Art Camp Day 1 – August 1

Well, it’s getting to be the end of summer. Everyone else has already gone to camp, or just finishing up, so I decided to see if I couldn’t get in a session myself. Being a do-it-yourself kind of person I decided to attend a very convenient one, located in my head.

You may say, oh dear, I’m lost now, I just don’t see the roadsigns for this location.

OK, I’ll stop the facetiousness and just say – I don’t have any pressing art project for shows or exhibits now, and I was just thinking about what to do, when the idea came into my head –

You have a lot of art supplies waiting for a tryout or another session. Things you don’t generally use but you thought that someday you might…

Think: gelli plate. Some kinds of clay projects. Scratch art. Wood-burning set. Stone-carving set. Mail art projects. Those little claybord rectangles (a whole bag of them).

These ideas were just the ones that came to me immediately. Maybe I’ll think of more. Anyway, the idea of just drifting along, doing artwork with these half-formed, half-forgotten ideas – sounded great for this time of year.

OK. So I’ll write about them as I get time. Here’s the first thing I did – Gelli plate printing.

I bought the Gelli plate a few months ago but this is only the second time I’ve  used it. My aim was just to print – no idea what I’d do with the work when finished.

As for materials, I used acrylic paints and a variety of papers. I think these will find a place in collage work later on, or I might add India ink to them. For now, I’m letting them dry and enjoying thinking about the possibilities. I did like using the plate and it reminded me of the versatility of monoprinting.

Here are some photos of my progress. I took them at different stages of the work.

Blank pages 8-1-16 small

Blank pages on my work table.

First set of photos.




Second group.


Third set.



Fourth group.




Fifth set of photos. These are the papers I had when I finished the day. I think power of layers is the theme here.

12 thoughts on “Art Camp Day 1 – August 1

  1. memadtwo

    This is the best kind of camp day! And that table appears in the dreams of the studio I’m going to have someday…it will be fun to see what you do with all this pattern and color. (K)

  2. Michael Richards (certainline)

    Wow, what a productive day! That orangey-yellow one with the four green-blue rings really sings – stunning.

    We don’t have summer camps in England – at least we didn’t: we now have Black Friday so who knows? – but when I read about them as a child in American comics and the like they sounded terrifying. This sort of camp is much more my thing.

  3. Claudia McGill Post author

    Thank you. It’s liberating to be using supplies or tools that for some reason I wanted at some time and never got much use from, and the results don’t matter. Just experimenting and letting myself off the hook. Like a vacation!

  4. Claudia McGill Post author

    Thank you, that one you mention was a late entry and I think benefited from not being overworked. I do love the color combo and I like the effect of overprinting like that. As for camps, in my neck of the woods, camp can mean anything from actual overnight camps and hiking and so on, to five year olds going to an “art camp” in the mornings at the library for a week. I can’t tell you all the “camps” my son attended and pretty much every one I wished I could go, too. The answer is – have your own, right? And as an overnight camper in my younger days, I hated it. Just saying.

  5. Laura (PA Pict)

    I think you are a natural with this gelli printing business. Experimentation is always such fun and so liberating. I tend to use my gelli plate just to generate collage papers but I think it is about time I started using it to make proper monoprint art just as I used to using acrylic back in my school days.

  6. Claudia McGill Post author

    I started off just kind of random but some of them did resolve into images, and I might add ink to them, or maybe not, but it’s funny how this happens. I do like the gelli. It’s encouraging of experimentation.

  7. Jeanette Clawson

    I love the idea of approaching new supplies as “art camp.” I may borrow this idea when I get a little more settled into the house. I have played with gelli printing with a friend and I’m intrigued. You really captured the power of layers!

  8. Claudia McGill Post author

    I recommend the art camp idea. It’s getting me to try things I keep putting off, and evaluate them as to whether I’d like to pursue things further or not. And, it also gets me doing some old favorite things, too, that I haven’t done for a while. Good break from being so “serious” !

  9. Jeanette Clawson

    I get things in my head that I’m going to do and rarely have the stamina to execute them all. I’m really excited to be “illuminating” my storage boxes and coming up with a design for my shower curtain. But art camp is definitely in my future. I keep starting these “100…” things and not finishing them. Camp I can finish. Moving and health keep interrupting art. 😉

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