Lacking direction today, I used my new Gamblin Prussian Blue etching ink to play and dance with my long-lost love: the monotype. I find myself always circling back to this printmaking process and, sort of in a chicken-and-egg type scenario, I'm never sure if the love of nature or the monotype comes first, but they are never separate in my work. I came across plant cross sections recently and couldn't get the beautiful images out of my thoughts. I'm overwhelmed by the beauty found within the rhythm, repetition and structure in nature. Even at its most intimate, at its deepest layers, there are awe-inspiring wonders and inspiration.
I spent a bit of time on google revisiting and, without a plan, jumped in when it felt right. It's been a long time since I've played on a plexiglass plate. I bought a new hard rubber brayer- my favorite tool for when I was creating mountains. But, the organic, circular shapes of cell structures are too soft for a geometric tool. It was difficult to navigate the ink again. I will have to go over some old notes for my next go-around.
The details turned out well- the composition needs work. The Prussian blue is beautiful and will certainly be carried through to more prints. I plan to explore more mark-making tools and perhaps try an additive rather than a reductive method in the future.
My print shop, Second State Press:
My process and prints:
One of my favorite parts of the monotype process is the "ghost print": the second print pulled using the same inked plate. Oftentimes it appears much less saturated and intense as most of the ink is transferred to the first print. This time, having globbed on the ink quite liberally, I ended up with two very different prints and the ghost (right) was more dynamic than the first (left). This was certainly a happy accident.
Detail of ghost print: