About Gel printing 

Gel plates looks and feels like gelatin, but are durable, reusable and store at room temperature. Monoprinting on a Gelli plate is simple and fun. The gratification is immediate, and the prints are too cool!

Monoprinting with the Gelli Arts printing plate is a great way to enjoy a day of art, creating prints both simple and elaborate with paint, paper, and a few tools. Stamps, stencils, and scrapers, are just a few of the options for creating interesting prints. Gel printing is a way to make amazing prints without the use of an expensive printing press.

One of the things I love about printing with the Gelli plate is that there’s no right or wrong way to do it. At the same time, the more you print, the more variety, depth, and interest you create because you become more confidant in the process. With time, you also learn what type of paint and materials work best to create intriguing prints. Just like most things in life, the more you use the Gelli plate, the better you get. There’s always something fun to learn and try.


What To Do With Your Bounty of Printed Paper

• Use paper punches to make tags and other embellishments from your prints

• Use the printed sheets for card making

• Cut the papers and add collage elements to your journal

• Use them as collage elements in a more elaborate painting/collage project

• Create a background for Artist Trading Cards

• Use them as a jumping off point for doodling or additional painting techniques

• Create backgrounds for jewelry projects.

Meet Catherine Tonning-Popowich

Born in Michigan to artistic parents, Catherine has been creating art her entire life. She has explored many mediums such as china painting, watercolors, oils, pastels, airbrushing, printmaking, and sculpture. Painting abstracts on canvas and paper using acrylics, is her current subject and medium of choice.                                                                               

Catherine holds an associate degree in commercial art as well as in fine arts. Her experience in both artistic realms resonates through her style, and it is her ability to capture fine details that makes many of her pieces seem more like photographs than paintings. While she is well-versed in painting botanicals and other organic forms, Catherine’s wildlife portrayals have gotten a great deal of exposure. 

Her passion and talent for creating wildlife art, landed her the 2013 Individual Artist Grant through the Arts Council of Greater Lansing, and as a result, Catherine became Potter Park Zoo's artist-in-residence in Lansing, Michigan, where she held wildlife painting classes that were accessible to all ages. She also completed a series of paintings of ten of the zoo’s animals and held an exhibition of those works in the fall of 2013. 

Among other projects, in 2014 Catherine was asked to spearhead a project at the Ingham, Eaton & Clinton Community Health Facility for their Creative Recovery Program. She designed and created a project to paint a large oak tree mural to be a permanent installation in the CMH lobby, 15 to 20 adult disabled consumers were involved in the painting of the mural. This project was completed in September 2014.

In 2017, Catherine received the Artist in the Community grant from the Arts Council of Greater Lansing with which she developed the “Art Has No Barriers” program. The program reaches out to students regardless of their age or ability. She finds joy in helping them express their emotions and share their stories. Catherine’s intent through this program is to build bridges and encourage students to see commonalities between themselves and others, regardless of abilities. These classes are held at the Lansing Art Gallery in downtown Lansing, Michigan.

Most recently Catherine has been approached by the Gelli Arts company and invited to be a brand ambassador for their Gelli Arts Artist Team.  She has accepted the challenge and will create projects with the Gelli Arts© printing plate and teaching classes and making how to videos for those projects.

Artist Statement

"As an artist I have painted realism for most of my artistic life, but I always felt like something was missing. I wanted to push myself to explore new techniques and mediums and after attending a workshop that focused on vibrant, abstract art, I realized what I was craving was that connection with color. I let these vivid waves flow over me, to pull me forward, to embrace bright and bold new pallets and reinvented myself as an artist. I loosened up and let the emotion and intensity guide my brush, and as a result, my art holds my attention more than it ever did before; my art excites me again, and I will continue expanding. I found my muse, and I'm sharing this energy, sharing this inspiration with students old and new to help them find their inspiration as well."