Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Swirls and Twirls

"Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep."   Scott Adams

Recently I saw some photos in one of my Facebook groups that showed tangling on prints made with a gelli plate. If you've been hiding under a rock and have never heard of the gelli plate, you can find out all about it here. I got a gelli plate about a year ago, with the intent of making prints that I could tangle on. At that time I did a blog post showing a print that I tangled. I was a little frustrated with the fact that I didn't like most of the prints I had made.

But I was inspired by what I saw on Facebook and decided to unearth my gelli plate. And again I was frustrated by all the "bad" prints that I pulled. Since my sole purpose was to make prints I could tangle on, I needed to keep them fairly simple. If I used too many colors, stencils, tools, etc., the print would be too busy to tangle. So after many attempts, I realized that the ones I did like were mostly done using wedges... comb-like tools that I have. And just the wedges with nothing else. Keep it simple.

Here's one that I thought would work. Unfortunately I forgot to scan it before I started, so this shows the beginning of my tangling.

And here it is after tangling.

The next one was done using a wedge with "teeth" that are much narrower, for a very different look.

I chose to use just two patterns for this one.

I do like the way these look but wish I felt more comfortable and confident with the gelli plate. I really need to take a class, but as far as I know there are none offered where I live. I ended up with a few more prints that I feel have potential, and I've put them aside to try another time.


  1. I really enjoyed your "foray" into gelli plate/tangle connection. I adore my gelli plate but I too have done a lot of experimentation. I wonder if you are seeing some of my stuff on FB? I follow your blog on my favorite because I like your work (and play) and enjoy your posts. I think the best place to start with gelli plates is the the official videos from the Gelli plate company. They have THE best beginner ones I think. Then I also purchased Joan Bess's book Gelli Plate Printing. (North Light Books). EXCELLENT book. All your comments about keeping the prints simple if you plan to tangle them, make perfect sense. Also using "masking" is helpful so that you have empty spots available for tangles. I do some tangling "on top of the paint" but usually use different pens for that. Let's keep up our discussion on this as I think a lot of people will be interested as we discover options of combining these two art forms.

    1. Thanks Ginny! Yes, your recent post was one of the ones that inspired me to pull out the gelli plate again. I've watched many videos and also got the book. My problem is I sometimes lose patience when things don't come easily, and I give up. I will definitely be doing more experimenting.

  2. Don't give up up luv…you have great ideas. One of my goals is to make a small chart with some graphics on it to remind me of the the successful things that I make in art that I can use again. It's so easy to forget them.

  3. Ooh, that gelli-plate ! I'm glad to see your exercises and especially your
    "cri-de-coeur" : Make it easy. That will help me a lot in the future.
    I admire your work and your art work.
    Thanks a lot.