Mixed media: gelli print, colored pencil
Mixed media; gelatin and gelli print, colored pencil 9″ x 12″

After playing with gelatin printing, on the advice of Michele Martin, I purchased a Gelli Plate. It’s a commercial version of the gelatin that can be reused and doesn’t need to be refrigerated. It has a different kind of feel, and I don’t think it is quite as sensitive and responsive as the gelatin. On the plus side, it is instantly available and much easier to take care of. Not having molding gelatin in your refrigerator is very helpful.

Unpredictable Nature of Gelli Printing and Life

Gelli print and colored pencil mixed media art
Mixed media; gelli print, colored pencil 9″ x 12″

I control some of the inputs for the gelliprints, but there is still a chance aspect involved. Very much like the parts of my life I had been writing about. Things happened. Ofttimes leaving cracks and gaps in what had previously been smoother and more consistent. Life didn’t make sense anymore. I was left with fitting pieces back together and adding new things to them to create a better whole.

Mixed media; gelli print and colored pencil art
Mixed media; gelli print, colored pencil 9″ x 12″

The experience of creating this artwork was in parallel to what I was trying to write about. The visuals are so much closer. When I write out all the details, it seemed to suck the life out of the essence of what happened. It read like verbal mud. All the spontaneity of the lived experiences were gone to be replaced by something that wasn’t very interesting.

 Editing words versus visuals

The editing process in words feels laborious and dull. Editing on the visual side is interesting. Both were problems to solve, but doing it feels contrary in my body. Editing words makes me want to surf Facebook. Editing images feels alive.

Mixes media: gelli print and colored pencil. 9" x 12"
Mixes media: gelli print and colored pencil. 9″ x 12″

I frequently feel a huge gap between the visual and verbal. I’m almost always far more interested in the visual side (even though I spend more time writing than doing artwork.) My commitment and skill level on the writing side is more limited, so it feels a lot more like work.

One one hand I wonder why I even bother writing. On the other I have learned that going back and forth between visual and verbal elevated both. Meaning deepens. My understanding and compassion increase. All of which enables me to reach other people in different ways.

 Art of Personal Story

I’ve committed to doing a show about art and personal story. the early landscapes contained the words of my stories. The work that is emerging now contains the energy of my experience. We’ll just see where it all goes.

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