I had a great morning session of hand printmaking this morning. I realized as I looked at the completed images how the rhythm of printing and having a successful session depend on some little things. These become like familiar friends. As I set up I get in printing mode
Acrylics on my worktable: I set out the colors I plan to use for the prints. I love these quart jars of acrylic paints with the nice wide, easy-access lids. Several years ago an artist friend told me about Nova Color paints from California. I have been using them since, and they are also my primary source for matte medium and gel medium. (I buy these by the gallon.) I limit my palette of colors kept on-hand and mix all my printing colors from these basics.
My favorite mixing palette: I tape down a sheet of white paper to the worktable and tape a sheet of waxed paper over that. I mix on the waxed paper. It’s economical and disposable. (And I can also monotype print from the colors on the palette at the end of a session!)
Printing plate: I print by hand from a soft gelatin plate. The plate I am using currently is in a commercial size cookie sheet about 18” x 22”. I mix my own, and use a recipe with glycerin so it does not have to be refrigerated. I have been using this one nearly a year. I also have a commercial gelatin plate I use when I want to have two going at once. Each has its own quirks, and you have to experiment with amount of liquid needed and amount of pressure.
Materials: Generally, I print on muslin, sheer polyester fabric (shown) and rice paper. The more delicate printing materials (the polyester and the rice paper) pick up more nuance and delicate image from the plate. The muslin will print with a more opaque appearance.
Hands on! I use my hands to press stencils and relief materials on the plate and then press my printing surface into the paint. Yes, my hands get pretty messy. But I’ve tried gloves and just don’t like working that way.
Here are a few of the images I created this morning. I’ll be incorporating these into a new art quilt.
While I incorporate monotype printed pieces into all of my large textile collages and art quilts, I’ve also been creating some smaller paper-mounted monotype collage pieces this year. A sample is below, and you can see them on my website HERE
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