The Monoprint Show

This morning I worked diligently, making the last of my concertina books. I used the technique I learnt at the textile workshop I attended in April, that is,  using a view-finder to home in on small details. I cut pieces out – about 2 x 3 cms and pasted them into the book which was covered with more or the monoprints I’d made.

Just before lunch I took my pieces downstairs into the gallery and found the perfect spot for me. Luckily everyone else needed wall space to hang their work so I wasn’t treading on anyone’s toes. It was a ledge just in front of the window – a perfect height although the view outside had much to be desired.

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I was so pleased with the result – the space was generous to my work and set it off a treat. From  huge  pieces of torn paper I’d come down to precisely cut tiny samples.

I was extremely honoured with the reaction of my tutor, Mel Warwick, as she offered to buy a piece of my work – I was overwhelmed and in the end we did a swap – she’ll be sending me one of her drawings!

A perfect finish to a great week where I’ve learnt to let go more but at the same time take responsibility for my work. Thanks Mel!

Next stage – Thursday

The beautiful summer weather is still holding and the light flooded into the studio space at Cardiff Met. I began the day by hanging my long strip on the wall to see  where I was with it.

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I played around with it for a while, adding bits and taking them off but it had to come off the wall! I wanted to move away from the long strip format I’ve used over the last couple of years and into a new direction.

Tearing up, cutting up.

I made two concertina books with the paper, a curled up form and the final long piece was reduced to a triangular shape.

We’d been told that on the last day the gallery space was available for us to hang our work. I am so excited about the prospect of being able to use such a wonderful space but one more morning in the studio and I have no idea how my work will be displayed.

Middle of the week – monoprinting

My mind was racing last night and I was eager to start class today.  My thoughts were about taking a long strip of paper and wet printing it from dark to light but I was unsure about the logistics – how would I manipulate the paper?

Whilst I was thinking that through I started playing with layers – tearing up the papers and placing them on top of each other.

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This was getting me nowhere.

I returned to the idea of using a long strip of paper so just went for it. Mel was very good at encouraging me ‘just do it!’

Once I had done so I realised that I want more control over my work – I want it to be mine and not just the materials dictating the outcome – I need to be able to have my own voice within my work – to take ownership of it – for it to be genuine. Although I’ve not produced much on paper  I think today has been a huge breakthrough for me . I left class early as I was so tired.

Tuesday’s monoprinting

Today was much more successful but it took me awhile to find a process I delighted in. We started by positive printing – the plate was inked up in the same manner as negative printing, the paper laid on top than the drawing made on the back of the paper. I struggled with this but then went onto using water and …… yes……. this is the way to go!

I used wet ink on dry paper, wet paper on dry ink and wet ink on wet paper. Another breakthrough was using my much beloved lining paper. It’s sturdy, absorbs colour readily and can be used in small or large pieces.

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A week of monoprinting

Today I walked to Howard Gardens for a week’s course at Cardiff Met’s Summer School. Mel Warwick was our tutor, a group of about 12 women, and we met on the top floor of the building offering us wonderful city scape views which then led  out over the bay one side and the mountains on the other.

My heart sank as Mel encouraged us to take pencil to paper, to mark make in response to what we could see outside. This wasn’t an exercise in drawing but more about capturing the lines  of the roofs, tree tops but still I didn’t enjoy the process. Next we were given newspaper to draw on and this freed me up as much of the time I couldn’t see what I’d drawn as the image on the paper was obscuring my lines.

During the group crit – well, more of an opportunity to explain what we had produced – I realised I’d used my newspaper in a different way to the others; I’d ignored what was on the page whilst they had incorporated the  words, and images into their own drawings.

In the afternoon we had a demonstration on how to ink up the printing plate ( a piece of perspex) and how to draw into the ink to make a negative print. Needless to say I wasn’t pleased with my results.

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