monoprinting: a few results…

Monoprint © Mari French 2017

Monoprint © Mari French 2017

Well, here are some of the results of my recent monoprinting on gel plate sessions (as written about in my previous post here). I’m fairly pleased with some of them, not so sure about others, but trying out a completely different process or medium is a great way of shaking you out of an artist’s block or the doldrums or that feeling of ‘what next’. I recommend it!

I soon learnt a few things too…
Printmaking paper may work better than watercolour paper (less size), so I’ve ordered some Somerset smooth white paper;
Open acrylics (Golden) definitely work better (as do Atelier Interactive) as they don’t dry quite so fast. Alternatively I found that adding gloss acrylic medium helped with consistency and slowed down drying time a bit;
Allow lots of time for cleaning up and do it often, acrylics seem to dry particularly quickly on brayers.

 

I’d still like to produce the soft look of the paint on the gelli plate itself; by the time the image has been transferred to the paper it’s lost that quality. Something worth working on.

After a few days of producing these prints I decided to have a break and go back to painting (acrylics) for a while, and it’s been interesting how the monoprinting has fed back into the new paintings. But more of that in the next post!

in the zone …

Byzantine winter. Mixed media on paper. 25x55cm. © Mari French 2017.

Byzantine winter. Mixed media on paper. 25x55cm. © Mari French 2017.

Well, having decided to go for blue autumnal sky colours with dashes of gold etc this week inspired by clear days at the coast, I found myself in the studio yesterday, messing about mixing up moody bruise colours – enlivened with coppers and bronzes. Sometimes it’s as though something else takes over and says ‘no, we’re doing this today’.

I was completely in ‘the zone’, that fabulous desirable state all artists crave but which doesn’t happen often enough! I was completely running on instinct and my subconscious, with a handful of brushes loaded with pigment and lots of hands-on pushing the paint around with the side of my hand and fingers. Crucially, I then slowed down and moved in close, taking my time with tender considered marks, enhancing the shapes and ‘openings’ in the paint.

This time the work above emerged and I had that delicious feeling of ‘just right’ as I stepped back from the easel. What a lovely change from the feelings of frustration that are all too common when painting (or creating anything).

Byzantine winter (detail). © Mari French 2017.

Byzantine winter (detail). © Mari French 2017.

All too often I skip that last stage, the slowing down and considering. I usually have a tendency to go all for it, with lots of energetic paint application and markmaking, which can often make for exciting work and I love it. Sometimes though, I have a feeling I’ve just gone that little bit too far and unlike in digital painting there is no ‘undo’ function. It’s all part and parcel of learning through constant work of course. But when you get that ‘oh’ moment… it’s wonderful.

The trick now of course will be to continue in this vein, to get back into that ‘zone’, because I want to produce more of these.

an artist’s journey …

Creative online platform Fleur and Arbor regularly share their space with selected photographers and female artists. I was approached by them a month ago to see if I’d be interested in featuring on their website. I was and this week I am delighted to be their guest artist.

Completing their questionnaire about my work, influences and how I came to paint abstracts was interesting and useful. I’m convinced that it’s beneficial for artists to occasionally take stock and consider how and why they do what they do. You can read my own responses to these considerations at the Fleur and Arbor website on the link below:

Q&A with Mari French