Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Monotype Printmaking

I am happy, because yesterday I got to spend the day with my friend Shant's printing press once more!!! I just love making monotypes. For those of you who are new to my blog, or don't know about monotypes, I will give you a quick overview. A monotype is essentially a cross between painting and printmaking. Each monotype is a one-of-a-kind original piece of art. The artist will paint on a non-porous surface, like a plexiglass plate. Once the plate looks the way the artist wants it to look, a sheet of dampened paper is placed on top of the plate. Pressure is applied to the paper and plate. (I use a printer's press, which you can see a photo of here.) I am currently using a smaller press than the one in the photo, but it is a similar idea. The pressure of the press causes textures and effects that would be impossible through paint alone. Once the print is dry, it can be reworked with pastel, watercolor or oil paint. I usually use pastel. The plate can be run through the press again, but much less ink will be on the plate, and the second print will be much lighter and very different from the first one. This second print is usually called a "ghost". Because the plate (or matrix) is not carved or etched, there are no editions like there would be with an etching or wood block. The word "mono" means "one".

What I love about monotypes is the spontaneity. It seems to suit my impulsive nature. Here is one of the prints I did yesterday. It is small, measuring only 5 x 7 inches. I titled it "Wheels".

The snow is pretty much completely melted now. Even though it was beautiful, I am not sad that it's gone. I guess maybe I got enough of snow while living in Colorado. I was told that snow is not that uncommon here, but what was unusual was that it lingered for so long. It took almost a week before it melted. I am waiting for my 80 degrees and sunshine to return. It was sunny today, but only reached 52 degrees. I am still wearing two sweaters in the house. I really have become a desert lizard, cold-blooded and in need of a warm rock to sit upon!


High Desert Diva said...

'Wheels' looks good! I'm glad you got to use your friend's equipment!

Our snow hasn't gone bye-bye yet. Warmest day in over a week today...got up to mid 20's. UPS couldn't even get the gate open this afternoon...I had to shovel snow out of the way.

Bundled up by the fire...not a bad place to be!

Melissa and Emmitt said...

happy holidays karine!
i love your new monotype!
m & e

Robyn said...

Another great monotype, Karine. Warm colours to beat the chill of desert snow.

Patricia said...

Love the monoprint Karine. Regarding the process, is a press necessary, or can you 'hand press'? Maybe I just ought to try one and see!!
Mery Christmas Sweetie-

Nancy and the fatties said...

Love the colors Karine! Howie is on his little puggy knees praying right along with Pono for bacon and cheese. Pono's new picture is so cute, I don't own any dogs who could sit next to a bowl full of food and not dive in... ; ) What's that like??
Happy holidays to you and much success in the new year!
much love and warm hugs from Texas!

Anke said...

Hi Karine, Merry Christmas! I did some monoprints with my son the other weekend, even we did a little less professional, it worked though and he had a lot of fun. Your new 'wheels' looks like fun...on the go......aren't we all kind of on the go???? But on the go it better than stillstand, at least that's what I rather like. So enjoy creating those lovely monoprints and fun time with your friend!
Hope the warmth came back by now.....who wouldn't wanted the warm right now? We have a sunny day, no clouds and a really cold wind. Thanks to our open house we have a sunlight living area which feels great to get some light again. Hope you enjoyed the holidays!
Smiles, Anke ;)

julie king said...

love the monotype and thanks for the explanation on how it is done. i would love to learn this, if only i had a press!!!

coloredsock said...

so fun! i'm excited you have access to a press. someday i'll get back to one! do you ever make a print with 2 or more plates? i enjoyed that, too. i usually did 2 passes but sometimes 3. and as for the snow...we have drifts up to 3ft now. it's nutzoid. it snowed ALL day. hope all is well. happy new year!