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Fun Time With Monotypes

October 11, 2012

This morning, before starting on any other projects, I cleared the decks in the studio so I could begin experimenting with some new monotypes. This wasn’t an easy task. I had to dig out my plexi plates from the box under the two other boxes, then clear the collage papers off the table. Then I had to dig out my big clamp that I use to hold the plexi plate firmly to the table, which is also used to hold the paper in place as I make successive passes with the printing plate.

All of this process in detail can be found in a previous series of three blog posts. Part One starts here. Important note: When I first wrote this series of posts, I called them monoprints. I realized my mistake later. These should be referred to as monotypes.  Here are the definitions of each:

I originally wanted to try using some heavy paper stencils with these, but it didn’t work out well with the plexi. Or at least it didn’t for me. It seemed too rigid to get a good impression of the stencil shapes, so I ditched that idea and just made freehand strokes with paint on the surface of the plate. The more successive passes with the plate, the richer the image becomes. Although I do have to add that one of them got away from me a little bit, so I just kept adding impressions until it looked OK.

I have been wanting to do gelatin prints, because with gelatin you get a surface that yields to pressure and would make a much nicer impression of stenciled shapes. But after reading about the creation and care of a gelatin plate, I opted for the synthetic version instead. I’ve ordered one 6×6″ Gelli Plate, which should be here any day. I’m excited about trying it!

Most of these experimental prints won’t be something I’ll want to sell or frame, but they can all be used in collage. That pleases me a lot.

I had so much fun. The time flew by, and the 2 hours I had originally blocked out for the printmaking session quickly ran into four. I forgot to eat lunch! But after cleaning up my tools, plates, brayers, and hands, I did finally manage to get a quick bite.

12 Comments leave one →
  1. October 11, 2012 8:51 pm

    Martha – Really enjoyed this posting. Learned alot of good information. But, I did have to smile when you spoke of digging through and moving stuff to get to what you needed for this project – sounds familiar:)) Loved the very first piece – very first and to the left – great movement and exciting color.

    • October 18, 2012 6:06 am

      Thanks Shirley! Digging things out can get to be a little bit of a challenge, especially since I keep so many different tools of the trade around here. 🙂

  2. October 11, 2012 10:54 pm

    I’d love to know what you think of the gelli plate. I’ve been wanting to try doing this to make up some fun papers to use in my art work, just haven’t had a chance to buy and try yet.

    • October 18, 2012 6:07 am

      Lynn, I am so glad I decided to get it. It is way more fun than I had imagined. I have always loved printmaking, and for monotypes this is absolutely the best solution.

  3. October 12, 2012 3:59 am

    Oooh yes! These are such fun. Top right has such a landscape feel to it. Look forward to reading about the Gelli Plate and seeing the results; I’ve seen a few people refer to them lately.

    • October 18, 2012 6:09 am

      Cath, the possibilities with this gelli plate are limited only by time and imagination. It’s lightning fast. Apply paint, pull print, pull a ghost print on a second sheet if desired, wipe plate, repeat! And layering several prints on one sheet is what gives you wonderful complexity.

  4. Anonymous permalink
    October 12, 2012 8:26 am

    my favs were the top right and bottom left [orange] they seemed to have more movement to me

  5. October 17, 2012 7:20 am

    These are fun, thank you for all the info on the process, looking forward to seeing what you get up to with the Gelli Plate

  6. November 13, 2012 9:10 pm

    Loving the colors and compositions!!

    • December 3, 2012 9:04 am

      Thanks for popping in and commenting, Lynne! I’ve only just now gotten back to responding to some comments. I’m so glad you like the new stuff, and can’t recommend the gelli plate highly enough. You would love it, and the fact that it requires no care and feeding! 😉

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