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  • April Gavin

A Big Hot Mess

Greetings all,


The coyotes have been howling in our cities and taking naps on what once were busy streets. A doe ran past me on Alston Way one Saturday as I was heading to the farmer's market. The natural world is always waiting in the shadow to reclaim space. My favorite stories are the ones where humans and other animal species cooperate to mutual benefit. The art I produce holds true to these thoughts.

In honor of coyotes, the above process is a monotype created with gelli plates. Gelli plates look like clear jell-o and you can buy them in different sizes. The plate I used for these is 5" x 7" and I used a layering process to create the image. First, I rolled screenprinter's ink on my plate using a brayer in one color only. I pressed the plate to my paper to create one solid layer. Then, I rolled a another color onto my plate but instead of solid color, I used a stencil to create the oval pattern. The last step was to roll a third color onto my plate and then use my coyote template. Here's the tricky bit - I wanted the coyote to be positive space, not negative. So, I made a separate print of the negative space coyote creates. Then I removed my coyote template - the ink hiding underneath was still there. I was able to use it to create the third layer on these prints. You do have to wait for each layer to dry before proceeding and there'll be color everywhere so keeping your surfaces relatively clean is important.


If you're interested in print-making, but don't have access to a press. Gelli printing is fun, low-cost way to go. You can also do this with children. For more information, you can visit the Gelli Arts web page at https://www.gelliarts.com/.


Back to that tricky bit - That third step can create a lot of coyotes fast. What do you do with the negative image of a coyote?

You draw on it, of course. This one looks more like Scout or a fox than a coyote. I placed a bumpy service underneath my paper and did a rubbing in graphite and a different rubbing in conte' for the area around the coyote. Then, I used dry pigment to color in my negative space doing my best to leave the white areas white.


This one is still in process. We'll see how coyote develops.



This coyote is also a work in progress. Here he is helping me with a client's audit.

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