Monoprints and Monotype are the most painterly among printmaking techniques. They are essentially printed paintings; one-of-a-kind prints conceived by the artist and printed by the artist. No two prints are alike: although some images can be similar. The appeal of the monoprint/monotype lies in the unique translucency that creates a quality of light very different from a painting on paper or a print. This combination of painting, printmaking and drawing mediums is spontaneous.
Monoprinting is a unique process using a combination of painting and traditional printmaking processes. I used a Silk Screen frame with a stretched mesh fabric (historically silk) and paint with a brush, sprayer or wooden sticks on the screen with Procion “H” fabric dye solutions. These dyes are responsible for the brilliant colours. Once the dye is dry, I use a traditional print making technique. A single sheet of Acid-free paper is placed under the screen and taped down. The screen is held up, and using a squeegee I flood the screen with wallpaper paste. In a monoprint, it is the flood stroke that allows the dye to soften. The wallpaper paste, Dynamic 212 premixed, is tested for lightfastness. I then lower the screen onto the paper and pull the print, using the squeegee again with firm pressure to push the dye and paste through the screen onto the paper. You now have an original fine art print. It will be numbered 1/1, named and signed in pencil.
A block is a piece of wood, linoleum or styrofoam used as a matrix for a print. Ink, a mixture of pigment suspended in a water-soluable base with gum arabic, is used for block and Collagraph printing. The ink is applied to the block with a brayer, the block is flipped and positioned on the paper and then a baren or spoon or even just your thumb is used to press the paper into the block to transfer the ink. The number of images printed from the block is called an edition. These identical images are pulled by the artist (in my case) and then numbered in pencil directly on the print (for example, 1/10 through 10/10) In many of my prints I make a block print (take a look at my chicken) and then a monoprint over it. By adding the monoprint over the block print I’ve make each one unique. These are numbered with “V.E.”, meaning various editions.