Monotypes and More Works on Paper
Notes on the Monotype Process
Spontaneity characterizes the monotype. A monotype is generally made by brushing printer's ink or oil paint onto a smooth surface such as glass or a metal plate. The image is then transferred to paper before it dries, using a printing press or other means of pressure. I usually use a copper plate on which I paint an idea in oil based etching inks. Next I lay the plate onto the bed of a printing press and put a sheet of blank paper on top of the ink laden plate. The plate and paper are then run through the printing press under great pressure.
Because most of the image is transferred in the printing process, only one strong impression can be taken, hence the term monotype (one print). Additional impressions of the residual image are often printed (ghosts). They are significantly fainter than the first pull, yet at times these lighter, open images are successful as works of art.
The personal nature of the monotype suited experimental artists from William Blake, to Edgar Degas, to Milton Avery, to Mitchell Friedman. These artists used the monotype process to fashion works of great depth and mystery. Their artworks inspire my own.
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