Printmaking is a fairly new interest of mine. Eight years ago Ann Otis, a friend and experienced printer suggested that I, as a painter, might be interested in Monotypes because they are the most painterly method of printing. I created and showed a series I created based on the earth’s moon. I ended up with only one I truly liked. “Red Moon Rising”.
I turned to it recently after the perigee moon equinox and thought I should revisit monotypes.
A lot of changes have taken place in the way printers are approaching their work. Of course there are still the purest who create lovely etchings in velvety black ink on creamy paper and they can be wonderful.
However, there seems to be in me a need to push the boundaries of what is possible. I’m not interested in editioning a series from a single plate. I want to create a unique image and this is called a Monotype. A Monotype uses a plate with a smooth surface. It is labeled 1 of 1 or 1/1.
There is a growing acceptance of combining the more classic mediums with additions of overprinting, digital imagery, drawings and chin collé (the process of printing and adhering an additional thin paper onto the print). This synergy enables a continuing evolution in the ways in which prints can be used to express ideas. My work is frequently a sort of palimpsest where layers are reworked as a suggestion of artifacts and information acquired through exploration. I stain, scrape, wipe, emboss, use stencils, solar plates, fabric, linoleum prints, pastel and pencil marks. I’m not working to please the “print police” but to express an idea. I am also working with archival, non toxic materials. The inks are soy oil based and clean with soap and water. Solar plates which mimic etching plates are etched with the sun and developed with water. My press is a floor model Griffin 18” bed I purchased used.
I’ve returned to using the moon as a basic subject matter. The ongoing romance with our closest celestial neighbor never truly seems to wane. Below is “What Lies Beyond”
Painter Thomas Hart Benton wrote "Art is born not in preconception of dreaming but in work. And in work with materials whose behavior in actual use has more to do than preconceived notices with determining the actual character of works."
Next week: What is a Monoprint and how does it differ?