Tiny tape makes it debut

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.

Geometric monoprint
©Elizabeth Busey. Astral Neighborhood. Monoprint collage (unique), 12 x 12in.

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.

Detail of geometric collage
Detail of Astral Neighborhood

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.

Geometric collage
©Elizabeth Busey. What if We Planned the World. Monoprint collage (unique), 12 x 12inch.

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.

Detail of geometric collage
Detail of What if We Planned the 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.

2 Replies to “Tiny tape makes it debut”

  1. I love it! But, even with your detailed descriptions I’m unable to picture it. Are you collaging the maps and other papers? Where in the process does that happen? Is the tape used only for masking the print, or does some of it stay on? Do you have pictures of the process? I’m mentally challenged. 🙂

    Your long-time fan,

    1. Hi Sharon! I’m just not explaining it well. I originally intended to peel up the masking tape before I printed — so it would look sort of like when you use it on your walls. But decided to print one before… and found that to be more interesting. The tape provides a specific texture AND there is a white line on the sides of the tape where the ink doesn’t reach when I’m using the roller. So it creates a matrix with thin white lines. You can see what I mean (hopefully!) in this blog post…


      After the ink dries, I add the maps and other printed papers. I can clean off the plate (and the tape still sticks) and create another one if I want… Thanks for asking (and reading!)

      A fan of yours as well!

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