BEGINNING & PROCESS, MEDIUM DEFINITION, and NAMING PRINTS
In 1989, after a long hiatus from painting, I thought the time had finally come to try another medium. Surprisingly this desire to return to art coincided with overhearing a discussion between two colleagues at work who were discussing monoprinting methods they had learned in class. As I listened and looked at their prints, I began asking questions, and when they responded, I realized this was the medium for me, and a perfect way to return to art as a personal and creative endeavor.
In 1990 I enrolled in a Monotype/Monoprint class, and from that moment on I discovered the awesome versatility of this medium, and how experimentally creative and expansive the use of unconventional tools and textured materials could be in producing unusual images of high quality. When I "pulled" my first print* I became very excited. The overall technical quality of the print was sharp: the design was strong, and the textures and colors were clean, balanced, and harmonious. I continued to limit myself to abstract imagery so I could be free and open to concentrate exclusively on experimental issues. This turned out to be an exhilarating time, highly productive covering two intensive semesters.
*The First Is Always Special can be seen during the slide show below.
Artist looks up after examining the quality of the printed abstract image.
DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A MONOTYPE AND MONOPRINT
Monotypes and monoprints are both unique, one-of-a-kind prints. Monotypes are painted images on Plexiglas or another kind of plate, and placed on a dampened paper while wet, and run through the press. Monotypes can have many layers of printings, but each layer is unique and not repeatable. However, monoprints, also unique and one-of-a-kind, have an additional element—a repeatable image, for example from lithography, woodcut, or etching—added to the print. Generally speaking, monoprints have a more expansive and versatile look, and can also be comprised of a combination of images from photos, drawing tools, stencils, textured materials, and found objects.
LAST STEP: NAMING PRINTS
When I deem one of my prints complete, it demands a suggestive title, one that reflects the embedded content of the abstraction and the artist. The title serves as a hint, a guide or door, if you will, into the realm of beautiful interactive abstract elements and representational symbols that live together within the composition that suggests something beyond itself— something hidden in the recesses of the viewer's mind and in the print.
Usually finding and bringing words together to form an authentic title is never a quick process; it is often frustrating. It requires the artist to rediscover the inferential image from a different vantage point, as a kind of outsider, and yet, carrying the insider-genesis of the work. This duality creates a dynamic engagement for discovering words and combinations of meanings in an ongoing process until the title takes shape. The title is integral to the content contained in the image, wherein lies the soulful visual truth of the artist ready to be discovered by an intrigued viewer.
SEE SLIDE SHOW BELOW
Materials and tools for plate preparation at print studio.
FRAGMENTS OF A PAST COME TOGETHER Monoprint