Sunday, May 23, 2010

Another in a series

"Lab Animal"
Plate size: 15" x 11 3/8"
 Monotype on Rives BFK

This is another monotype that is part of a series that I'm doing on primates used for vivisection in the labs. My work on these monoprints has been difficult in two ways. Firstly, and more poignantly, I have to work through the anger and disgust that I feel at the scientists who torture primates, sentient and sensitive cousins to our species. And secondly, I have work through my learning curve in creating monotypes. 

I can see that I am getting better at this as I work, but it does get frustrating when they don't all come out as well as I'd like. Hence, the previous post on what to do when faced with that particular challenge. You may also want to read the comment that Aime Roman made on my last post. She offers some good advice about other media to use besides pastels on monotypes. 

And by the way, kudos to Aime for making the list of 50 Incredibly Inspiring Printmaking Blogs!

Friday, May 14, 2010

When It Doesn't Work

"Not Alarmed Yet"
Pastel on monotype, Rives BFK

There are times when monotypes don't come out the way you planned and that can be a good thing resulting in a "happy accident" where you end up with something both wonderful and unexpected. However, this is not always the case with some monotypes, sometimes they just don't come out well at all. So what to do?

I had been taking all my failed prints (monotypes, etchings, woodcuts, etc) and storing them in a drawer with the hope that I would figure out what to turn them into at some later time. Perhaps tear then up and make them part of collages or paint over them and see if there was any more I could get out of them. But the pile in my drawer just kept getting bigger until I decided it was time to dig in and see what I could do with my failed prints.

I started experimenting with mediums that work on top of Rives BFK (the paper I use most for printmaking) and which will work on top of the oil-based inks that I use for my prints. I pulled out my pastels and started playing with layering color lines on top of one of my monotype ghost prints (a second print from a monotype plate that has already gone through the press once). I have been working towards loosening up my drawings and I thought I'd practice a bit with the pastel lines on this monotype. The result is what you see above. A loose pastel drawing that has a monotype "underpainting." I still need to work on this and I suspect I'll improve with practice, but I kind of like the effect that's achieved by using this technique. It also gives me hope that I will finally be able to do something with those "failed" prints stacking up in my drawer. I might have some future successes just waiting to be discovered in that stack.