I wanted to make some holiday cards, mostly for Beauty’s various teachers.  And for the staff at her gymnastics program, who I recently realized have been turning a blind eye to the fact that Kitten isn’t actually supposed to join her sister for time in the indoor playground after class.

I don’t really like most of the holiday symbols, but poinsettia are pretty and interesting, so I traced a photo of one and sketched a couple of possible designs.  I cut a stencil from a transparency and got to work:

The backgrounds are mostly brayered rather than painted.  I experimented some with rolling ink onto a transparency and pressing the card into it to take a print, which was interesting and sometimes got neat results.  Sometimes I used my fingers or a sponge to touch up the edges.

(I used Liquitex Basics, in ultramarine blue and phtalo green and light blue violet.  Hero’s study is warm and very dry, so I didn’t get much open time, but I managed.  I like working quickly anyway.)

Once the background was done I taped the card down, and taped the stencil on top and sponged on a coat of white and a coat of cadmium red medium hue, which was the perfect color for poinsettia.  The hardest part was waiting for the white to dry all the way.

While I had the brayer and things out, I experimented more with some monoprinting:

(The red poinsettia are from the card-making session – I’d rub paper over the used stencil to pic up the negative print.  I’m not sure what I’ll do with them – give them to the girls to watercolor, maybe.)

These techniques probably work better on a gelatin plate, but they were fun to play with anyway.  Some of the postcards may get collaged bits added and sent out.  We will see.

I’d like to do Hanukkah cards as well, but I don’t have a design I like yet.  Something with fire, maybe.  I considered making some to donate to the synagogue’s book shop, but I think time is too tight now.  Maybe next year.

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