slab was pretty well used and starting to distribute blobs of gelatin hither and thither, but I had some lovely prints and it was well worth making the plate and giving it a go.

It is much ‘wetter’ than a commercial gelli plate and the prints come off a little more softly, there is still plenty of definition but the paint is a bit more washy in the final effect.  I usually am a single print kinda gal but in the name of research I used some sheets for two prints and I am pleased with them.  I like my prints simple but I like the extra texture from re-printing the same sheet.

The gelatin really keeps the detail of whatever you are printing with so that the ‘ghost’ prints are still full of texture and detail.  The veins in the leaves I printed were all nice and clear and the doilies left a very detailed and clear print.

I would absolutely recommend making your own gelatin printing plate especially as gelatin is cheap as chips which is a good thing because this is a one time use item.  I still liked to print with the plate even when it was getting a bit worn because it is all extra texture.

Have you made a gelatin plate to print with or do you like the commercial plates?  I enjoy them both, of course I can pull out my Gelli Plate whenever I want to but I enjoyed the process of making and using my own.

Happy Thursday x

The 100 day project 2019

What to do when you can literally do anything, for 100 days? I have been deciding what to do for this year’s 100 day Project.

100 yoga poses?

100 found poems?

100 altered playing cards?

100 altered vintage photos?

These are some of the ideas which have swum in and out of my mind, I decided found poems might be boring after about 27 and I did playing cards a few years ago.

I enjoyed the cards project best out of all of my 100 day collections, so I decided to use them again but with other ephemera. ‘100 altered vintage pieces of ephemera’ will be my 100 day project for 2019.   I can use playing cards, flash cards, book pages, book covers, rolodex cards, business cards, library catalogue cards, vintage photos et al.

I will allow myself to sketch on, paint on, collage on, stamp on and cut up the ephemera of the day. I will mark make, write words, splash ink and stick down stuff!

In 100 days I should have a nice collection.

Are you doing the 100 day project this year?  What are you doing?  Or are you still deciding?

Happy Tuesday x

Have Art Supplies, will Travel.

Every time I travel I give a lot of thought to my art supplies and not nearly as much thought to how many t shirts I will need! Clean shirts, jeans and a nice scarf. Clothes done.  Art supplies need way more thought.

What will I be able to do? How big do I want my sketchbook? What paper is in it?  Wet media or dry?  Will I be able to use watercolors or acrylic paints?  How about water-soluble pencils?

Some things always travel with me, my mini Moleskine Art Plus sketchbook, a Micron pen or three and my trusty Pentel Pocket Brush pen with a spare ink cartridge.  For this trip to New York City, I have added some Derwent Inktense pencils in a few favorite colors and a water soluble graphite pencil.  In fact as I write this, I have remembered that if I want to use water soluble pencils, I am going to need a water brush, so in that goes!

The Field Notes book is for jotting down ideas and anything interesting I hear or read.  I always need my ideas book on hand.

I am lucky enough to be participating in a workshop taught by Amy Maricle of Mindful Art Studio while I am in the Big Apple, so some supplies are specifically for that.  The paintbrushes with no paint in sight are because I plan to do a spot of art supply shopping while I am there for this class.

I like the mini Moleskine because it is the ideal ‘in your bag’ size and the paper is nice and thick.  I treated myself to a Fabriano Venezia book because the paper in these is so nice and just look at that cover!

So I am all set and this little lot should entertain me nicely, and I have some clean clothes too!

What are your must haves when you travel?  Nice skincare products?  A soft scarf?  Comfy leggings? Or as many art supplies as you can carry?

Happy Tuesday x

Good books

I have just finished reading ‘The Girl Who Saved the King of Sweden’ by Jonas Jonasson of 100 year old man fame.

This book was in-depth with lots of characters but it wasn’t a laborious read it was interesting and witty at each turn.

Nombeko is an endearing leading lady and holds her own without bashing you over the head with all her good points.

It is full of subdued drama and dry wit and I loved it!

The book I have literally just started (last night) is ‘Little’ by Edward Carey and it was only when I read the list of other books he has written that I realised that he is the author of the Iremonger Trilogy which I read to my son when he was a tween. This series of books was the last we read together and we still talk about them now that he is a teenager and taller than me.

Consequently I went into this book with high hopes and so far I am not disappointed. I will only stay with a book if I am captivated by page 30-50 and this one had me in it’s grip by about word 30!

I am sure it will carry on in this vein and I can’t wait to jump back into it this evening.

Are you reading any fabulous books? Fiction? Non-fiction? All recommendations are welcome, I love to hear what people are reading.

Happy Monday x

Daily planner practice 2019

I wasn’t going to use a planner for my daily practice this year, so I started in a regular sketchbook.  Part way through January I realized that this was not working, I liked the dates and style of a planner.

So after some investigating and deciding I ended up with an ‘EDiT’ daily planner to work in.  To be honest it was a little smaller than I thought it would be (even though I looked at the measurements!), but it turns out I love this size and the paper is like magic, it is so smooth and even though it is quite see through it still holds a little wet media and pens don’t bleed through.

For the rest of January (I started on Jan 23rd) I sketched a flower a day with my Micron pen.  When February rolled around I had spotted a couple of collage challenges on the interwebs, so collage was in my mind.  I started sticking down some images and adding a little note which made me smile and I think I will carry on with this through February.

I am really enjoying this mini collages and they are keeping me entertained!

Are you keeping a daily practice of any sort?  How is it going?

Happy Monday x