Monday, June 8, 2009

No Tears In Heaven

So while I was tinkering with my woven-fabric collage I started playing with monoprints. This is a mixed media collage on canvas (5" x 5"). Other media used besides my own monoprints were copper mesh, plastic mesh, tulle, tissue paper, fluid acrylics and a metal charm. The title for this one is "No Tears In Heaven". It's part of a series I'm working on with the theme Finding My Way Home.

A few sets of the monoprints I made are posted below in order of my preference. I spent the better part of yesterday just cranking them out. I used the artist Paula Grasdal's technique as described in the book, Mixed Media Collage by Holly Harrison. Ooh, I love this book! In Paula's technique you don't need a printing press (something I don't have) to make your monoprints but you still get decent results.

You just need a sheet of plexiglass to use as your printing plate, some rice paper (or other translucent papers), water soluble oil paints (gouache), newsprint and a brayer. These papers are all about 6" x 6". They will be torn later and used in larger works.

I like the colors in the first two sets the most:

The blues and the peachy reds turned out much better than the photos (as usual). I used a bird stencil for one of the prints just to see how it would translate. I did like the result with that one.

And in these last two sets I just mixed colors that were left over on the printing plate, placed moistened rice paper over top of it and burnished with a brayer. The shapes are made by tearing newsprint into whatever shape you want and laying it over the wet paint before you lay down your rice paper. This was the set I used for the collage I just finished:

Paula suggested making small art studies with the torn papers to play with the composition before trying a large canvas. That's what I did with this first canvas. I have a bunch of small 5"x5" canvasses that I got on sale a long time ago and those will work perfectly.

I still need to work on mixing colors but for a first try working with the gouache I'm pretty happy with the results. I have a lot of other sets that I didn't photograph. Once I got on a roll yesterday I made sure to make a big stash to be able to choose from when I sit down to do another canvas. I also included one of the Digital Grounds images that I printed onto tulle a while back. It's the face in the lower left corner.

I keep adding to and taking items from the woven-fabric collage. It's about 75 percent finished; still looking for one more piece. I'll know it when I find it! ;)

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