Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Squished Paintings: Part II

All About Red #1, 11"x8.5", mono print, 2014 copyright Mary Zeran, Private Collection

When I decided to give myself a 6 week, in studio, artist residency, it never occurred how tired I would be.  Bone tired...

As usual I've bitten off more than I could chew.  I thought I would be able to devote all my time to two online classes and get a commission piece done?!?!...  Silly, silly me.  Turns out my brain is really only capable of learning one new skill at a time. So what did I do?  I opted to complete the commission piece. While it was being framed I picked up my brayer and started printing.

I've always used Dura-Lar as my printing plate in combination with acrylic paints. I use a really soupy, heavy paint sort of approach which produces lots of squishes, blobs, and smushy marks. I like that, but I wanted to get a more delicate line. During Linda Germain's online class I feel like I my mono-printing skills took a huge step forward. Not only did I learned how to make and use my own gelatin plate. Linda spent some time demonstrating proper brayer techniques, how to cut stencils, and some stamp making techniques I hadn't seen before.  really amazing stamps. Post class, I feel like I have so much more control over the medium and some nice prints to boot!

As most of you know, I love bold, bright color. By the time I hit week 3 I had used up all my yellow.  I took a huge color departure. Instead of switching to Golden Open Acrylics for the rest of the class, Linda suggested I work with the color I had. What a great exercise! At first I fought the idea, but then I did what I was told and the result was some great exercises in value. Those of you who work with bold color know, it can be easy to use the color as a "crutch", and that many a bad composition has been saved by a fabulous color combination.

All About Red #2, 11"x8.5", mono print, 2014 copyright Mary Zeran

All About Red #3, 11"x8.5", mono print, 2014 copyright Mary Zeran

All About Red #4, 11"x8.5", mono print, 2014 copyright Mary Zeran

Onward...over the next few months, I'm focused on making collage and painting.  Nothing like doing something else to invigorate you mentally and make getting back on track a little cumbersome. As I struggle to find my feet again, I am excited to see how this new information informs what I do in my regular work.

Being an artist and art educator can sometimes feel like you have a split personality. I finding that both endeavors require a lot of attention. As many of you know, this blog is more about art education. If you want to see the rest of the prints, go to my tumblr blog. I also have an instagram site. That site shows images of studio life ie: my natural environment.


While we are at it. Registration for my workshop "Collage Start to Finish" at Cedar Rapids Museum of Art is now open. Spaces are filling fast, so if you are in the area, sign up now at this link.

I've have a solo exhibit at Luther College in Decorah, Iowa and a three person exhibit at Hairpin Art Center in Chicago coming up in April and May. I've added a new feature to my website titled News. Go to that link for details.

Thank you as always for stopping by! I hope you are having fun being the creative person that you are meant to be. If you enjoyed this post, please share.




  1. Who knew geli plates could be so versatile - I have my name on the "list" for Lindas next class! Would so love to attend your next class - its a long way from me - I'm in northern Alberta. I will keep admiring your work from afar and get my hands on some duralar and play. Thanks for sharing your inspiration!

    1. Hello Diane! Thank you as always for your comments. You are so kind.

      Gelli plates. I KNOW!!! Who knew? Of course, I always say a person can make great art out of stuff you find on the street. You just have to be able to see the beauty.

      Let me know what you think of Linda's class and playing with Dura-Lar. Here are some Canadian art supply resources for you.

      Contact the Kim Fjordbotton @
      The Paint Spot Fine Art Materials‎
      10032 81 Avenue Northwest
      Edmonton, AB T6E 1W8
      (780) 432-0240‎

      another resource is Opus: Opus is out of Vancouver, B.C.

      There are other great resources out there but...I've met these folks and they are awesome!

      Hope to meet you sometime soon!


  2. Replies
    1. Thank you Sue Marrazzo! I just stopped by your blog and it is amazing!


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