Monday, February 2, 2009

Experimenting with brayers

I'm planning to get more involved with monoprinting and I'm looking forward to seeing what kind of effects I can get just by using a brayer loaded with color. I had started a bit of this while working on some woodcuts (as seen with the gourd print) and I am fascinated with the process of combining monoprint painting on a woodcut plate as well as on the customary plexiglass plate.

My friend and mentor, Bruce Waldman creates amazing monoprints with a variety of textures and techniques but he draws the images with the edge of his brayer. The line is so expressive and there is movement and energy in every one of his monoprints. I have been awed by the mastery, spontaneity and strength of the lines in Bruce's monoprint work and when he told me that it was done with the edge of a brayer, I was amazed and inspired.

The thought of the use of brayers to draw and make marks on a plate has opened up many possibilities for future work in my mind. Not just for working with brayers but for using all kinds of tools to create textures and lines even if that was not what they were originally designed for. It is yet another example of how versatile and flexible printmaking is. The seemingly endless possibilities lead to yet more possiblities. So much to try, so little time.


ainesse said...

Hi Spiderink I happened upon your blog today because of a Google alert. I was most interested to read your post about making monoprints with a brayer? I also looked at your friends work Bruce...........

I am not so keen on the nature of the imagery but WAS encouraged to have a look because of the enthusiasm of your post.................the other thing was that, because they don't become very enlarged when you click on them I could'nt get a sense of the mark making that you had mentioned.

I look forward though to seeing what you come up with, as and when you get around to playing with it??!! As you say and I of course know what you mean, there are so many possibilities to explore. It really is like a toyshop. But as with all things you do have to work at things to get anywhere with it.

I popped over to your Flickr page and my attention was caught by the print called Thistle1 , a drypoint.

I very much like this and it's a technique that I am about to try out. I mean to use just drypoint i.e., no chine colle or any other techniques, I am anticipating will be such a challenge esp to someone like me who loves to be free to throw whatever seems like a good idea at the time into the pot.

What implements have you used to make this drypoint? Do you remember? Also do you have a larger jpg of this? I so far have listed that one can use sandpaper, wire wool and wire pan scourers (different thicknesses/quality of of wire) drypoint tool (diamond) cross hatching, anyway would appreciate if you have any more thoughts ideas on it.
I am thinking of using perspex to work on so that I can ink it and see what's going on with it as I proceed and to save the "burr"from the degradation of the press pressure.

bye for now

love you animal drawings too - we have a bird house as well. Today saw a fat robin and a skinny robin.. but he's ok.

Amie Roman said...

Thanks for the link to your friend's site; those monotypes/monoprints are just gorgeous. I love his mark-making ability, and find it hard to believe it's done with the edge of a brayer, but can envision at least some of the marks made on this one with that technique. I would love to watch him work. How very clever!

I had played with colourful monoprints and relief prints in a couple of my works (here and here) and then got caught up in the flow of the reduction. I think there is endless opportunity for colour play with the technique you've used in your gourd print, and so much exciting variation. Thank you for reminding me!

I look forward to your further experimentation. :)