So What is a Monoprint?

 
Using a photo of poppies from my garden as a reference I paint the dye on the screen is a loose painterly way. The screen is raised from the table on shims so that the tabletop doesn't interfere with my painting.
Using a photo of poppies from my garden as a reference I paint the dye on the screen is a loose painterly way. The screen is raised from the table on shims so that the tabletop doesn't interfere with my painting.

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.

The liquid fabric dye solutions are in a pot pallet but you can't see the colours easily so I've done a colour chart beside my pallet. I use other cups to mix colours. Or I layer colours on the screen as I paint.
The liquid fabric dye solutions are in a pot pallet but you can't see the colours easily so I've done a colour chart beside my pallet. I use other cups to mix colours. Or I layer colours on the screen as I paint.

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.

I've finished my painting of the fabric dyes on my screen. As the dyes dry they get much lighter than the finished print will be.
I've finished my painting of the fabric dyes on my screen. As the dyes dry they get much lighter than the finished print will be.

I learned these techniques in a program at the Haliburton School of the Arts with the fabulous instructor, Linda Kristin Blix. You can find Linda's work on her website.