Friday, January 15, 2016

Guest Designers Tricia Dewey and Dee Spillane

We are delighted to have TWO Guest Designers on the blog today!
Tricia Dewey and Dee Spillane!
Trish is up first: 
Denise and I have been friends for a long time. We love getting together with our other friends, or just us for play days, where we all work on our various art projects. 

We are also VERY different. Denise works with mixed media art, paints and fabric, with some polymer clay. I work primarily in digital art, with some polymer clay and encaustic wax. Denise is actually the one who introduced me to the Gelli Arts gelli plate for gelatin monoprinting.

Even our approach to gelatin monoprinting is different: Denise loves to layer color and texture over the whole page using StencilGirl Stencils. She also has a very bright colorful palette. I prefer a grid approach with the stencils, and a more neutral palette.

Once our papers are done, Denise will add paint and more stenciling, then collage her pieces to create her works of art. Once my papers are done, I will sometimes add more stenciling, then photograph the papers to alter digitally. I like to create digital stamps from some of the hand stenciled patterns, which may not even look like the stencils when they are done. Then I incorporate other imagery to create a digital collage.

These are the materials we use:
            Gelli plates (purchased from Gelli Arts or you can make them yourself)
            Acrylic paints
            StencilGirl stencils
            Paper (cardstock, watercolor paper, deli paper-any kind will work and each kind will have different results)

Tricia’s Method:
            StencilGirl Stencils used:
                        Klimt Forest
                        Trio of Houses
                        Club stencils borrowed from Denise:
                                    Hoopla Hexis and Stitching
                                    Birds and Bees
                        *Many more StencilGirl stencils were used during our play, but these are the ones that were used in my final product
Since I prefer a grid approach, and tend to use smaller pieces of paper, I have cut my large gelli plate into different sized pieces. I have a lot of paper pieces from different projects, so this allows me to use these smaller bits rather than wasting them, and the paper size doesn’t matter as I tend to photograph everything and use them digitally.

My process with gelli printing starts out by laying on a dark or light color, placing the stencil, then using paper to pull off a print. Often this original print will be photographed to be used as a digital element. These funky little pieces make wonderful digital elements. Here are some first prints.

And here are some of the digital pieces that I will incorporate into prints.

I let this first layer of paint dry completely on the gelli plate. Then I brayer lighter contrasting colors of acrylic paint over, lightly texture and pull another print somewhere over the now dry papers from the first print. Parts of the dry paint left from the first pull will be pulled up with the wet paint with wonderful results. Once again, I try to make it a grid. Here is an example of a print from the second pull.

This layering can continue until you like your papers, but I do like to keep some white space. Transparent colors of paint are then brayered over the paper, and extra stenciling can be done over the papers as well. Here is an example of stenciling done over the print.

Often when I am done playing around, the papers are not exactly what I want. Either the colors are wrong, or I don’t like the print. I photograph them anyway. You never know what they can become digitally.

I have been working in Photoshop for 20 years. I am totally addicted to digital art. Now I have expanded and have been using my iPad and the numerous apps available to create art. Digital art can now be done anywhere, and there is no messy paint to clean up afterwards.

For the final 2 projects I did here are the really ugly prints in their original form.

These two were then taken to the computer and/or iPad for color changes and adding some elements from the gelli printing process as well as some of my own other image elements. Here is this intermediate phase.

After further tweaking digitally, these are the two versions I settled on and had printed out and framed.

Next up...Denise!

Hi, Denise here! This is my final piece, Pods at Dusk. As Tricia said, we are almost opposites in our style. I love color, texture and the tactile feel of collage, gelli printing and paint.

In addition to the stencils Tricia used, I think I printed with every stencil I had to make the collage prints. I started with Gelli prints of every color and size. On deli paper and printer paper. A very colorful spread.

Next came the collaged background. A hot mess as they say but I felt good about my direction.

I then auditioned the pods and collaged them on to the background.

Next came a whitewash of the background to push some of the purple back and get the dusk

The final steps were to stencil the whitewash for some movement. Here are some close-ups. I loved doing this project, Flora’s pinecone and pod stencils and all of the Stencil Girl inspiration. Of course I couldn’t have done it without Tricia’s help with the photos and adjustments.

StencilGirl stencils used:

StencilClub stencils used:


  1. Thanks SG and Gelli Arts for all the inspiration and opportunity. Love your prodicts.

  2. I am so impressed with both of you. Thank you for sharing your art with all of us. Love your processes!

  3. It is fabulous! Love both projects very much! Now I want those Pinecone Dream and Seeds stencils! You make them look good!

    1. Thanks Anna, the pods and pine ones are by Flora Bowley you can find them on SG under artists. Of course I used almost all of my club stencils too.

  4. So fascinating to read a bout your different processes. I loved this post. Thank you!

  5. Very cool. The best part was reading about how different you both are in your processes.

  6. Great work from you both-enjoyed seeing the process of how others work!

  7. Wow ladies.. I'm stunned by all this beautiful art work. So different, but yet equally gorgeous!!!

  8. Thank you all, and Thank you Mary for letting us post this article! I loved doing this project, and of course I love the Stencil Girl Products!

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  10. Both of you made such beautiful art, dramatic and dynamic each on its own. The digital process is not something I have dabbled in. I think I worry about becoming addicted to it too. The abstract, the organic, the intense color, contrasting the neutrals. Makes for a great guest designer(s) post. Thank you both. - mrsjetjr at yahoo dot com

  11. Thanks everyone, really appreciate the comments.

  12. You are both amazing artists! I'm lucky enough to have some pieces by both artists and I love them all.


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