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Monoprint using oils and I buy a little treat!

Here's the little treat! It's a monprint in oils by Dan Tirels  I've watched his videos on YouTube for a couple of years and have even been inspired to try out his methods and they work really well. I will be doing more of monoprint using oils in the coming months.

The original posting of my experiments are copied below to save you ferreting through the blog! 

  Monoprint experiment in oils - inspiration Dan Tirels.

The above monoprint (blue/black)was made with oil paints and the orange with Caligo printing inks. They were very quick and easy to do, and a pictorial how-to follows.

You need a very little amount of oil colour. Squeeze a little (I've used indigo and prussian blue) onto a small sheet of polythene. I have large sheets of this to cover my table, but an old bag or some packaging would work. Spread the paint using a spatula, scraper or a piece of card. It doesn't need to be smooth!

Here's my sheet of polythene covered with a thin layer of oil paint.

Next, tape a piece of printing paper or whatever you wish to the table to stop it from moving. Put a frame over the top to give a crisp edge. I've used an old card mount.

Tear up some light cardboard into shapes and put them over the paper. Small pieces work better than large.

Lift the polythene and carefully begin to press it over the card (which will probably move a bit). The idea wasn't to get a complete covering but just to press some paint into the background.

Here you can see how much paint was pressed into the paper and the shapes left behind by the torn card pieces.

Gently, with a sponge or piece of cloth etc., blur the edges of the shapes.

I used the end of a paintbrush over the painted polythene to give some movement with lines.

A final bit of blurring of the lines.

Below: the finished piece.

Gelli plate printing - using Vaseline as a resist

I watch the Gelli Plate company's videos on YouTube. They did one recently using Vaseline as a resist. Now, I've used lots of resist techniques before but never Vaseline, so thought it was worth a try.

The plus point for me was the "noise" you get on the print - if you look at the leaf above you'll see that it's got traces of darker paint from the top layer of print, overlying the orangey paint I printed first.  If I had used paper as a resist, I would have got a clean and clear print of a leaf with that underlying colour coming through completely - no noise. I like this!

It might be easier to explain if I post photos of the process.

The equipment: Gelli plate of a size that suits your paper, brayer, paint (I've used Open Acrylics), stencils, Vaseline, sketchbooks, baby wipes, scrap paper to roll your brayer on to get rid of excess paint.

Put a few spots of your chosen colours onto the gelli plate and use the brayer to roller the colour over the surface. Blend the colour as much as you wish. If you want to keep the colours more separate, then roller the brayer on your scrap paper to clean it.

Print the paint onto paper, labels, or your sketchbook.

Leave to dry.

Choose a stencil that you like - it can be anything, and be quite detailed.

Use your finger to gently rub the vaseline into the shapes on the stencil. Take care that the stencil doesn't move and you get a good covering. The vaseline shouldn't be thick.

Use a paper towel to gently wipe the excess Vaseline from the stencil.

Vaseline doesn't dry so you can start the next bit straight away! Roller more colour onto your gelli plate. I've gone darker with my colours so that it makes a good contrast.

Print the plate on top of your stenciled paper, and leave the paint to dry. This is important or the next step won't work properly.

When the paint is dry, use a baby wipe to gently rub the print and remove the excess paint and Vaseline. This bit is great fun as the print comes to life as the colours shine through.

Festival of Quilts - new, the Fine Art Textiles Award


Things have got away with me this year, and I've been uber busy with my mum. Sadly she died a couple of weeks ago, and I've been slow to get in the creative mood. However, if this hadn't have happened I would definitely be giving the above a go! Work has to have been made in the last 2 years, but even so, I don't think I have anything suitable.

The closing date for entries is 3rd May, so if you fancy giving it a go yourself, time to get cracking!!

Festival of Quilts have extended their usual Fine Art Quilts award to cover a more general textile practice, and have renamed the competition the Fine Art Textiles Award. Here's what they say about it:

"We are delighted to announce the launch of the Vlieseline Fine Art Textiles Award, an international juried exhibition open to both amateur and professional artists using textiles as their medium.  Our ultimate aim is to elevate and support the recognition and profile textile artists receive within the UK and throughout the world.   The new award will replace the former Fine Art Quilt Masters that has been presented annually at Festival of Quilts and will endeavor to break down some of the boundaries that currently exist between the various practices within textile art.

The new award will come with a £5,000 prize value, along with an additional prize of £500 for the most innovative use of textiles. You can see the full details about the award here, along with the application form for entry: https://www.thefestivalofquilts.co.uk/quilt-competition/fata/

Our plan is to exhibit all finalists at both Festival of Quilts and The Knitting & Stitching Shows, where we will extend the private view activity launched this year. 

To ensure the credibility of the award we are working with a high profile panel of judges who are all experts within their field.  The full panel will be announced within the next two weeks.

The final winner will be selected on site at the Festival of Quilts and will be announced during an awards ceremony on the opening day of the event at the NEC Birmingham on 1st August 2019. 

The closing date for the competition is 3rd May 2019. 

I do hope you will consider entering and also ask that you share this email with any other artists or groups who you think may be interested.

We hope this will be the start of a really special award and exhibition that we can use to really shine a spotlight on the phenomenal practicing today."