Monoprinting – A New Direction

Monoprinting at Fleisher

Monoprinting at Fleisher

Last summer I decided it was time to push my printmaking skills in a new direction. I began printmaking almost 10 years ago with a summer workshop in Silkscreen printmaking at Fleisher Art Memorial. I fell in love with the techniques, the process, and the prints that were possible. I kept taking the class every term it was offered, and moved from student to teacher’s assistant and finally to instructor.

Now I’ve decided that I need to deepen and broaden my printmaking skills. Fleisher offered 2 printmaking classes: Monoprint, taught by Katherine McFadden, and Japanese Moku-Hanga woodblock, taught by Katie Baldwin.

Monoprinting is a fast relief printing process where you ink a plate (Plexiglas, copper, anything smooth and flat), and draw or mark into the ink; or place items onto the inked plate; then place paper down on the plate and run it through the press. And voila! You have a one-of-a-kind print. Unlike other printmaking techniques, you cannot make an edition in monoprint. Each print is unique. But it is fast and fun. After the first print, there is still ink and imagery on the plate that will print much lighter than the first, called a ghost print. You can go back into the process and add more layers, especially into the ghost print.

This process unleashed my playful creativity. As Jasper Johns said, “Do something, do something to that, and then do something to that.” You can see from this photo taken in the studio how much fun I had.

And it has been rewarding. I donated two prints I made in that class to Dear Fleisher, 4 X 6 Inches of Art, the biennial fundraiser at Fleisher Art Memorial. They sold, and one of them was used on the Fleisher calendar.

Summer Bloom (Ghost), 2012© Bill Brookover

Summer Bloom (Ghost), 2012
© Bill Brookover

A second print, Summer Bloom (Ghost), was accepted into the Monotype Guild of New England Third National Monotype/Monoprint Juried Exhibition. The show was juried by Mark Pascale, Curator in the Department of Prints and Drawings, Art Institute of Chicago. It opens Saturday, March 2 at The Gallery at Barrington Center for the Arts, Gordon College, in Wenham, MA. It closes April 6, 2013. I hope my friends in New England can stop by!

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