This week tiny tape makes it debut in my creation of monoprint collages. I used black 1/16 inch chart tape from Dick Blick and was pleasantly surprised at how well the tape behaved. To make sure the tape sticks well, I always clean the plate with denatured alcohol to remove any grease before taping. I also run the taped uninked plate through the press with several layers of newsprint to make sure everything stays stuck down.
Blues begin a theme
The beginning monoprints in this suite all start with blue — a bit of Prussian blue with a little naphthol orange. Astral Neighborhood (below) is inked with blue, and then sprayed with tiny droplets of solvent. The colorful squares were created on separate papers. I use Masa paper here because it is thinner and doesn’t show a white edge when cut with an Exacto knife.
Some of the papers were created with a plate that was completely covered with masking tape. I rubbed ink into the tape, and then polished off the top – like an etching is inked. Other papers were the ghost of this particular monoprint. You can see the solvent marks, but the blue is much lighter.
Some papers made me think of raindrops
In my second monoprint collage, the beginning print was plain flat blue. This was actually a bit more challenging to begin. I used the same papers and maps, with fewer colors and more blues. The ghost print with the solvent reminded me of raindrops, and I imagined looking down at one of those planned subdivisions from a wet airplane window.
I wanted to see what gold leaf would look like if used in larger area. I added areas to several polygons that were “unfinished.” The resulting effect felt like a stepping stone path through my imaginary planned world.
Lots of tiny cut pieces took some time, and I found I had to be careful to keep the composition feeling as though it was cohesive. But I also wanted to give the eyes many places to follow and secrets to discover.
Next time, two monoprints that began with (gasp!) roller marks will be featured… Don’t worry. It comes out all right in the end.