Lately I have been playing with printmaking. A home press seems like a big investment right now, so I got myself a gelli plate. It’s different in many ways from a traditional setup, but it allows for printing without a press and for quick cleanup with soap and water.
I love the immediacy of monoprints and the mark-making and texture explorations it allows. I learn best from just playing with something, so I’m sure I’m missing some key know-how, but maybe I will get to looking into it later. For now, I’m throwing color and scratching line into my gelli plate with glee.
Most pieces don’t turn out anything like I expect them to, many are absolute disasters. Still, I am always surprised by what I find on paper when I pull a print off the plate.
Since I can’t take the gelli plate out with me, I often use my sketches as references for prints.
Or I bring home stuff from my walks to use as inspiration.
Sketches done in life drawing sessions, like this one below, translate into prints too.
Sometimes all sorts of crazy stuff happens where this piece…
gets taken apart and rearranged…
… and ends up as this piece that came off my printing plate and then had stuff added on to it.
One of my favorite things about dabbling with stuff I know nothing about is that I get to be a total beginner, delighting in little discoveries. Sometimes these sideways experiments will tie back to my work, sometimes not. But it’s the aimless meandering and making a mess that I delight in the most.