Gelatin print American flags

I'm hooked on gelatin printing ever since learning the process from the book Playing with Surface Design. And this time of year I'm always inspired to play with the American flag. As I've explained in a previous post the gelatin is used as a printing base. It is not what is producing the color of the print... though I like to imagine these flags where made with the classic patriotic Jell-o deserts I never had as a kid.

I cut out stars and striped paper masks to create the flag prints.

I cut out stars and striped paper masks to create the flag prints.

Printing on colored paper

Printing on colored paper

This flag really shows the paper strips I used to print with.

This flag really shows the paper strips I used to print with.

A couple of my favorites

A couple of my favorites


Show and tell: Strike Away show

A few weeks ago I shared my process and final submission to the Strike Away show. The show is up! It's so lovely but only up for a bit longer (until June 30th, 2015). I couldn't come to the opening night but I imagine it was packed with people because over 200 artists created over 400 mostly little works of art.

While working on my own project and leading up to the show I saw the continual work flow of other artists on Instagram using the #strikeaway hashtag. Courtney Cerruti and Alicia Dornadic who curated the show shared their progress of receiving and organizing all the work for display. Even with all that visual knowledge it was a pleasant surprise to see how they displayed everything. Because most of the art is small and light in weight the match boxes and books are pinned to a display surface in wall cases. The presentation has a very entomological feel, full of curiosities, perfectly fitting of it's location at Paxton Gate's Curiosities for Kids. You can gaze a long time and still see something new.

Mobile by Jill Russell

Mobile by Jill Russell

Courtney and Alicia used Instargam to call for entries. Because art flowed in from reaches beyond San Francisco I imagine many artists haven't seen the show. I hope this little taste helps give an idea of the exhibit. I've done my best to link to artists I've shown in the pics. Do let me know if I missed someone.

Go check out the curiosities until June 30th, 2015!

 

Q. Explain the sun? A. Contrast

A few weeks ago I caught an installment of Science Friday on NPR. They announced a Science Club challenge to Explain the Sun. It was an open ended question that could be answered in anyway, about anything relating to the sun. The project sparked my interest and I instantly thought of explaining the contrast the sun provides. So the last couple weeks I've been creating images around that idea and the importance of the suns contrast to me personally. You may have seen them on my Instagram as part of my 100 Day Project.

I love the sun. For me the word contrast is a thread that explains much of the sun. There is of course contrast from day to night. There is the contrast when the sun is shining and shadows are cast. And there is contrast in mood as the sun is capable of bringing a shift, good or bad, to emotion. When it shines or is behind clouds my mood is magnified. I embrace contrast because without it there would be no measurement for contentment. 

I feel energized by the sun and often find myself having a very productive day indoors even when my internal logic would be inclined to go outdoors. 

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Ironically San Francisco has been doused in fog most of the time I've been creating these little images.

The micro climates in San Francisco often mean fog blocks the sun. Sometimes I embrace the fog but if it's been hanging around for days (or even a whole day) I long for sunshine and the contrasting shadows it casts. Sometimes the sun/fog contrast is even more extreme and you can see a clear dividing line of fog layering one half of the city while the other is in full sunshine.

Lastly if we follow the thread of contrast to it's end, we get to, THE END. The sun is our star that we see shining (mostly) everyday. Many stars we see at night have long ago blinked out and someday our beloved sun will meet this same end.

Super simple printing method + GIVEAWAY

In this weeks post I've got a little update, instructions for a super simple + addicting printing method, and a book giveaway for you.

This past Monday (5/25) was day fifty of The 100 Day Project. I've got to say I am totally in love with my project (#100DaysOfDayBreakPlay) and plan on keeping some version of it on the other side of the project's completion. I have done less hand lettering than I expected. Instead it's been perfect for working on mini-projects like building a lego Sydney Opera House and making my Strike Away Show submission.

When I got an early release copy of Playing with Surface Design by Courtney Cerruti I knew it would play into my morning routine. You may remember me sharing the book Playing with Image Transfers last year, also by Courtney. Like the former, Playing with Surface Design is full of technique and project ideas. In the book she covers; gelatin printing, paste papers, mark making, and briefly touches on marbling. 

Because gelatin printing has been on my craft to-do list for awhile I jumped to try out that project first.

One of my first prints using cuttings from my parents garden.

One of my first prints using cuttings from my parents garden.

Leaves and lavender stems

Leaves and lavender stems

Paper cut outs

Paper cut outs

The second printing of paper cut outs and string after they've been removed from the gelatin plate.

