During the week of July 11-18, 2016, I was artist in residence at Wildacres Retreat in the North Carolina mountains. The residency consists of the use of a private cabin and meals in the dining hall for the week. My project was to learn more about Gelli plate printing using inspiration from the area. I am deeply grateful to the Blumenthal Foundation and the staff at Wildacres for the opportunity to learn and grow in such a verdant and peaceful environment.
Gelli Plate printing is a process of creating monotypes without a press. Stencils, stamps, and rubber-tip tools add texture. Printing one layer over another adds depth. The results are unpredictable. It’s possible to create finished works of art by this process, but in the learning stage, my efforts are mostly collage fodder.
The grounds of Wildacres provided much inspiration. Looking for signature details and texture, I focused on the amazing stone walls. Each wall has a different design. Some are rough and rustic and others are smooth and tightly fitted. There must have been a dozen masons building over the years, each working in a unique style.
I’m still experimenting with this process and will show more in next week’s post. I can also see that it will take a while to integrate this new process into my regular art practice. In the meantime, it’s fun to be learning something new! And so may it be for you.