‘Unsuccessful’ Teapots Monotypes

When I make prints on the gel plate, I don’t always know what I am going to do.  One day I may do circles and ribbon, another some birds, and one day I did teapots.  The teapot came from a photo I took of my Yellow Teapot painting.

IMG_7827I cut out the teapot and used contact paper to water/paint-proof the stencil.  Then I made many prints.  What I considered to be ‘unsuccessful’ went into a pile while I considered what to do with them.

On Boxing Day I ordered the Tonic Stamping platform so that I could easily register my prints.  One of the hardest things to do when printing off of a raised surface is to get it to register properly.  This stamping platform makes it a lot easier as you can line everything up before you add paint to the gel press.  I used a limited palette of acrylic paint with some gold metallic and embellished some with colored pencils.  When printing on the teapot, I had to make a mask for the background.  It was in some ways a complicated procedure as when I used a stencil on the teapot, I put the stencil on first and then the mask.  Sometimes it worked well.  Doing the background was a lot easier as I only had to place the teapot template onto the print to mask it off.


Although not perfect, they look much better and I am quite happy with them.  Now when I look at what I considered to be my ‘successful’ prints, I am no longer sure they are.  I am thinking that I may need to  re-visit them and do some more work.  At least I have something to keep me busy for a while!

Until next time, Happy Creating!


‘Unsuccessful’ Seagulls on Groins

I started a new contract this week at a Jr. School.  Gosh, its exhausting!  And that is just the parents!  After not having any work for a few weeks it has been tough getting back into the swing of things and then not having much time to do anything creative until the weekend.

In any event, I finished off my ‘unsuccessful’ prints and made them into something more successful.  I am not sure what I am going to do with them.  Some might end up in my journal that I have yet to start.  A couple I may frame, the rest – we will see.  Anything can make a print unsuccessful.  The stencil could be crooked or there are lines on your print you don’t want there, or you didn’t get enough paint on your print…. As I am still getting to grips with this printing lark, it is more of a journey for me rather than trying to create something that I might be able to sell.  I have been learning about what happens when you leave dried paint on the gel plate.  You can get some amazing textures and a grungy distressed look.

As I mentioned in my last post, I was trying out a new toy to see if I could do something interesting with some prints I wasn’t happy with.  With most of them, I was able to get the gel press to line up perfectly.  Some didn’t, but that is ok as I can still use the print in some way.  The nice thing about working with the gel press is that the acrylic paint dries quickly and this makes it possible to add many layers is a short amount of time.  When making collagraphs or other prints where printing ink is used, it can take almost a week for the ink to dry before you can do something else with your print.

Here is what I ended up with:

I worked with a limited palette as I didn’t want to get muddy colors and I also wanted them to compliment the original colors of the prints.  The first two from the top are the last two prints I made on mixed media paper, 140 lbs and are suitable for framing.  I used some bronze metallic paint on a few prints, but it doesn’t always scan well.  Some of them are also embellished with colored pencils.  There is a fair amount of texture on these little prints now.

So, why seagulls on groins?  Because I see them all of the time when I walk along the seafront!


Playing With New Toys

Happy New Year everyone!  As is usual for me, I tried something new on New Year’s Day!  On Boxing Day while scouring the sales (I didn’t find anything on sale!)  I ordered  a Tonic Studios Stamp Platform by Tim Holtz from Amazon (it was the cheapest) and it arrived a few days ago.  There was a video from Art by Marlene on Facebook where she used the platform with the 6×6 inch gel plate.  I thought that would be a great thing with regard to registering multiple passes on your print as the plate and paper will stay in the same place.  The problem with registering correctly with the gel plate has a lot to do with the fact that the plate is about 1/4 inch thick.  To match the paper up correctly can be a challenge and I was hoping that this stamp holder would help with that.

This is what the stamp platform looks like.

IMG_0666The gel plate stays in place on its own and paper is placed on the right and is held in place with two strong magnets.

I’m not really ready to get stuck into a big project at the moment especially as the weather has been bad and so has the light, which is always a problem for me this time of year as I don’t see too well in dim light and it makes me tired.  I went through a load of what I considered ‘unsuccessful’ prints and decided to have a play with them.  I thought I might actually make an attempt at putting them in a journal.


Here is my set up.  It is a little bit messy and I do tend to spread myself around a bit, but it is organised.


This is part 1 of my experiment.  I decided to focus on the backgrounds.  I had issues with the paper sticking to the gel plate (It does that), so the magnets really didn’t help much, but it also didn’t hurt the printing process

.  I found my seagull and teapot templates and placed them on top of the prints and then rolled out paint onto the gel plate, placed a stencil over or stamped with bubble wrap before placing the gel plate onto the paper.  I also aligned the plate up prior to stamping which was easy to do as the platform is clear.  Most of the time it aligned perfectly, except for one time I forgot to do it.


In part 2 of this project, I will need to cut another template out of card and then I will be able to cover the background so I can print more on the teapot and seagull.  I may also just get a stencil and hand stencil those parts.  I have options.  Who knows, what were initially ‘unsuccessful’ prints may turn out to be successful after all.