Printmaking Play Date
Here is a printmaking exercise for you. Print two sheets of thumbnails from paintable images snapped on your phone. Let’s make some light field color monotypes, but loose and fluid… no fussing allowed. If you don’t already have a folder of compulsively harvested art reference photos on your computer, walk around the house and snap some, or go for a walk, and collect some simple, visual magic.
Artist Reference Photos
hundreds (okay, thousands – I admit it) of landscape images snapped from the passenger seat while driving around California when our kids played in softball and volleyball travel teams. I printed two thumbnail sheets – on plain paper… nothing fancy. Now, you go do that too. Gather your two sheets of quickly selected and printed thumbnails, and pull out your monotype printmaking supplies. Let’s get some light field color monotype art going. (If you’re not a printmaker, or you’d rather play with watercolor today, go here and do this.)
Monotype Printmaking Supplies
(NOTE: Some links are affiliates. There’s no additional cost to you. I’ll earn a wee commission if you make a purchase. These are all products I’ve used in my studio. Thank you for supporting my blog so I can share more experiments with you.) Akua ink, rubber gloves, a stir stick, an apron, masking tape, paint brushes, a palette to mix ink (if you don’t have one, tape down several sheets of mylar, or yupo paper, or a sheet of acrylic/plexiglass, etc.), paper towels, a rinse bowl, smooth, lightweight printmaking paper, cotton swabs, rubber-tipped marking tools, a sheet of mylar or yupo or plexi to print from, and your reference thumbnails.
Printing Monotypes on a Press
Lay a sheet of mylar on some non-skid, or tape the corners down, and use Akua ink (or any slow-drying ink/pigment on hand) to spontaneously, without a preconceived notion of what you’ll produce, start painting an image on the mylar. Choose a photo, grab your brushes and start painting.
Slide Into the Printmaker’s Driver Seat
Don’t get too fussy… just print it (if you don’t have a press, use your hands or a baking pin), and then wipe the mylar and make another one. And repeat. And repeat. Keep in mind that YOU are in control of the negative voices in your head, so if you hear them banging around in there out of habit, command them, firmly, to shush. Play music, or listen to an audiobook or a podcast, because science says those joy-robbing little boogers can’t be heard if your brain is busy listening to something more pleasant and engaging.
Fluff Your Artist’s Sense of Wonder
Don’t overthink it. Lock your inner critic in the basement. Tape the mouth of your naysayer. Expel the fretful, hand-wringing Queen of Indecision voices from your mouth with a spit and rinse into the sink. Give yourself the GIFT of making art, for just a piece of the day. Be unbridled, childlike, and open-minded, with a deliberate reveal of the long-suffocated Wonder buried under those grown up judgements. Play with your art supplies. Keep it Simple.
Process Over Perfection
If you make six or seven color monotypes, you’re bound to be pleased with one of them, or maybe you’ll love ALL of them. Even if they’re all duds, pat yourself on the back for getting your hands on art supplies. That’s called practice. At the very least, you experimented with loosening up your creative mojo, and focusing on Making Something. No matter the outcome, that process-part is more important than building a masterpiece. Let me know how it went when you’re finished.
Thanks for stopping by and I’ll see you in the next post –
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I must say I like bright colours. I rejoice with the brilliant ones, and I am genuinely sorry for the poor browns. When I get to heaven I mean to spend a considerable portion of my first million years in painting, and so get to the bottom of the subject. But then I shall require a still gayer palette than I get here below. I expect orange and vermillion will be the darkest, dullest colors upon it, and beyond them, there will be a whole range of wonderful new colours which will delight the celestial eye.Winston Churchill