Saturday, February 18, 2012

Monoprinting play!

At a recent artist's 'play day' (as we call them...) 6 of us got to explore the process of monoprinting using plexiglas plates, a variety of papers and water-based printing inks from Graphic Chemical and Speedball. The images below show a variety of approaches and a great learning curve for us all, but we had a lot of fun. Luce Zolna has an etching press in her studio, which was great for printing on the heavier papers, which need to be slightly damp first. The thinner Asian papers did not require a press, and nice prints were achieved by simply using a brayer or baren over the back of the paper to transfer the ink from the plate to our paper.

Some prints were made with found objects, like wheat grass, some tried rolling the ink on and using various pointed or wide, flat tools to scrape the ink away in a variety of lines and shapes. Then there were those of us who wanted to draw and/or paint a design onto the plate and print that, which took some tweaking to get to work. We ultimately found that brushing Golden's Retarding Medium onto the plate before brushing on the ink helped release the print more successfully onto the paper. (If anyone out there has a different or better method, please pass it along!) These initial prints can be incorporated into collage, layered with further drawing, painting, lettering or even another layer of printing. Luce is incorporating a series of her small prints into an accordion book (below). Yes, it was a lot of fun. Play is good! I hope to be able to post some of the finished products from these prints. (Note: some of these prints may not be in their proper orientation. Since they are still unfinished and unsigned, I was not certain.)

Above, 3 variations of printing with wheat grass. first, Janice Kiska, second and third, Rita Foltz
Above, free-form print by Janice Kiska
Above, by Rita Foltz
A combination of brayer, brush and writing with a rubber tool, Julie Wildman
Above, ink brayered on, and written into with rubber tools, Julie Wildman
Above, my first somewhat successful attempts (and 'landscape' above) with a brush and ink. These two narrow strips were actually printed over with a second layer of color.
These 5 strips were taken from some of Luce Zolna's prints for the day and are laid out here for an accordion book design, which she is very good at! (I apologize for the blurry photo!)

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