Of Figs and Gelli Plates*

Shift 3, ©2014, 30" x 24," Monoprint I've been on a tear the last couple months, collecting all kinds of plant specimens that grow around my house, sorting them and then printing them using a gelli plate.

From left: Manzanita, rose, oak, alstromeria, oleander, nandina, and upper right, a sprig of creeping hydrangea

I'd taken some professional leave during that time which  allowed me to dig deep. I had a blast and a taste of what it might be like to dedicate myself to my art work full time.

And something happened--something to do with the gelli plate. For some time I've wanted to work larger, but couldn't find the vehicle. The gelli plate in all of its simplicity turned out to be just the ticket.

Its innocuous presence (so not intimidating), the squish of the brayer as it rolls out ink, the sucking sound as the paper is pulled away from the print, and the surprise of lines and curves and color; all are a sensual pleasure that I can wade in for hours.

The biggest discovery was learning how to curate the prints once they were completed, i.e., discovering a way to put them together. I like to lay them all out on the table and play with them, moving the contenders in and out of place until I feel that internal tug that says: "this is it."

Shadows of Nandina falling on Nandina prints

Although I'll be working full time at the hospital this summer, I'm looking forward to the weekends, filled with buzzing insects, sleeping cats, and gelli prints of summer flora. Perhaps a frozen yogurt at the end of a studio day.

Oh, and did I mention, the ripening figs? Nothing like them when inspiration is needed!

Looking forward to these!

*My apologies for sending out 2 versions; I accidentally hit the publishing button while editing:-)