Treasure Hunter Gel Press Artwork by Maureen SeltzerTreasure Hunter is the second in the series The View from My Chair. The first one was Sea Song (shown below).

Sea Song Gel Press Artwork by Maureen Seltzer

The beach is my go to place even if sometimes I just go there with my art. I love the sound of the waves hitting the sand and can feel all of the cares of the world roll off my shoulders with each trip the tide takes to shore. I also love the small treasures that it coughs up for the taking. Each one a little different and a little unique much like most of the people we meet on life’s Journey.


  • Simple reference photo: Look for one that has large shapes as this is much easier to collage. I am using one I took at the beach.
  • Canvas panel (I would not recommend using paper because of the amount of paper you will be collaging on it)
  • Acrylics paints – Various colors (I used mostly Lukas paints but you could use what you have on hand)
  • 8″ x 10″ Gel Press and prints from step 2
  • A few economy brayers
  • Mark making tools (various stamps, bubble paper, stencils) to create textural effects.
  • Brushes for underpainting and also for applying Matte Gel
  • Old papers (I love using old book pages, music sheets, maps and so on)
  • Matte Gel

The video of the entire process is below. It’s hard to capture the entire creation of a piece of artwork in a 6 minute video – but if you’d like to slow it down to watch it; select this YouTube link, and you can slow down (or speed up) any video’s playback by selecting the GEAR icon towards the lower right of the video window and select .5 or any other speed you like to adjust it to your liking.

Step 1  The underpainting 

Draw out your reference photo on your support.

Paint a simple under painting. Paying attention to the values you lay down. Use bold brush strokes showing the direction of how you want to lay your paper. Most of the ocean and sand is painted with a side to side brush stroke, but for the wave I use an up and down stoke.

Step 2 Printing your papers

Look at your underpainting and select acrylic paints that you would like to use for collage papers.

Gather up the papers you will print on and mark-making tools and your Gel Press. Turn up the music and have fun. I often print more papers than I will need for the collage because I get carried away on this step with papers all over the studio drying, but I waste nothing because I will use them in another project.

Many of the papers I use have more than one pull on them I will first pull a lighter color one with texture and then pull another one with a darker color over the top. Or sometimes I will go back and stamp over a pulled print to add even more texture.

Step 3 Collaging your papers

Grab your under painted canvas and the papers that you printed the jar of Matte Gel and a brush.

For this part I always start working from the outside to the inside as it helps to keep your finish painting more cohesive and lines sharp. It also keeps you from not having too much of a paper built up.

For the most part all the paper in my work is torn (if I have a very small shape I have been known to use scissors). The torn paper will blend together better than cut paper. Tear the paper into strips and apply matt gel to the canvas lay down your torn paper and then go over the piece you just put down with a brush of mat gel. You may need to work over with your finger to make sure you get out any air bubbles under it. You will just keep collaging paper paying attention to the values and direction of the paper  trying to not overlap then to much till you have finished. It is like painting but not with paint you are using strips of paper.

Detail of Torn Paper Collage with Gel Press by Maureen Seltzer


After I’m sure that it has dried I will coat twice with mat medium allowing each coat to dry before adding the next. Working from the inside to the outside making sure that all the little edges of the paper are down well. I will let this dry and then go over with a paint on UV Varnish (you may use Matte or Satin) twice allowing each coat to dry before add the next.

Maureen Seltzer - Contributing Artist for Gel Press
Maureen Seltzer

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