Tag Archives: Nandina

Gelli Plate Obsession

Nandinas #1 8x8 inches Acrylic on black & white photocopy ©2016 Lucinda Howe NFS

Nandinas #1
8×8 inches
Acrylic on black & white photocopy
©2016 Lucinda Howe

I started using a new tool this week, a Gelli Printing Plate. It’s a flexible surface for making monoprints and monotypes without a press using acrylic paints.

I’ve been watching instructional videos and experimenting with texture, stencils, stamps, and leaf prints. There’s a learning curve to discovering what paints work well and how much paint to apply to the plate. I’ve printed lots of plain copier paper that may (or may not) be useful later as collage elements.

This process makes me think in layers, in reverse when using letters, in terms of transparency or opacity of paints. The fun is in the uncertainty of outcome, the surprise when the print is pulled. I can see that Gelli printing may be additive. Even so, I won’t suddenly become a printmaker.

As with any other new tool or technique, I need some focused time for learning and practicing before I can claim it as my own.  First efforts look like the instructor’s work, and aren’t satisfying. But as I use my favorite colors and shapes, the work will begin to look like mine. Eventually I will find ways to incorporate Gelli printing into my work along with other techniques. When that happens, I’ll know it has found a place in my toolbox.

Posted in Acrylics Also tagged |

Was Grandma Harboring a Thug?

Nandinas (journal page)
Ink and watercolor on paper
©2012 Lucinda Howe


In my return to basics in my art and garden, I ran across this journal page celebrating a favorite old fashioned plant, Nandina domestica, also known as “heavenly bamboo”.  This plant reminds me of my grandmother’s garden and its red berries are one of the few spots of color in the garden this time of year.   Red stems and leaves add texture in the garden year around, and the berries are good additions to holiday decorations.

Researching the botanical name, I discovered that nandina is considered an invasive foreign species in many parts of the southeast.   It spreads by roots and is hard to remove.  Some gardeners are very negative about it.  Who know grandmother’s favorite was such a thug?

So what to do?  I love its texture, so I’ll be keeping it, but I’m going to pay attention to keeping it pruned and digging up the suckers to control the spread.  And I’m going to review my list of better behaved native plant to find other options for berries in arrangements.

How do you feel about nandina…. Passalong favorite or unheavenly alien?

Posted in Garden, Uncategorized