it’s been a minute

yeah, april and may whizzed by and i have no art to show for it. i’ve been struggling to have any creative motivation and there have been way too many distractions: weekend getaways, jazzfest, an unholy alliance with amazon (more on that later), and work work work. i should be glad that work has picked back up because it means i’m struggling less to pay my bills, but summer has arrived and it’s heating up and my dogwalking schedule is really stupid right now. (doesn’t geographically flow so i find myself criss crossing town back and forth multiple times a day, spending more time in my car than i am walking dogs.) so it feels, shall we say, not fun right now. petsitting has really picked up too which always complicates my schedule even further. i am grateful for the abundance of work and money but, whew, i am tired.

all of this is to say there’s been less time and energy to even think about art. but i have 3 dogwalking clients leaving me this month (one is going on summer vacation for a few months but will be back in august, and the other two are moving out of state/out of my service area at the end of june), so my daytime schedule is about to get a little slower and i’m hoping i can refocus and get back into the studio with some of that spare time.

in anticipation of hopefully having more time soon, and to try to jumpstart my creativity and get myself excited about making something, i just treated myself to my first ever gel plate for printing. gelli printing has been kind of a craft/scrapbook/collage fad for the past few years and honestly i pretty much resisted even paying any attention to it cuz i’m averse to fads and not into scrapbooking at all, but dammit if it’s not impossible to avoid all the gelli plate printing reels on instagram! and once i started watching a few of them, they of course multiplied and i started finding artists who use gel prints in different ways, as part of their painting or mixed media practice, or who actually seem to do well selling their collages that they make using their gelli prints. sometimes even on canvas. i guess it opened my eyes to the possibilities of using this tool in different ways, some of which might intersect with my recent foray into abstract art.

a couple different companies make gelatin printing plates. (which interestingly enough, are not actually gelatin.) gelli arts is the OG but gel press is a bit more economical, and speedball also makes them in different sizes as well as the other tools used with the technique. i opted to try out the gel press 5″x7″ size first, just to play with and see if i like it. i figure i can use it to make cards and postcards and small prints and if i’m really digging it, i can invest in some larger sizes. i already have multiple brayers on hand and tons of acrylic paint as well as silkscreen ink for paper. and i have oodles of paper to print on. so it’s a relatively lost cost investment in case it doesn’t catch on with me or i get bored with it after a week.

as soon as i’m done with my current dog sit, i’ll have a chunk of time to start playing with it. i look forward to sharing my experiments with it with you!