Posted in inspiration, process

Getting rid of rigidity with adventures in Monoprinting

As this is the year of experimentation, this old goat (Capricorn…not that I give much credence to that stuff) decided to try to introduce new ways of mark making into her artist’s life. There is the fun side project that is Tex and Bonnet, which is a collaboration with Jimmy and our friends Super Fun and Fantastic. It’s an outlet for collaborative creativity and we’ve already started rolling out some new designs.

I have unearthed my massive sketchbook and am commiting myself to adding to it every day. I have failed 12 of the 14 days of January so far, but my intensions are good and I at least know where the massive sketchbook is.

Today was my first firm step into the realms of rulerless-drawings-of-buildings-and-things-on-buildings. I have tried to do this with pencils and paper but no matter how hard I try to quickly and energetically lay down my line, the rigid, rule-follower in me, the person that practically faints at the sight of a vertical line that is NOT perpendicular to the bottom edge of the page, persists. I’m clean. My paper is tidy. I have several sizes and types of rubbers at my disposal. (Sorry Americans, that would be ‘erasers’ to you and yes, I realise you are practically weeing yourselves with laughter right now).

Monoprinting‘ was my word for the day. A brayer was purchased, as were papers and inks. I’d read a book and saw some helpful Youtube videos and now it was time to commit. The thing about monoprinting is that you cannot rest y0ur delicate hand on the paper because if you do too much of that, you are going to smear the heck out of the image side of your paper. So. Lines must be laid out decisively and quickly. Look at your subject, then commit. There is no erasing unnecessary or ugly line. You may be able to fudge it with a scribble and call it a ‘tree’ or ‘foliage’ but there’s not much to hide something errant.

It took a few tries to lay on the ink correctly as too much ink turns the entire paper, erm, inky. But even that mistake wasn’t too catastrophic. The unfortunate thing about monoprinting is that, as indicated by the prefix, it is a one shot printing adventure. I do have ideas, though, on what I can do with these monoprints for the future. I haven’t abandoned my print on fabric artworks. In fact, these monoprinting adventures are going to segue into developing my process. I’m really digging this monoprinting lark as it challenges me to create artwork that is so very different from what I’ve been doing the last three years.

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I remember reading an excerpt from an article about Tracy Emin. Emin and her friend travelled in the states. I can image her in some desert, dust clouds kicking up and the heat beating down. In my imagination, she’s wearing aviator shades (when they were tragic) and sitting in an itchy, fold out, lawn chair – you know – the kind with the plaid design, woven in plastic, frame made of cheap metal.  Actually, it was rather a different kind of chair in which she sat.  And as a matter of fact, here is a link to the photo that feeds my imagings.

As for this blog and my joke that it is ‘relentless self-absorted chat about what I do,’ I find that for me, the writing about making art and inspiration is as important as the making of it. It almost feels as if I can’t have one without the other.

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Author:

I am an artist living and working in a rather gorgeous city. My art can be purchased in various shops throughout the city as well as from my online shop. I also work as a primary school art teacher. I feel lucky that I can divide my time between the two activities.

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