Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Carry It: Display A Variety of Your Artwork with Trena Brannon

Hello Beautiful!
My artwork for this theme was inspired by my love of variety and also looking for different ways to use the gelli print designs I make. :)  It seems I can make prints all day long - layering and layering, repeat...  I really dig the idea of having a way to display different pieces of my artwork everywhere I go.

Below is my process for creating these colorful, fun inserts

Step 1:
I set up my creative area for a gelli print assembly line. I selected variety of papers - some previously ‘ugly prints' or prints I thought needed more paint, papers where I had cleaned my brush or brayer on, some design papers, music sheets, some with colors, texture or a metallic sheen. I grabbed my little drawers of mark making tools (which I never used, buy hey - I had them ready! hehehe).

Step 2:
Next I picked out paints, and of course a plethora of stencils - I knew I would likely not use them all, but I just have to have a variety of open space and detailed designs. I also picked some word stencils and an alphabet stencil. I also have my color wheel in front of me. The actual supplies I used are listed below.

Step 3:
Making prints! I used my color wheel to remind me how colors mix together. I dripped, I poured too much sometimes - which results in a painterly look - I really like it! I continued to layer moving between open and detailed designs, using different colors with the same patterns, and having fun. Not thinking too much about the outcome - you can't really predict the exact outcome. There always seems to be a little color/imprint left over from a previous pull that adds a surprise element to your piece. When I used a stencil with letters, I remembered to place them reverse on the gelli plate so the print will come out correct. :)

Step 4:
After making lots (and lots) of prints, I picked out several designs I really liked. I used the example card that was in the little window as a template to cut out areas I like from the prints. 

Some designs were perfect as they were. 

For other backgrounds, I added a focal point and words with additional stencils - adding color with color pencils and paint.

I also made a few drawings to backgrounds - coloring in with Copic markers and outlining with acrylic ink.

Notes/Tips/other ideas:
  • Can make art on front and back for reversible designs
  • Adhere thin papers (like the music papers) on card stock for stability to slide in the window pocket
  • Cut out letters/words and layer on a contrasting or complimentary background

  • If you layer the paint a little thicker and don’t brayer too much, you get a painterly look - I really dig that!

  • The bag I used in my project is no longer available (I've had it for over 6 years and dug it out of the closet for this project. I found some cute window tote styles online:
  • Substrate: a variety of card stock, vellum papers, textured card stock
  • Paints: PaperArtsy, Liquitex, Golden, Pebeo, FolkArt, Martha Stewart, F&W acrylic ink
  • Coloring Tools: Copics, color pencils, Sharpie white paint pen, Sakura microperm
  • Other Stuff: GelliArts 8x10” gelli plate, 4” brayer
  • StencilGirl® stencils: Doodle It Blossom S209, My Mind S641, Swirly Floral L060, Flower Tiles L227, Circles Circles L301, Ripple Effect L384, Learning to Dance L419, Diamond Dot L539, Brush Alphabet L645, I Get to Choose L648, and Japanese Influence L669.

I hope this post inspires you to create something fun that makes your heart smile!
Thank you so much for reading.
Take care and STAY POSITIVE!


  1. Fantastic project. The bag looks so good, and individualized, with your artwork on it!

    1. Thank you Carol! I had so much fun making the variety of inserts! Take care and STAY POSITIVE!


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