It turns out that it's just over a year ago that I got my gelli plate after a wonderful play date with my talented friend Sue Roddis. I can't say I played with it much after that until the also very talented Tracey Dutton introduced me to using adirondack ink pads with it. Since then I've loved using it, it just makes me happy ...
... but only with my ink pads, I have studiously avoided paint!! Until this week ........ after Jill, from The Stampman, asked if I would demo for her at The Great British Craft Festival - North. In the fabulous package of goodies she sent me was a Creative Palette by Stampendous so I settled down for a few days playing.
Out of curiosity, the first thing I did was compare the gelli plate and the creative palette. They are both monoprinting plates but where the gelli plate mimics a thick gelatin plate the creative palette is much thinner and firmer. I was happy to discover that I could use my ink pads on the creative palette (I just love Jane Gill's stamps for Woodware, and that clear scraps stencil is just gorgeous!!)
... but my attempts with paint were hopeless (see my sketchbook above! And just to point out that this was down to me and not the creative palette or the gelli plate!!!). However, I was determined not to be beaten so I watched the Stampendous youtube video tutorials and googled creative palette and gelli plate, but although I was getting there, I was still adding ink to make the pieces work, and I didn't feel that monoprinting with paint was really giving me anything different to what I could achieve more easily just using paints and a stencil!!
Back to the internet and this time I decided to really, really look hard at the projects I liked and see what it was that drew me to them. I filled my sketchbook with images and added notes alongside and slowly but surely I began to like what I was producing.
When I teach workshops I always say to people, "use your favourite colours, the colours you are most comfortable with, as this is a new technique and it just makes it easier to learn one new thing at a time". I discovered that I needed to tell myself that with paints and my monoprinting plate.
I also discovered, amongst other things, that I work best with just one colour on the plate (although I love it when others sneak in from not cleaning my stencil!!) and that, just like with my journaling techniques, the mop up page is usually the nicest!!
I learnt a lot on my mission to love using paint with a monoprinting plate ... and I feel that I achieved my aim! My favourite thing about it is the texture it produces on the paper - monoprinting using paint definitely feels different to regular painted backgrounds!
I now have a heap of paper and tags, some of which I've begun to work into with ink and stamping ...
... and I'm on my way to turning some of them into cards.
I also have a list of more things I'd like to try with my monoprinting plate. I love Jane Davies' work and after being inspired by her pebble-shaped, hand-cut stencils, I tried it with one of my favourite shapes - hydrangea petals
I have since discovered that Stampendous now do a die cut set to match their hydrangea stamps so I'm eagerly awaiting it in the post in order to further play with this idea on a smaller scale!
The Great British Craft Festival North is next Saturday and Sunday 31st May and 1st June 2014. It starts at 10am on both days and is at the Bolton Arena (good job I checked, would have headed for the Reebok lol)!! Tickets are available on the door.