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3. Gelli Plate Prints

Updated: Dec 20, 2022


I’ve loved painting on canvas or especially a cradled wood panel, lately adding collage as part of that process. Sometimes I use printed papers but mostly, with my regular painting tools, I create my own painted papers.


Could I make interesting collage papers through monoprinting, specifically using a gelli plate?

Some time ago, I used the back of a plexiglass cutting board for monoprinting and I did get some cool designs but, in mixed media videos, I kept seeing a gelli plate and wondered whether that would be different? My big cutting board had been cumbersome and the whole process was overly messy. Maybe a gelli plate would be easier to use? A neater process?

And… YES! Using an 8×10” gelli plate, my pulls use standard sized paper and cleaning/storing is a breeze. I’ve played with handmade paper, printer paper, tissue paper, deli paper and… they are each so different & I can say: I love them all!

I’ve done image transfer (from glossy magazine spreads) and single color paint pulls (each different paper results in a different paint display) as well as multi-layer printing. Yesterday, I added leaves from live plants and stencils. The possibilities are endless!

So question asked & answered: Could I enjoy making my own collage papers by using a gelli plate? Oh, yes, I sure can! Frankly, the challenge now is stopping myself so that I go and USE the collage papers!


So what’s next? Restraint. Both in how many prints I make and in how I use them.

Re: how I use them: I’ve been working to “open up” breathing space in my art.

In the creative moment, I can be so focused that I keep adding and adding until, honestly, I’ve added too much. It reminds me of televised singing competitions where the coaches listen and then advise, “Use your vocal runs and tricks less so that, when you do, they shine more.” Similarly, I want to feature a few things in classy combination versus everything & all the time!

So, with gelli prints in hand, I’m working on color blocking and leaving things simple. The papers themselves have textures and color layers, so my eye finds that pleasing which, I’m hoping, means I stand a chance at dialing back some of the rest. If I can interrupt myself and walk away for some time to pass and perspective to arrive, when I do return, I can be more thoughtful about any remaining “next moves” to land a “less is more” finish.

August 3, 2022

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