New Seedhead Stencil

New Seedhead Stencil

Hi there.
Thanks for popping in.
Sitting in the garden and writing to you after a little siesta,
and feeling better for it, I must say.
The birds are twittering and the sun is pouring through the trees.
Struggling to lift my spirits, but I know I am not alone.
But this too shall pass.
In the meantime, I immersed myself in paint and a brand new stencil today. A very special one, designed by Mel.
It is beautiful to look at, and wonderful to use.
Bottom left here:
(You can buy them individually, or 5 for the price of 4)
 Shall I talk you through the steps, so you know how I got there?
Use a large Gel Press Plate. An 8″ x 10″ 
and mount it on our large 9″ x 11″ Megamount 
That way you capture the whole image and get an outer edge too.
Spread a thin layer of orange acrylic paint over it with a brayer.

Dab most of it off again with a flat kitchen paper towel.
It will sometimes give you a very cool pattern.

Squirt some more acrylic paint onto the dry orange blotted paint now. I went with Man City and Man Utd: RED and BLUE.
They blend together to get a fantastic mix.

Viva Decor paints

In year 1 of Salford University, 
I lived quite close to Man Utd’s ground, Old trafford.
In year 2, I went over to the other side of Manchester, right near Man City. I lived at No. 6 Banff Road. It’s right by Curry Mile now.
Always did have lots of great Indian restaurants in that area.
I LOVED living in Manchester.
I LOVED the Mancunians.
You could sit at a bus stop and have great talks with total strangers.
You’d get on the ORANGE bus, and a whole new conversation would start with somebody else. 
I spent a lot of time waiting for buses from Rusholme to Salford…
So here we have a cool mix of red and blue, you see?
And of course, an interesting blend of purple in the middle.
While the paint is still wet, place the new stencil on it.

Blot it with punchinella, dab it lightly with scrunched up paper towel, and then let the paint dry.
Underneath the stencil, the paint will stay wet, because it hasn’t been exposed to the air. 

As soon as the paint you can see is dry, whip the stencil off and pop a sheet of copy paper down onto the Gel Press Plate.
All being well, you will pull a lovely lineart print.
You could do this on card too, but I have a plan for another day, 
and I need it on a thin piece of paper to work.

The actual print we are working towards is still on the Gel Press plate. See? If I place a sheet of white paper underneath the plate, you can see it.
Magic really, isn’t it.

But how to get the beautiful pattern print from the Gel Press Plate to card…
I came up with this technique years ago, 
when I was trying to clean up the Gelli plate after a messy session!
Just spread a layer of acrylic paint over the dry print on the plate.
In this case, I have used a mix of light blue and cream.
Too much here.
I have to roll some off, until I can see the print through the paint.
Keep rolling it off onto copy paper until you can see the image lightly.

Flip the wet, painty Gel Press Plate over on its mega Mount,
and lower down quickly onto a sheet of our large Stencil Card.
It is just ideal for pulling prints.

Flip back and rub the back of the card, to help transfer the paint.
Carefully peel back the card, and you should reveal a beautiful and original print. A one-off. 

There are a few white patches, where the print didn’t transfer.
Let’s use it to add more interest..
Smear Lime Kiss yellow Artistry ink over the whole surface.
Wow! Bit radical, I know!
I wondered what possessed me as soon as the lime yellow hit the card! But too late. Continues undeterred….
The great thing about acrylic paint is that it’s like a plastic table cloth. You can wipe it clean.
So I spritzed the whole thing with water and dabbed it dry, taking the colour right back to our lovely Man U. Man City blend, except where there was a little white card and the yellow ink had soaked in.
See here?

Mounted the print on a piece of water colour paper to finish.

Happy with that.
It’s cool because it’s NOT perfect, because it is a little rough in places. But there is a depth to it which draws you in.
Just like Manchester.

I loved life there so much, I encouraged Grace to go to University there too. Which she did, so she and I both know the Secret of that city.

I lived there during the winter of ‘79 too.
Those of you who recall, those were pretty harsh times.
Those poor firemen stood in that picket line opposite the University on the Crescent for months and months and months. 
Strikes, strikes, strikes.
But the Mancunians dealt with that, and they’ll deal with this. 
They are a tough bunch. I love ‘em.
Love & Hugs,

27 thoughts on “New Seedhead Stencil

  1. Manchester has a great spirit indeed, I've been greatly saddened by Monday's events. We have family in Manchester, thankfully all ok.
    Your artwork certainly lifts the spirits xx

