Monoprints as an Homage to Chagall

I first experienced Marc Chagall’s stained glass windows at the Church of St. Stephan in Mainz, Germany. (Read more about these windows here.) I love the energetic quality of Chagall’s work that seems to draw you — almost physically — into his world.

I created a spiraling monoprint matrix with 1/8 inch painter’s tape, and set out to see where my monoprinting would take me. The following suite of monoprint collages were created with Chagall’s energy and love of color in mind.

Monoprint collage Jubilant Expanse
©Elizabeth Busey. Jubilant Expanse. Monoprint collage (unique). 24 x 18 in.

Jubilant Expanse

Jubilant Expanse got its name from the joyful spray of solvent-created bubbles that populate the starburst matrix. I discovered that adding gold leaf to a small number of the bubbles added to the joy. Swirling sky monoprints join maps from various terrains in hues of orange and yellow to transform what was only a blue and green print to something more.


Monoprint collage Metanoia
©Elizabeth Busey. Metanoia. Monoprint collage (unique). 24 x 18in.


I must admit that Metanoia is my favorite in this suite of monoprint collages. The initial monoprint was a flat blue with a limited spray of solvent-created bubbles. I intentionally used monoprint-created papers in very similar hues to focus the eye toward the center, where I used maps in white with only a few areas of strong color. In some ways, this is the most Chagall-like of the monoprints, given his heavy use of blue in his stained glass windows. But it is also quiet — like the quiet I imagine space to contain.


Monoprint collage Tenuous Terrene
©Elizabeth Busey. Tenuous Terrene. Monoprint collage (unique), 24 x 18.

Tenuous Terrene

I’m continually alarmed at the United State’s bureaucratic retreat from hard won environmental protections. As I write this, I am hearing the reports of the damage from Hurricane Florence and wondering if our leaders will ever connect our actions with these damaging storms. Tenuous Terrene celebrates the variety of human civilization and the diversity of climates, but does so in a sea of blue — reminding me of our rising oceans. Can we stop the spiral of bad environmental policies?

Monoprint collage This Island Earth
©Elizabeth Busey. This Island Earth (unique), Monoprint collage, 24 x 18 in.

This Island Earth

Velvet was the first thing that came to mind when I saw the monoprint that became This Island Earth. I used two brayers to roll on the color, and physically mixed the blue and the yellow-green on the plate. This lead to an uneven blending of the colors and a velvet-like visual texture. Of this suite of monoprint collages, This Island Earth has the fewest maps and the most monoprint designs, which I quite like. I plan to create more monoprints and ghost prints for my future collages.

4 Replies to “Monoprints as an Homage to Chagall”

  1. Like all great artists, you continue to challenge yourself with new media, techniques, and perspectives. These prints are stunning!

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