Art Therapy Day With Cate

Well, Saturday was a BIG day at my house. Yes, my house that has been a total disaster area since I started packing. Thanks to all the help from my sister during her visit I was able to mostly reclaim my dining table. So, nearly a month after my birthday Cate and I finally got together to make messy art!

Getting ready to dive into Gelli Printing, a form of monoprinting, my dining room table was covered in all manner of acrylic paints and texture making things.

The plan was to monoprint using the Gelli Arts plate that Cate had ordered. Before her arrival I dusted off what art supplies I could get my hands on that would be useful, then she brought her big box o’fun as we called it and the dining room table was nearly buried in fun things!

We decided to do some printing, then have a later lunch at Panera when we hoped they might be a little less busy for a Saturday and then stop into Jerry’s Artarama afterwards for any additional supplies we found we would like for our continued afternoon printing. It was a great plan and we even snuck in cupcakes between lunch and Jerry’s 🙂 One of the additional purchases at Jerry’s was another Gelli plate, LOL! We got the Zendala-sized round plate, though I haven’t yet tried to print direct to one of the Zendala tiles. If you have done so I’d like to hear how it went for you in the comments!

Here, Cate is prepping the 4″ round Gelli Plate for printing.

Taking a break was a fantastic plan because it allowed the morning’s prints to dry so we could layer another print on top which is really where the results start getting fun. Much of the afternoon printing was layering.

We split up the finished pages between us, but not by who pulled the print necessarily. Partly because in some cases we each did a layer or one person directed the other, but also so we can create collaborative finished pieces, even across the miles once I’ve moved. Below are all but two of the sheets I kept.

We divvied up the prints before Cate headed home, each of us taking a couple made by the other so we can have some collaborative finished pieces, even across the miles. That makes me think we should plan on maybe quarterly or something exchanging some backgrounds via mail 🙂

I cut two the other sheets into 10 ATCs each (artist trading cards, 2.5 X 3.5″ baseball card sized pieces). I was very meh about them and in my experience, cutting something up that isn’t interesting as a whole often makes for really interesting small pieces. It also gives me a much smaller canvas to tangle on which is more realistic for my life at the moment.

Here are my Dylusions backgrounds. I love the colors, but some practice may be in order.

In Cate’s box o’fun she also brought her treasure trove of Dylusions Spray Inks. Talk about a messy art adventure! I spread out a large lawn and leaf garbage bag on the floor and had to kennel Brandon to make these sheets. I was kind of rushed to play with them quick before Cate needed to head home, but I can see this being something to explore further in the future. The colors are amazingly vivid. I definitely need some practice though before I’m getting zentangle-friendly backgrounds like Alice!

My first Gelli Print ATC that I tangled on yesterday in a stack of course 🙂 From the lower left is Diva Dance, 4MOM with 1/2 Cruffle, ParasailZ, Bublz, and Hako, all enhanced with some Prismacolor pencils and while charcoal pencil.

After cutting my ATCs yesterday morning I had to jump right in and start to tangle on one while I enjoyed my mid-morning coffee break. I think the biggest challenge with these is going to be the white borders I inevitably end up with because the Gelli plate is not sized for edge-to-edge printing on a sheet of cardstock (which makes sense). I think I embraced that well in this one though, coloring in part of Hako with colored pencils that matched the monoprinting to tie that area in with the rest of the piece. I was also pleasantly surprised to learn that you can get Prismacolor colored pencil to lay in overtop of the printing a bit as well as the white charcoal pencil. I think that really made the Bublz pattern.

This was the first time in quite a while I went into my tangling without much of a plan. I started with ParasailZ in the white arc and then just worked in each direction as I felt moved to do so. That arc made it feel like a perfect place to do more tangled stacking. Since I’m obsessed with stacks I went with it. It was nice to have the “flow” back again. I wish I knew why I had lost it and how to get it back when it disappears.

My second, Gelli print ATC started at Zwei Bruder Brewing while waiting for my friend Simmon to join me for a pint. This one features Wud, XYP, Shattuck, Trimond (no s), and Intwine with a bunch of Tipple for the really skinny stacks and to tie it all together.

Because I’m apparently prone to obsessions, LOL, I started in on another ATC cut from the other print last evening while I waited for my friend, Simmon, to join me for a pint at Zwei Bruder before going to my knit night. I didn’t get too far and finished up the rest this morning. The comb marks on this one also screamed out for stacking to me so I went with it. I think part of the reason stacking appeals to me so much is that I love the ribbon/border tangle patterns and hadn’t really worked out how to put them into a random string. Stacking lets me explore them to my heart’s content. Though I’m unsure as of yet if this is truly stacking or not according to the Facebook group since the copper areas in general are not tangled.

I did learn with this ATC that graphite doesn’t really want to play with the monoprints. So if I’m going to regularly go down this path I think I may want a gray marker or 6. I figure I’ll go with ChartPak as I can easily source them open stock, but they have 6 or more darknesses in both warm and cool tones. Where do I start if I want to only invest in say 3 or 4 max? All cool tones is kind of my inclination from the little bit of watercolor I learned over a decade ago, but would I maybe need warm depending on the color I’m working on top of? And, will ChartPak lay in over the acrylic of the monoprints and will it still blend with the colorless blender? Do any of you have an light you can shed on this topic? I’d be very appreciative!

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Weekend Zentangling

Zentangle Tile 2015-070 with Oof in progress.
Zentangle Tile 2015-070, in progress featuring Oof for the Square One: Purely Zentangle Facebook Group.

I had such a great time with the Square One: Purely Zentangle focus pattern last week that I jumped right in this week. Oof is the pattern for the week and I thought I was using it on Friday, but I went off of memory and drew my first arcs the wrong direction. I ended up with a fun tangleation, though I’ve neglected to photograph it.

The really completed Zentangle Tile 2015-070
Zentangle Tile 2015-070 Square One: Purely Zentangle focus on Oof. The tile stared at me until I went back and added more.

So I tried it again on Saturday morning as I sat in the coffee shop at the south transit center waiting for my bus to have lunch with Cate and take Sue Clark’s Zendala class. I finished the tile the following morning, or I thought I did. As I sat and sipped my coffee the tile was mocking me for being too flat and dull so I added in more. But, if Instagram is any indication, less was more in this case. Oh well!

Zentangle 2015-071 zendala
Zentangle 2015-071, the first zendala from Sue Clark’s zendala class featuring striping, printemps, diva dance (waltz) and black pearls.

For our first zendala we used an official tile and these great stencils to set the symmetric string.

Zentangle Tile 2015-072, the second zendala from class.
Zentangle Tile 2015-072, the second zendala from class featuring zander, meer, pepper, knight’s bridge and n’zeppel. Then, because I can’t pay attention in class and ended up breaking up more sections that I was supposed to I popped in some copada.

I had to finish this one the next day as well. This was a pre-strung zendala tile and Sue demonstrated how the string can really just be a suggestion and you can divide more etc. While I knew that, I’m not certain I would have done it to a zendala all on my own. I’d be afraid of messing up the symmetry I think. But it worked out. Although I couldn’t manage to divide every other section so I did them all and added in an extra pattern – copada.

Sunday Smackdown #2 in the sketchbook.
Practicing for my Sunday Smackdown #2 in my sketchbook.

Because I put the finishing touches on so many tiles on Sunday morning and I was pretty worn out from Saturday’s craziness I just started doing the step outs for Weave in preparation for my Sunday Smackdown #2. I found doing the step outs helped me solidify keeping the “top grid” and “bottom grid” straight. I highly recommend it!