Wednesday, May 27, 2009

MONO PRINT SELF PORTRAIT



I decided to do a self portrait today to mark the beginning of my 67th year. I work on a MacBook and there is a built in program called "Phone Booth" which is the camera and then some variations. It works better than a mirror because when you are looking at the image you are not looking directly into your own eyes because the camera is in the top of the lid. You get a different perspective. It is a cruel, cruel camera. You wouldn't believe the lines it added to my face!

I found a wonderful blog by a terrific artist who does a lot of print making. Her name is Belinda Del Pesco and you can find her by clicking on the title of this blog. It will take you right there. Belinda posted a mono print she made using Caran D'ache watercolor crayons. I was intrigued. She put it through a press which I don't have. She was kind enough to e-mail me encouragement and a few helpful hints, so I thought today would be a good time to try it out. I found a piece of glass to draw on. I always tape the edges of glass for protection. I started with the crayons but some were resistant to marking on the glass. Curious that some were easier to use than others. I decided to try some of the Stabilo pencils I bought and found them much more user friendly for this project. Unfortunately, I don't have the wide range of colors with the Stabilo, I wet the paper, blotted it and layed it down on top of the painted glass. Belinda suggested I put a sheet of wax paper on top of the paper. Then I used a French Rolling Pin (baking item) and put as much pressure as I could. Anyway, you see the results above.
Not great but it has possibilities. I need to practice this technique and try some variations. I have the new Daniel Smith stick watercolors. I think that might be a very interesting product to try with this process. Belinda also paints on top of her prints and adds other mixed media. Can't wait til tomorrow to experiment further.

10 comments:

Kathy said...

This is an interesting technique and I like the results. The result is decisive and powerful. Thanks for sharing this.

Mary Paquet said...

Myrna, terrific piece. You are right, of course, that those nasty cameras add lines. I can't wait to see where you go with this experiment.

Jane Ferguson said...

Love it Myrna,see you at crit

Nava said...

Very cool - this process yields some nice rough texture, and I like the uncertainty of it.

Again, Happy Birthday!!

Chris Beck said...

Hi Myrna and Happy Birthday!!

Many years ago, I took a workshop in monoprinting without a press. I'm such a packrat that I kept the instructions. Just dug them out of the file and discovered they were printed on a dot-matrix printer -- which dates the workshop to the early Stone Age I believe!! ;-D

Anyway, in a nutshell, we used plexi plates with watercolors - dipping the brush into dish detergent so the paint would adhere. Then we let the plate dry. Mulberry or Masa paper was dipped into water briefly, blotted out between sheets of blotter paper and then laid on the plate. We used 4" brayers on the back of the paper to transfer the image. It was not as clear as a press-run image, but passable.

RHCarpenter said...

Can't wait to see where you take these, Myrna :) Makes me want to try, too. We did this in a Sandy Maudlin class but used gouache on and then transferred it to hotpress watercolor paper and it worked well. I'll have to dig those out and see if I still like them.
And HAPPY BIRTHDAY to YOU!!!

Joyfulartist said...

I really like the results of this process. You come up with the neatest stuff. I'm still blown away by the Tyvek paintings! I tried a similar technique but painted thick watercolor on plexiglass and then pressed the paper on it with a brayer. No need to worry about finger cuts with plexi.

RHCarpenter said...

Well, I found a piece of plexi and had to try this, trying to print my painting on hotpress watercolor paper, on tyvek (didn't work at all), and on all media art board (the best yet) using the crayons. I think it will take a few tries to get this right but it was fun and different. Now I have to try it the way Chris described it...watercolor with the brush dipped in dishwashing liquid.

RHCarpenter said...

Myrna, keep an eye on your mailbox (except when you're painting, that is). Something coming your way just to say Thank You.

Belinda Del Pesco said...

Myrna, Bravo on this fantastic monotype! It's wonderful, and I can't wait to see where you go next! You have such courageous line, I love it!

On printing without a press; you might try a baren or the back of a wooden or metal spoon instead of a roller. All the weight and pressure you can muster concentrated in a small bit of contact under a baren or the back of a spoon (the contact point is a bit smaller than the size of a dime) might be more effective that the same amount of weight spread along the length of a brayer or a rolling pin (the contact point is as wide as the roller and therefore the pressure is distributed & spread out more).

You don't need wax paper over the back of your paper when using a roller, but I'd recommend it if you're going to *rub* the back of your paper with a baren or a spoon. It protects your paper from marring as a result of friction, and it gives a slick surface to zig zag and spiral against while applying pressure. :o)

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