Saturday, March 25, 2017

#SOL17: Making a Gelli Print Art Journal

Cover to Birgit's handmade art journal

Cover to Birgit's handmade art journal

inside Birgit's journal


Last weekend I took an art class with Birgit Koopsen from the Netherlands and she had with her several gelli-printed art journals she had made. Although our work during the weekend did not involve making printed art journals, I found her work compelling and beautiful and knew I would want to make my own journal after seeing hers.

Below is a quick look through one of her journals.

She outlines the process in this blog post.

gelli print plate with paint on it


papers I have made
So this week I decided to start making my own art journal by making a series of printed papers. I used a 12 x 12 gelli plate, fluid acrylic paints, Canson Watercolor sheets 9"X12" (90 lb), brayers, and different objects I had on hand to make marks on the plate, such as the rim of a glass, a corn holder, a foam stamp.

I had never used a gelli plate before last Saturday and I am finding it an incredibly useful tool for printing. Right now I am creating pages for the journal. Once I create enough pages, fold and glue them (back to back), and then assemble folios--I will move on to binding the journal.

Birgit creates a heavier cover using cardboard and
folded folios
paper. And then she just binds the pages using heavy-duty tape. I plan to do so as well.


After all that work, I will then have a journal ready to work in. Then I will create different art on top of the painted sheets of paper in the journal. One type of art I will be creating are image transfers from original photographs. Below is a brief video that shows one way of transferring laser printed images.

I found that using Liquitex Pouring Medium helps me to achieve even transfers. Also, printing black and white images with high resolution offers the blackest image for transfer. Some of these images I will hand paint and then transfer, others I plan to leave as black images that contrast with the paint already on the page.

Below is an example of a painted image I transferred to a journal based on a black and white photograph I made some years ago.

Two-page spread in one of my journals.
I hand painted the back and white photograph and then transferred it to a journal.

I love the collection of art journals I have created during the last year. I have posted images from the last year of hand made work, here. Most of the books I have used have been purchased, although I have altered two books: an old atlas that was Rob's and a book on color.

There's something special when the entire journal is made by your own hands.


  1. Wow, this is really cool! The journals are breathtaking.

  2. I loved these videos and the process of creation. Wow!!!

  3. Those are absolutely gorgeous! Works of stand alone art as they are. Stunning!

  4. Creating comforts like nothing else. These are amazing! Enjoy every moment in the process and savor your results.

  5. I have been wanting to do this forever. Do you use old books to start the process? I love your work.

  6. Fascinating!! I would so love doing this but I'm sure it will have to be in another life ... unless I find a way to get more than 24 hours in my day. So I'll enjoy your posts. Thank you so much for sharing.

  7. This is my first article about making Gelli print art journal. In the past, I have been using other methods to make journals and workbooks. I am a professional who offers services such as journal or workbook printing. I am interested in creative ideas to design and print workbooks and journals.


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