Monday, June 10, 2013

Beyond Monotype Workshop in Santa Fe, part 1

Hi everyone! I'm back from the "Beyond Monotype" workshop given by Ron Pokrasso in Santa Fe at Making Art Safely and I am still trying to process everything I learned. 
To put it bluntly: I made a breakthrough with my work while I was there as I learned a very new process for me- monotype. To say that this workshop was merely "really good" was an understatement. (More on what makes a good workshop in a separate post).  It was a profound experience and it was exactly what I needed to get my work out of the doldrums of "solarplate printed on a somewhat painterly background" (My version of a monotype!) that I have been doing for months. When what you are doing with your art becomes too easy and you cease to be challenged, it's time to break out of your usual routine and take a leap! It can be really scary for some....and weirdly exciting and stressful for others. I took the leap with this workshop. In fact, everyone in the workshop had huge breakthroughs in their work. I urge you to think about taking a leap with your artwork this year! 
Ron Pokrasso demonstrating inking up a transparent PETG plastic plate. 
Learning the monotype process from Ron is a real treat since he combines it with other's truly mixed media printmaking. We learned to combine various types of monotype mark-making such as reduction, contact, additive, multi-plate, ghost images, Chine-collé,  including my new favorite, making your own Chine-collé papers by printing Solarplates into Japanese washi. We  printed exclusively with Akua inks onto dry paper (!) and the results were amazing, with superior detail and vibrant, rich colors. Ron Pokrasso converted from traditional oil-based inks to the much safer Akua several years ago, so he really knows this product and knows how to get the most out of it. 
Ron demonstrating how to print a second plate over a ghost image. 
The resulting far! He's not finished yet. 
A demonstration of adding contact monotype drawing to the print. Note the change in the intensity of the green: a "veil" of opaque white was applied to knock down the green. 
Three Chine-collé elements added to the print as well as
a textured bit of reddish ink on the bottom and yellow ink on the sides.
I resisted adding Chine-collé to my work for a couple of days...until I was shown how to use a Solarplate (or other intaglio plate) printed on thin Japanese paper as a custom Chine-collé element. This got me really excited! I had brought a couple Solarplates, including a boat plate and tried it out. 
Look familiar? This was printed onto thin gampi, a  type of Japanese tissue paper. 
My plate inked and Solarplate print bits applied, ready to print. 

Ron showing how to integrate the Chine-collé bits into the print.
Cool stuff! I created fourteen 15"x22" prints (half sheet) in this workshop. Most of the prints are not resolved, but that's OK. I can continue to work on them over the next few weeks. Once they are finished, I will post them!
Here is the first print I made.  It's busy, chaotic, and exuberant  but it does have a certain charm. I might re-work it since it might be a little over the top, but for now, I'm OK with sharing. 
Coming off the press...this was done with two plates; the pink and orange colors are
on a separate plate, so it was run through the press twice.

More photos of the workshop coming soon: other people's prints, a little of the art in Santa Fe, and some finished prints from me! Just too much to tell in one afternoon....

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