Peri Schwartz “Don Pulling a Print” monotype 24×18″ Monotypes are like a painter’s sketch, run through the press. They’re both more immediate, and more re-workable than any other form of printmaking. Once through the press, you can draw or paint on it, or you can do something else and run it through again. It’s instant, and it’s surprising. Every time I do it my brain lights up. Everytime I see other people do it, I see their faces light up. As soon as you make one, you want to make another one! It’s incredible fun. Monotypes are fun, but they aren’t very common, so when I see a monotype or an idea I like, I save it. Here are some monotypes I that I thought were inspiring. Author’s note: you may think I picked these artists for their last names. I did not, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy them. Jane LowBeer I love this first monotype. See those lines marking halfway horizontal and vertically? I think this was printed on 4 separate sheets of paper. Take another look at this lovely still life monotype, as it was in the gallery, so you can see the scale. IF THAT DOESN’T EXCITE YOU, I DON’T KNOW WHAT WILL. All the monotypes below are a very reasonable size of 28×28″ Robert Szot Monotype ink doesn’t have to be black. These are a series of frenetic mixed media and collaged monotypes sized around 15″. Courtesy of the Anita Rogers Gallery. Joe Forkan Portrait of Elizabeth One of the fabulous things about monotypes is that each print leaves some ink on the plate that can be reworked, so if you like what’s happening, you never have to start from scratch. This is a big deal for me, because when I get an image I find interesting, I can see many possibilities, and I would much prefer to make 100 experiments, letting the process take the image this way, then that way, and let’s see what if we do this…. I would much prefer 100 experiments to narrowing down the infinite possibilities, to end up tightened down into one single (and very serious) painting. Monotypes lets artists play! I didn’t find any description of Forkan’s process on these, but I do notice how the image is repeated without substantial deviation to the composition. In other words, each portrait is the same size and composition, which tells me he might not have started from scratch, but instead worked and reworked a single plate, modifying the plate and the print each time. These were listed as monotype and oil paint, so I imagine he used a combination of printing and painting for each. See what I mean? Monotypes are a painter’s print, run through a press. They can be worked and reworked into 100 experiments, cut up and reassembled in infinite ways. They’re incredibly creative inky fun. Hey – Did you know we have a monotype workshop coming up? Still Life Monotypes is this Saturday from 10-4pm. Come make some inky things! See you in the studio.