  2. That's a fantastic print Barbara! These stencils are firmly on my must get list!
    I'm not a true mancunian as I was born in Cheshire but I feel more mancunian having married one and given birth to one! And I have taught hundreds. They are so special in how things get dealt with and how loyal they are to their family and their friends. I know that's why I love mancunians too!
    Hope you enjoy your evening.
    Love and hugs! Xxx

  3. Great artwork. What a coincidence, I too went to Manchester and there met my husband. I loved it there too and the warmth of the people. Still thinking about the atrocity and pushing away a horrible MOJ day which is nothing compared to those poor people. I am lucky and must remember each day is a present.
    Lots of love to everyone
    Anne (Reading)

  4. Ooh I do love a good stencil – these will definitely be on my wish list. I was near to tears this morning – suddenly realised that some of those who died were only there to collect their kids – how dreadfully sad. 😔😔😔😔

  5. Hi Barbara, glad your wee sleep helped a little. Sleep is good for letting the brain start to process and heal. Love this artwork too, both the intended piece and the 'scrap'. Very modern art. Thank you for sharing. Looking forward to seeing what you do with the other piece. I think I would be colouring in the background like a stained glass window effect, and practising my drop shadows on the seed pods. Well it would get added to the growing pile of pieces for drop shadowing! A really need to be speeding up a bit!!!

    A feel you're a bit calmer now, even if it is faking it to make it, it will allow you to function and feel less tormented, until your head starts the healing process. I think anger is a horrible, horrible, inner destructive emotion and does no one any good, not the person feeling it, nor those round about. Never been able to work out the purpose of that emotion. I haven't been to Manchester, mind you I've not been that many places outwith Scotland in my whole life… Hope you get a good sleep tonight and feel calmer tomorrow. Love Brenda xx

    1. Chuckling away here, how did I manage to put A instead of I?! And not just once… Couldn't be further apart on the keyboard! I think I need to stop now, and rest my weary brain!!!!

    2. Ah, maybe that's how it happened, that makes sense. I do say what I want to write out loud at times, especially when my head is too scrambled to think/concentrate! And the more exhausted I am the broader I sound! Maybe talking broad is not something I should be confessing to either….!!!! Don't know about you, but we used to get told off for that for some strange reason, we are Scottish after all, eh!!!! xx

  6. I love Mancunians too.. In the Seventies, my Dad went to live in Stockport with his new wife so I visited quite often. I would go into Manchester to shop and get lost but someone always would notice I was in difficulty and point me in the right direction. Such kind friendly folk!

  7. Just heart breaking 💭 no of all the families who lost loved ones and the sense of loss in Manchester must be huge cloud of desperation. Hugs love the stencils xxx

  8. Yep, you have about summed up us Mancunians, only one true colour there are far as I'm concerned and that's red, although all my family would disagree as they are blue! Love these seed head stencils. X

  9. Hi Barbara
    What a beautiful set of stencils, thank you Mel. I haven't used my geli plate for ages, I must get it out the cupboard again and have a play. It always makes me chuckle when you add a colour to the artwork instantly regret it then turn it round and make something special. What a beautiful tribute to Manchester, sounds like it has a special place in your heart.
    Love Diane xxx

    1. Hello lovely blog friends, hope all is well, blimey it's been hot here!! We went for a walk and ended up like limp lettuce by the time we got home. Sending hugs xxx

  10. A beautiful piece of art and a lovely tribute to all those poor souls in Manchester. My heart breaks when I think of all those youngsters hurt or sadly killed. Such waste of bright futures. x

  11. Lovely print as usual. Love your stories, and hadn't realized you knew Manchester. I have lived all my life here. It is heartbreaking. So many lives affected. Just have to remember them in our prayers. Sleep well. Xxx

  12. I adore this print Barbara using these great new stencils, and I must use my gelli plate more. I'm glad you have been enjoying the sunshine and a little snooze is a great restorative. I did not realise you were a student in Manchester which is probably why this has hit you that bit harder. x

  13. Hello Barb, what a beautiful print, love the new stencils. And your tribute to Manchester and the Mancunians is lovely and touching, no wonder it has affected you so much, having lived and studied there. Take care everyone. Bx

  14. Hi Barb,
    These new stencils are a definite must have – love them. Love the print you have done here too. I hadn't realised that you had gone to Manchester University and lived there – no wonder it hit you so hard! The only time I've been to Manchester was for a County Netball Match and we had to play outside in a torrential downpour! The girls from the Manchester teams were lovely though – very welcoming and friendly. Love and hugs, Alison.

    1. Morning bloggy friends,
      Hope you're all managing in this heat. We were sitting on the patio yesterday early evening and the temperature was 44 degrees! It is such a suntrap but it was way too hot for me!! Today looks like it might even be hotter! Love and hugs to you all, Alison xxxx

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