The second printing of paper cut outs and string after they've been removed from the gelatin plate.

Bubble wrap 

Bubble wrap 

Strawberry baskets printed on blue paper

Strawberry baskets printed on blue paper

I can't stress enough how easy this printing process is. If you've been wanting to try any form of printing, try this first! It will make you feel like an instant success and is a good building block for understanding other printing methods. And if you have experience with any other kind of printing you will likely find yourself equally enamored with the jello print process.

As a printing method the cost of investment is very low, as little as $40. You probably already have some of the supplies needed.

Supplies
— Plain unsweetened Gelatin (not Jello, though it is fun to say Jello Prints!)
— A cookie sheet (you probably own that), or a disposable baking pan has more depth.
— At least two colors of water soluble printing ink
Rubber brayer
— Acetate or a smooth tile from the hardware store
— Paper (try starting out with card stock or bristol).
— Space in your fridge
— Two hours of time (1 hour for your gelatin to set-up and 1 hour to print. Though when you start printing you might not be able to stop)
— And of course, as a helpful resource the book, Playing with Surface Design

Basic Steps (more info in the book)
1. Make gelatin to fill a low wide dish. (This will be your printing plate)
2. Use your brayer to roll out ink color on hard surface.
3. Roll ink onto gelatin plate 
4. Place flat objects onto your inked plate. (leaves, string, paper shapes, or anything else you think of)
5. Lay a sheet of paper down on top, pressing firmly
6. Lift to see the magic.
7. Keep repeating the process to your hearts content. Add more depth to your prints with multiple layers of color.

One recommendation I have is to do your printing inside with moderate temperature. My first try at printing was outside in weather over 75 degrees which was a little too warm for a long print run.

GIVEAWAY
To enter for a chance to win a copy of Playing with Surface Design:
1. Head over to my Instagram and make sure you're following me.
2. Also be following @ccerruti
3. Tag a friend who you think would like the book in the comment section of the photo with the book cover. (Which will be posted the evening of Wednesday 5/27)
4. The winner will be chosen Sunday 5/31/2015. Winner must be in the Continental U.S. to win. As a bonus I'll also be sending the winner some gelatin prints to play with.

Full disclosure. I was given a pre-release copy of the book to promote. All recommendations are my own.

Show and Tell: Art Market San Francisco

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Spring in San Francisco has been blooming art excursions everywhere. Studio tours and Art Market happened a couple weeks ago. This year Art Market brought a mini Art Basel type experience to the Fort Mason area. At least that's what I imagine. I haven't yet been to Art Basel.

Art Market has been happening in SF for 5 years. This year felt different because a couple other events popped up at the same time to share in the buzz of art enthusiasts. If you don't know what Art Market is, it's an opportunity for galleries to show off the artists they represent all in one place. It feels like a contemporary art museum but you can purchase the art... well, someone can purchase the art. 

Happening at the same time this year was StArt Up Fair at Hotel Del Sol. This was a way for artist without representation to showcase their work for sale and potentially find representation. Being a short distance from Art Market hopefully enticed some galleries over to check out the work. I attended StArt Up and it was one of the most unique art going experiences I've had. Every hotel room featured an artist. All the regular hotel fixtures where still in the room including the beds. This meant some unique ways of exhibiting. Art hung on the cieling. Art laying on the bed. Art in the bathroom. Art clipped to hangers inside closets. Art as an immersive experience.

Lastly there was also the Parking Lot Art Fair. Unfortunately I couldn't go but did have a friend who participated. The parking lot show was a rogue take-over of several parking lots that most people walk through to enter the Fort Mason complex. I heard artists showed up at 6am to stake their claim. Most artists created installations as this event was not about selling but about the conversation of Art.

I only spent one afternoon perusing the art but one could easily spend the whole weekend. Below I'm sharing just a handful of the pieces from Art Market that caught my eye. If you're in the area and missed it this year it's worth putting on your calendar for next. And keep a look out for any other art fairs that may spring up next year.

1010 - "Limbus_07", acrylic on handcut paper. represented by Hashimoto Contemporary

1010 - "Limbus_07", acrylic on handcut paper. represented by Hashimoto Contemporary

Elise Ferguson

Elise Ferguson

Elise Ferguson. Close ups.

Elise Ferguson. Close ups.

Anne Neely

Anne Neely

Jeff Cairns

Jeff Cairns

Paul Wackers

Paul Wackers

Paul Wackers

Paul Wackers

Jeff Cohen

Jeff Cohen