Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Art? Craft? Monkey Business!!!

Last weekend was one of those special holiday/long weekend times with hubby and and artsy friend, Jen Judd!  When you add Jen to the mix, you always get art, craft, AND monkey business!!!  My cheeks still hurt!  And my back!

 Meet our new art toy: Gelli Arts gel printing plate for monoprinting without a press!  I got so curious about this product thru my friendship (and Facebook posts) with Patti Tolley Parrish.  She's been posting about her love affair with the Gelli plate and I knew that this would be a wonderful tool (toy) for Jen and I to play with when she visited.  We had so much fun and had so many good results that we printed for HOURS of fun each of the three days she was here! 

(Thanks, Patti, for sharing!)

 Jen was fast on the draw.  The beginning of day one with this fabulous new art toy (tool)!

Standing up seemed the best way to play but after 4 - 5 hours of "play" we were both reaching for the Ibuprophen.  Oh, my aching back!  Grinning!!!  But that was just the beginning of three days of printing.  That evening we sat in front of YouTube Gelli videos.

The next afternoon, Bette Brody joined us and brought her own arsenal of paints, rollers, wipe away tools, stencils, ETC.  All this paper art is very new to me!  I've had one other play date with these two paper artists and have taken one fun 2 day creative paper paint/texture multimedia class with Cathy Taylor.  (That's when I got to know Jen better - we shared a table.  We had already met in Painting With Fire classes with Barbara Lewis)

This new tool (Gelli plate) made creating cool patterns and textures very easy and so much fun.

Bette and Jen

A fan of some of my own favorite prints. . .not bad for a paper novice!

 My favorites from Crafter's Warehouse's "cubist" stencil.

 Some of Jen's masterpieces.

The group photos - Eyes closed, frowns, I'm glad Steve took three!  . . .and then there's Jen!!!  I love that gal!  She has more energy and spirit than the law allows!

My new, pristine, and very tent-like smock
managed to go thru 3 days of paint with only a spot on the right sleeve. I need another play date with the plate and print on the smock!  DING! As much as I need to get the enameling back up, I can't wait to Gelli print my smock!

A view from under the table on Saturday. Mine (left), Bette's (top right), Jen's (bottom right).
Hmmmmmm. . . . wonder how I can use paper in jewelry. . .paper beads? resin?    Hmmmmmmm. . .

Some of you might wonder how hubby fit into this mix.  As a fellow artist (he works with wood when he doesn't have his architect hat on), he understands the need to create.  He got to spend all the time he wanted in his basement studio turning bowls and wine bottle stoppers.  He also took Jen and I out to eat at Brewer's Alley and enjoyed our company each evening as we relaxed between art.  Lots of laughs!

The last art day of printing was a little shorter because Jen had to head home early afternoon and she helped with the clean-up.  We were also weary and back-sore from so many hours at the Gelli plate!  Notice that 1/2 the table is still under "craft."   I ordered some stencils of my own (mostly made by Crafter's Warehouse) and am waiting to do one more session on my own.  Our home is very small and any work outside our small studio spaces really takes up vital living space (dining room table).  Hurry up, stencils!  I've got other arty fish to fry!  And two tiny studios that need to be reclaimed!

Note: the stack of papers in front of Jen. . .over 100 colorful prints (to my 50+) to use in making paper beads and art collages, journal pages, etc., etc.

One amazing realization: We were so QUIET while we created.  Hours of silence.  Happy silence!

Bette also makes gorgeous art books and is a designer of beautiful art papers.  This was only her second time printing art papers using the Gelli plate.  She's a multi media artist, works in metal clay, is an accomplished metal worker and makes gorgeous jewelry.  She teaches her book and paper art from her home and from local business studios (Polymer Clay Express at Artway Studio). She and I have messed up her kitchen twice dyeing silk scarves.  AND she makes the best chocolate dipped pretzels!

Jen is very multifaceted, multi-talented, too.  Art, paper, jewelry, journaling, photography, fabric dyeing, crocheting, laughing!  Did you notice my new and improved blog page?  Thank you, Jen!!!  Last (but certainly not least) Jen also serves our country as a Lt Col in the United States Air Force.  Thank you, dear friend, for your service and your sweet friendship!  God speed!

Next time we will create in Bette's HUGE basement studio and call in more of our quiet (HA!) artists to join us.  Love my artsy friends!  Hope to see all again soon!  Art and Soul in VA Beach is not far away!