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
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
I am sweet, romantic, magical
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!
- Gelli Arts 4” circle gel plate
- Gelli Arts 8×10 gel plate
- Bare Faces Stamp
- Gelli Arts stencils
- Golden Fluid Acrylics
- Spellbinders Jane Davenport Birthday Suit Palette Pastel Set
- Spellbinders Jane Davenport Chilled Palette Pastel Set
- Spellbinders Jane Davenport Lit Up Palette Pastel Set
- Spellbinders Baton Blenders Dual Tip Foam Applicators
- Spellbinders Ultimate Waterproof Brush Pen, Black Lace
- Caran D’Ache Neocolor II Water Soluble Wax Pastels
- Sakura Gelly Roll Glaze Pens
- Stabilo Woody 3-in-1 Pencils
- Strathmore Bristol Smooth Paper
- Tim Holtz Deckle Edge Trimmer