Thursday, July 14, 2011

24 days until opening at Piante: What is a monotype? Rembrant, Degas, Diebencorn and Oliveira created monotypes.

This show features 34 oil monotypes on archival paper. They were created at Patricia Sennott’s monotype collective, first using The Ink People’s Center For The Arts (TIP) lab and its hefty etching press. Now relocated to the StewART studios in Arcata after the monotype collective became "homeless" after the 6.5 earth quake in January 2010 made the Municipal Auditorium in Eureka, which housed TIP, unfit to occupy.

Patricia Sennott is an award winning artist know for her vibrant monotypes of birds and florals. She has an occasional, highly coveted, opening in her Friday monotype group. Most of the members keep coming for years. Great master, talented members and an inspiring setting!

Monotyping creates an image by drawing and painting on glass. The artist then transfers this image onto a sheet of dampened paper using a printing press.

It is an ancient art form, used by Rembrandt, Degas, Gauguin, Picasso, Matisse and others. Contemporary artists known for monotypes are Nathan Oliveira and Richard Diebencorn.

To clarify, while it is a print, it is not reproducible but a singular, unique work of art. While many types of printing techniques produce a series of images, the monotype gives you only one.

I find making monotypes a sensual art form - the slick glass, the creamy inks, the hand of the fine paper, the smooth brayers, the gentle movement of the huge press – And the frisson in creating something that you don’t – can’t control completely.

The first photo shows Patricia Sennott printing at the Ink People's lab. In the second you see me with a monotype painting on plexiglass ready to be run through the press, followed by a photo of the big old etching press with a young student. The next photo shows the first three colors (yellow and magenta) of a three color registration monotype. In the following image the final color, cyan, has been added for a multicolor effect. Lastly, a picture of the set up, a glass palette with oil inks, a brayer and knives for mixing. I also use wipes, q-tips, a dental tool given to me by my dentist, sticks and rags. For clean up i use vegetable oil and soapy water.

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