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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6 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!

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