What is a Monotype?
A monotype is a one of a kind, hand-pulled print. Even though a monotype is a print, it is an original, not a reproduction. I create an image with etching ink on a smooth glass plate, and transfer the image to paper on a printmaking press. By pressing the plate & paper together with the pigments sandwiched in between, I am able to create a texture not possible when painting directly on paper. After the paper is squeezed against the still-wet image on the plate, I literally peel the paper off the plate. The monotype pulled off the plate almost always has an element of surprise since the art created on the plate is flattened, squeezed and moved around when the paper is pressed into the ink. The final result on paper may look quite different than the image on the plate.
Why not just paint on a canvas instead of a plate?
This is another common question and a good question. I have painted on canvas with oils and acrylics and I found painting to be a wonderful medium. My father was a painter and he inspired me to pursue my interest in art. I have taken several painting courses and although I have enjoyed and learned a lot from all of them, something about printmaking just grabbed me. Printmaking encompasses many printing mediums such as lithography, etching, silk screening and monotypes. I find monotype making the most interesting of these mediums. Monotypes are a very experimental form of art work as even the artist never knows for sure what the final result will be until the monotype is pulled off the plate. I love that element of surprise! For me making monotypes involves all the aspects of the creative process that I love -exploration, experimentation, discovery, intuitivness and a willingness to let go of the need to totally control the outcome. It requires a lot of faith in the creative process. Besides-it's just fun!