Tuesday, August 20, 2013
Drawings of Sculptures, Monotypes of Drawings
I had a studio day today at my friend Linda's studio. We were motivating each other to get going on some new work, starting with some monotypes. As we sat taking a lunch break, I drew some pieces of sculpture that I greatly admire in her collection. On the left is a ceramic baby figure by Elma Johnson. On the right is a ceramic woman by Gladys Reineke.
And on this page, two mother and child ceramic pieces, both also by Gladys Reineke. I love the rough indeterminacy of Reineke's and Johnson's work. I like the idea of not fixing a living being too firmly in place, because living creatures are never completely still and never really static. With this idea in mind, I went into the studio and did two monotypes after drawings that I did several weeks ago of Jesse stretching.
The monotype on the right came from a drawing I did of Jesse as he rolled around and stretched. To make a monotype, I rolled oil paint on a zinc plate with a rubber brayer. Then using rags, Q-tips, and a blunt stick I moved the paint around, removing some, texturing it in areas, and then adding some with a thin brush. When the drawing on the plate looked like I wanted it to look, I lay it on the bed of Linda's etching press and put damp printmaking paper over it. Then I lay the three etching blankets over the plate and paper and ran the whole thing through the press. The first drawing, which I did in a mix of alizarin crimson and Payne's gray, consisted of a white cat outlined by the color with a few features drawn in. Next I took the still-inked plate over to the work table and rolled a brayer full of yellow ochre paint over everything. I then wiped out with a rag and some plate-polishing powder all the areas I wanted to remain white. I lay the plate down inside the plate mark/borders of the first print and printed this second drawing right over the first print.
Both these monotypes were done with the same small zinc plate, around 5 x 7". It felt great to do them and to work directly in color, using both additive and subtractive processes. I want to do a few more moving cat monotypes and then translate them into large woodcut prints.
One of the great benefits of this drawing 10,000 project is that I now have a very big collection of ideas to work from, and my drawing skills in making monotypes are so much better, thanks to all that practice, than they were two months ago.