Whether you've reached this blog willingly or by force I'm happy to have you here.
ersi marina's workroom is always open to the public, even when I am not in. Sometimes I need to sleep.
And to paint.
And to play with my four cats.
My name is Ersi Marina and I live in Spain though I was born and grew up in Athens, Greece. I kept it all very Mediterranean.
This blog is a means to share my work and snippets of my life, as well as to be in contact with you all. I hope you'll enjoy your visit.

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

gelli printing experiments

About 200 years ago I bought a gel printing plate. Ok, I'm exaggerating, it was probably only 150 years ago. Apart from toying with it a bit to see how it reacted and whether it was an alien or a deep-sea gelli plate, I didn't do much. Other things got in the way.

Mixing colours on the gel plate with a very wet brush. The water won't stick on the plate and, as a result, it creates these stainy textures that I really like. The colour bleed outside the templates was deliberate.

Then just a few days ago, while working on my 'elements' series, I felt I needed a break. Take a load off. I opened one of my many drawers crammed with different kinds of paper to take out some humble photocopy paper sheets and suddenly there it was. My gel plate, neatly tucked in its casing, peeping at me from the bottom of the drawer.

I only used acrylic paint here but applied it with a brush. I wanted the brushstrokes to show. Why this unexpected green? I don't really know, it was unexpected.

You can imagine the rest. I forgot about my plans to draw and doodle and do some impressive mark-making experiments and started printing instead. These simple prints, no busy backgrounds and high contrasts. After pulling a couple of trial prints on photocopy paper I decided to use 250 gsm Stonehenge for the rest. Printing paper after all, it takes the colours much more gracefully.

Oh, I didn't use the gel plate for this one. I stamped a distressed-ink pad directly onto tracing paper. The actual work looks better than the scanned version.

The pale blue-grey and light green squares were printed following the rules. I spread the acrylics on the plate with a brayer and pulled two well-behaved shapes. But it's me. I couldn't leave well enough alone.

This one is a combination of gel printing and ink pad stamping. The pad fell off my hand and onto the paper leaving a mark that I tried to incorporate into the composition. I believe this is called 'accidental art'.

Trying my hand with gradients in the ochre shape. A (deliberately) poorly coloured brayer in the violet one.

I pulled this one today, the latest but not last in the series. I want to further explore the texturing possibilities and the unorthodox use of watercolour.

I confess I started experimenting before reading a single entry in the Printing with Gelli Arts blog. They are in no way responsible for my skewed interpretarion of their technique. They are entirely responsible for this beautiful, fascinating method of creating prints without a press.

EDIT: I replaced the original JPG files with PNGs and the grayish overlay has disappeared. Phew! This is what my prints really look like.


  1. Oh these are gorgeous Ersi. I especially love the top two. They are like little mediations - calming and exciting at the same time!! And I am really coming to love the most simple shapes - who could need more?

    1. How wonderful, thank you Amanda! The top two are my favourites too, especially the first one. I need to play with that procedure more. Keeping things simple can be increasingly difficult in the long run, so I need to take some distance and let things breathe. More will follow.

  2. I've been playing with a gelli plate to make the letters for ALAW. I hadn't thought about using water paint to generate texture - somthing to explore next time.
    I love the first print

    1. The first one is the best, I think. If you try adding water, avoid using photocopy paper. It takes water badly and the results look nothing like what they do on better quality paper. You can also add water to your acrylic paints and see what happens.

  3. Lovely and calming - like so much of your work.
    I've tried Geli plates too and enjoyed them but not in a very adventurous way. I've only used acrylics with masking and stencils. Using watercolours sound a great idea. I will try it ... when I find I have time!

    1. Thank you, Charlton! Watercolours have unpredictable results and that's what I find beautiful about them. Of course, you can always get a blah one but it's worth playing with them.

  4. Oh, lovely, Ersi! Like you I bought my Gelli plate a lifetime ago and have never even thought of it since. Okay, time to get it out. I'd better look at some videos, too, but I must say I love what you are doing with your beautifully gentle prints.

    1. I'm so pleased you like them, Carol, thank you! As for watching the videos, maybe you'll enjoy yourself a lot and come upon some happy findings of your own if you start experimenting before you learn anything about the technique. The process is quick and it's great fun.

  5. Gelli Printing is so interesting, I enjoy every bit of it. I love your post,it has so many new ideas which I can anytime. I want you to have a look at this amazing book by Altered Upcycling too!

    1. Thank you Anoosh, I'm happy you enjoyed my little experiments. Gelli printing is indeed great fun. Thanks also for the book reference!


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