Women’s History Month by Gelli Arts® Artist Mansi

Women’s History Month has always been close to my heart. Born an only child to parents in India at a time when girls were perceived to be a burden had a huge impact on my psyche. I always had to fight social paradigms and dealt with a lot of “if only your parents had a boy…” It made my resolve to be better, be bolder, be more proficient in everything and do all the things (and more!) that boys could do. 

When I had a daughter, also an only child, seven years ago, I decided her childhood would be very different than mine. She will know that women are not just revered in temples but respected every day … that they are so much more than a pretty face … that women, whoever and howeve they are, are enough. They are not incomplete or broken or damaged. 

This gel-plate printed book is a gift for my child and myself — it is a tangible reminder that no matter what background we hail from, what our race, religion, ethnicity or belief system, we are a force to be reckoned with, second to none. 

In this video tutorial, you’ll see that I used a stamp to create a basic outline of a face on my gel plate. I’m not very good at drawing portraits, so the stamp came handy, but you can also use your gel plate as a tracing tool and sketch out a portrait like I did in this blog post

I also made some basic patterned papers in the different colors of the rainbow using my 8×10 gel plate, trimmed and scored them in the middle, and used them as backgrounds for each of my faces. I could have “touched up” the faces after taking the prints but I deliberately chose not to. It was to emphasize the point that women are beautiful even when they are raw, especially when they are raw. It’s a subliminal message throughout the book to accept and embrace women as they are, in all shapes and sizes and colors.

I am new to book binding, so it’s not a perfect stitch — but then again, imperfections make us who we are, correct? I sewed the trimmings from each background page to create the last folio and added some powerful reminders on there. Throughout the book, I added my poetry, that you can read here in its entirety:

I am built by my past 

And guided by my future

I am passionate 

And raw and vulnerable

I am strong and dependable

And moody and wistful

I am filled with an abundance 

For love, for growth, for compassion

I am constantly learning and growing

I am pure and unswerving

I am cheerful, friendly, joyful

And awoke!

I am fun and generous

With my heart and with my soul.

I am strong, I am weak,

I am confident and powerful. 

I am happy, ambitious, humble 

And wise.

I am sweet, romantic, magical

And phenomenal. 

I am all of this and everything in between.

I am you, I am she, I am her

I am me. 

I am complete.

I am enough!

Thank you so much for taking the time to read and follow along the video. I truly appreciate your encouragement and the opportunity to keep creating fun and meaningful projects. Happy International Women’s Month!

Mansi.

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7 thoughts on “Women’s History Month by Gelli Arts® Artist Mansi”

    1. Many thanks, Kathy. I try every day…it’s how we make a difference in this world…change begins at home. Thanks, again, for your kind words.

  1. What a special and thought provoking project. I love that you gave each woman such different features while using the same stamp to begin with, and gave them stories with your written word as well. This was also a technically interesting project with many new ideas. I hadn’t thought of gelli printing a stamped image and colouring it, for example. Nor have I tried clear gesso for lifting the first layer. So, many new things to try next time I get to printing!

  2. This is without a doubt one of the best projects I’ve seen yet! How different things would be for us all If women were celebrated and championed the way you are doing for your daughter. Way to go mom!

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