Monotypes are odd birds, strange fruit. It’s not a painting, yet not reproducible. It can’t clone, but emits ghosts, flickering between positive and negative images. Since it’s almost purely process, and resists planned end results, it’s an artist’s playground. Here’s my process to make one print, step by step.
These are Akua intaglio Inks, made with soy oil for easy clean up. My glass worktop is an old shower door recycled by my husband. The plate you see above is 18″ x 26″, thin plastic from TAPP. I’ve inked it up with warm colors and a few dark marks to get me started. I used an etching press for the prints.
Above, the first run from the plate. Below, another run, with magenta added for depth.
Now I press on a goose I carved with a Dremel engraver and etching needles on a plastic plate.
On the right you can see “brayer geese” from running the brayer over the plate and transfering it. Ghost geese! Then, the strange point where Chance takes her hand to the process happened. I wanted to add a dark layer in my next transfer. I spread random lines of dark ink and picked it up with a large roller. The rounded pattern ended up looking like bird and egg forms! I had just seen a Motherwell at the DeYoung and was reminded of his use of dark form over light.
Here you can see the plexiglass plate set over the paper so I could get an idea of what it might look like. Strange, but I found it compelling, so I rolled it through the press.
Finished! At the same time, I had been working on another. Both of these were done with the same plate. I just kept wiping the plate and applying more colors in different variations. Here is the second monotype in the series.
It’s exhilarating to be aligned for a moment to the unpredictable processes of making.