Mixed media art: gelli print and colored pencil
Mixed media: Gelli print and colored pencil. 9″ x 12″

Life happens. We move along crossing paths with a wide assortment of others. Each affecting us in profound and subtle ways. We have input, but not total control.

The gelli plate is a surface that paint sits on but it gets affected by anything that comes in contact with it. The way the paint is mixed, rolled out and textured is different each time. Every element creating a unique piece of what emerges on the paper.

Adding mixed media layers

Once I saw the parallel between the parts of my life I was writing about and the gelli and gelatin plates, I turned my attention to seeing how the work could develop. I started with one 6″ x 6″ gelli plate, adding a second one and two

Mixed Media: Gelli print and colored pencil,
Mixed Media: Gelli print and colored pencil, 9″ x 12″

8″ x 10″ plates so I could create larger prints and multiple prints that were visually related.

The first layers are gelli prints with added layers of a variety of mixed media techniques. These include stamping, stenciling, ink drawing, colored pencil, drawing and painting.

Allowing work to develop in it’s own way

I’d been thinking the work I’d be creating for my next show would be oil on panel. Now I’m doing mixed media, primarily acrylic, on paper. I’m trying to let go of any ideas I had and just let the work develop. I’ve learned my work is always stronger when I allow it to be what it wants to be rather than what I think it should be.

Mixed Media: Gelli print and colored pencil. 9" x 12"
Mixed Media: Gelli print and colored pencil. 9″ x 12″

I still may get to oil, and I’m already exploring assembling on a panel. With careful attention to the order of the layers, I can use acrylic under oil. this may just be the way I can generate starts to the work that have more of an energetic feel than I get when I start painting directly. Or these could be the sketches for larger paintings. Or what inspires my next series.

It could even be something I can’t even see yet. I just need to keep the focus and make the time in the studio for the work to come forward.

Join our Facebook Group

I’ve started a Facebook group with Lisa Sonora Beam and Rebecca Shapiro to discuss all things Visual+Memoir. We’d love to have you join us there if you are interested in this topic. We’ll be talking about the work we are doing for our show in Sept/Oct.

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  1. Hi Christine – recently started reading your blog, long time reader of Lisa’s. Your Facebook group blending memoir with the visual sounded interesting. I’m a writer/photographer working on a visual memoir of Los Angeles to rediscover and reconnect with it, visiting urban cores like downtown LA, the Valley, the Miracle Mile and other areas through photography and personal essay. I look forward to adding Rebecca’s blog to my bookmarks and following the Facebook group. Thanks for the invite.

    • Thanks for joining us Bobbi. We’d love to see your work too so feel free to post in the Facebook group. We are always looking for examples of how other artists and writers are approaching the visual+memoir.

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