Monday, November 24, 2014

Gelli printing guest post #2 Juna Biagioni

Hi beautiful readers, 

I'm so excited to treat you to another guest post on gelli printing and it has lots of pictures!  Juna Biagioni makes beautiful art.  Check out her post.

My name is Juna Biagioni, I’m 42 years old, a mixed media artist & explorer, and I live with my husband in the beautiful heart of Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

On my website you can find my blog about my art journey, and my shop with mixed media originals and prints. I’ve recently started a YouTube channel with my mixed media videos and am currently developing a gelli printing e-course. If you’re interested in any of these topics, you can find more information on my website. 

1. How did you get started with gelli printing and what did you use to do before you got into those?

I first learned about gelli printing (and monoprinting in general) last spring and was immediately hooked when I saw all the beautiful and fun things you can do with this technique. I have always loved being creative: as a little girl I loved to make music, draw and write stories, and in my early twenties I worked as a graphic designer. Later my focus shifted, but a few years ago I rediscovered my creative source and started a new exciting journey into art. First I worked with polymer clay and about a year and a half ago I dove into mixed media. And that’s still what I love doing today, including gelli printing.

2. Was it hard to learn how to make the prints? What is a good beginner's guide, if any?

No, the fun thing with gelli printing is that it isn’t hard at all to make prints! The possibilities are endless. It’s just a matter of trying out all the things that you can do with it, having a lot of fun, and finding out what you like best. I watched lots and lots of videos on YouTube and I can also recommend the book Gelli Plate Printing by Joan Bess.

3. How have your prints evolved?

Color! I am using more and more color in my prints and I love it! I am also lately using the gelli plate to create intricate backgrounds that I then use as a starting point for mixed media paintings.

4. What tools do you use to make a variety of prints?

I try not to pull out too many tools at the time, just to help me focus and not get lost in all the possibilities that the gelli plate offers. I use various stencils and masks (many of which I make myself), a few texture plates, and my favorite stamp that I made out of a plastic placemat. I also use household items such as bubble wrap and packaging materials. I find that the simplest tools and materials often create the most interesting and original effects.

5. How do you use the prints? What do you suggest to beginners, as far as using the prints in other media?

I often add extra layers to my prints, using media such as markers, oil paint and inks. My prints are either artworks on their own, or a background for mixed media paintings. I haven’t yet used my prints to create other products such as journals, but I might explore those possibilities in the future as well. 

6. Tips and tricks in general. Anything special to know about gelli plates? Anything you wished you had known when you started?

An important thing that I’ve learned is that I usually have to make a pile of just ‘nice’, mediocre or even plain ugly prints in order to get one that I really, really like. I first found this frustrating, I thought that each and every print I pulled had to be ‘good’ otherwise it would be a waste of paper and paint, but now I know that this is just the way it works for me. When I start gelli printing I make sure I have lots of work space to lay down all the prints I am making, and at the end of the printing
session I’ll just pick out a few prints that really stand out to me, the ones that I want to use to work on further. And the rest? The rest just forms a growing pile of new… ‘possibilities’! ;-)

7.  What kind of paper do you use for your prints?

I use Bristol paper, 250 gsm. It's a very smooth paper.  It depends on what kind of effect you are looking for. I like the smooth paper because it shows many details. 
But many other artists like watercolor paper too. That usually has some texture of its own, which can be nice for prints as well. Just a matter of preference and trying what works best.

I love Juna's art.  It has a mystical quality and so many layers.  Make sure to check out her website.
Thank you, Juna, for taking part in this series.  :)

I sent out a newsletter last week with more links about gelli printing.  There is a YouTube link for making your own very inexpensive gelli plate.  The link to the newsletter is on my Facebook page.   Scroll down to the third post from the top. 
More guest posts coming soon.  Have you tried Gelli printing yet? 


Iris Fritschi-Cussens said...

I love Juna's work! I can't wait for her Gelli printing workshop.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing Juna's art and tips. It was great to hear that someone whose gelli prints I really admire has that pile of mediocre ones... which is how my process has gone so far and I felt disappointed by it. This has given me a little hope to find some gems among the scraps when practicing and learning. :)

Maria said...

Hi Iris and Julia! Glad you stopped by. :) I love Juna's work too. It's delicate yet powerful.

rose of Walk in the Woods, LLC said...

Nice feature and Juna's work is stunning!