I have a couple of opportunities to show my work coming up next month, so I’m working in the studio a lot this week. I haven’t made any new work since last summer, so I’ve decided to make some collages from monoprints and Japanese Moku Hanga woodcuts I made last summer.
The monoprints are done in black ink on 10″ x 8″ white Arches 88 rag paper. I ran the paper through the press with some stencil elements on the plate. Then I printed the plates again for a ghost print, then again with more ink and more stencil elements. The suite of prints are all related, but all different. It was a very relaxed, free-flowing printing session. I was well pleased with the group, but they don’t send me.
The woodcut prints are printed in multiple colors on 8″ x 5″ Japanese paper. They’re made with two blocks, one a rectangle with a few triangles cut out, and the second a similar rectangle with a pattern of rotating triangular marks, similar to the triangle cut outs on the first block. I printed some in two colors, others on a single color, and a third group in two colors, with the patterned block printed twice in opposite directions. Again, some prints turned out great, and others were just ok.
As I was editioning and inventorying the prints, I happened to place one of the pink woodcuts onto one of the monoprints, and WOW, something new happened! Which led to the current project of collaging the woodcuts onto the monoprints. Here are some tests. My first thought was to layer the whole woodcut print onto the monoprints. These reminded me of kimonos.
The second one creates a larger background out of 4 prints, with the woodcuts arranged around the perimeter of the assembled background. One corner of each woodcut touches a different side of the background, moving around the outer edge in counter-clockwise fashion.
I still wasn’t sold on these approaches. I showed them to my daughter who urged me not to be so precious with the woodcuts, but to cut openings in them to reveal more of the monoprint behind. Now that is a great idea to pursue next!