getting messy with monoprinting…

Pulling the monoprint © Mari French 2017

Pulling the monoprint © Mari French 2017

I’ve wanted to try monoprinting for some time. The one time I had a go (years back) I was not impressed (excuse the pun) but I think I’d used the wrong type of paper, plate and temperament! A monoprint (or monotype) is a unique print taken from a plate on which ink or (in my case) acrylic paint has been spread with rollers. Marks, textures impressed into the ink/paint and shaped masks (eg. paper) can all be used to create and enhance the final image.

Recently inspired by the beautiful and original monoprints of artist Tonie Rigby I decided to try using a gelli plate. These are very popular at the moment but I’ve not been taken by the proliferation of bright colours and patterns often produced. Gel plates can be a bit tricky to get used to and some artists dislike the texture, but apart from the shape (A4, I prefer square sizes, so may have to cut mine down) I quite liked the slight give of the gel.

Having been stunned by Tonie Rigby’s ‘Urban boxes’ work (see her blog link above), I wondered if I too could achieve something different, a progression of my current painting series maybe. If nothing else it would be interesting and hopefully, fun to try.

 

 

Well, today in the studio it was definitely interesting AND fun. I produced over a dozen bits of rubbish before I started loosening up and getting messy, employing more painterly techniques, which is when I work best. I used various acrylic paints and watercolour paper. As with my paintings I wanted to experiment – what would happen if I used this or tried that? …

I must admit I actually liked the look of inked up gel plate itself, perhaps because the transparent surface added another dimension. Today’s work was just the beginning, I’ve just started and have a way to go yet, but I’ll keep at it. Will post more of my monoprinting attempts at a later date.

 

impressions of Venice …

Palimpsest_Collagraph_Mari_French_2013.JPG

I’ve been busy creating and printing a few more collagraphs this week, in preparation for my forthcoming solo exhibition ‘Beyond the Surface’ in King’s Lynn, Norfolk. Most of the new ones are small and I’ve used a variety of ink colours (Hawthorn Inks).

The plan is to sell the collagraph prints at the show, (which will be a variety of abstracted mixed media paintings), simply wrapped at a reasonable price, so there will be something to suit all pockets.

The recent small collagraphs here were influenced by the crumbling facades of buildings I came across in Venice earlier this year. I used scraps of wallpaper, sandpaper, string, muslin and a lovely piece of narrow lace ribbon I picked up at a recent vintage fair, which seems to lend itself well to the suggestion of fine architectural decoration. It also adds to the fun of browsing vintage fairs and the like, looking for textured materials to use.

By the way, I’m sure I’m not the only one to find the used, cleaned plate as interesting in its own right?

Untitled Collagraph, Mari French 2013

Untitled Collagraph, Mari French 2013

Untitled Collagraph, Mari French 2013

Untitled Collagraph, Mari French 2013

Collagraph plate

Collagraph plate, Mari French

 

Printmaking_corner_of_my_studio.JPG

The printmaking corner of my studio

pressing on …

I finally started using my own tabletop press yesterday in my studio, to produce the first of what I hope will be a series of collagraph prints. As regular readers will know I recently attended one of Laurie Rudling’s excellent workshops, so it was good to be able to put the experience into practice.

My aim is to sell the successful prints at my exhibitions, starting with ‘Beyond the Surface’ in King’s Lynn in September, giving visitors who like my work the opportunity to purchase an original piece at a price most people can afford.

Inking up

In the inking up photo above, you can see I’d been trying out a burnt sienna ink, but didn’t like the results (see bottom photo).

Below is the preferred result, a diptych abstract plate inked up in cerulean blue with a raw umber ‘rub’ over it. The wide angle camera lens unfortunately gives it a wonky look! The original print is actually quite square. 

Untitled collagraph, Mari French 2013

Untitled collagraph, Mari French 2013


Something I think many people (including many artists) are unaware of, is that the inked up collagraph plate usually gives only one print, plus perhaps a ‘ghost print’ – a second print usually quite a bit fainter than the first, but often of interest in itself. This means that each collagraph print has a unique quality; it may be from the same plate but each is different due to the individual inking process involved.

collagraph plate inked in Burnt Sienna

collagraph plate inked in Burnt Sienna