More Monoprinting

“Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.”

– Scott Adams

I’ve been continuing to explore my interest in monoprinting. So far, these are all fairly small (6×6″) pieces done using hand tools only (no big presses). One of the things I find most appealing about the process is the way in which so much of the result is unexpected – maybe that changes with more experience but, for now, I’m enjoying the unanticipated nature of it. It seems as if there are no “mistakes” in this process, just images that haven’t found their way to completion yet. Sometimes I even cut up my “mistakes” into pieces to use as collage elements in other work. OK, I admit, I have actually thrown a couple into the trash bin, but that was probably just being lazy instead of considering how they might be used, saved or resurrected.

Another aspect I like is that the best way to work on these is to start a bunch of them all at once – each time the brayer lays down the ink, an impression is created on it’s surface that can then be used on another or a new piece. Often these “ghost” impressions are the most interesting, containing shapes and textures from previous applications. In the past, I’ve sometimes become bored when working on one piece at a time – this lets me feel like I’m working on a dozen pieces all at once!

Here’s another recent effort…


16 responses to “More Monoprinting

  1. Hello Bob!
    I am back now from our trip through Portugal, a little bit sad not “to be on the road” anymore, but one thing I am looking forward to is to be able to follow your amazing blog regularly. I deeply enjoy this interaction between art, science and philosophical questioning and answering which emanates from the screen when I open your blog.
    I myself have done a lot of what we call in Spain “monotipos”, a technique which might correspond to your monoprinting. Like you, I enjoy it a lot because of the “surprise effect”, never knowing beforehand what will come out. Many landed in the bin, but from my point of view my best paintings were created this way. It is an “all or nothing” technique for me, kind of! Totally adapted to my character…
    Besides the unknown, I above all love the effort of creation and imagination I must make to create finished paintings out of the prints.

  2. Miki

    Welcome back! I would love to see some of your “monotipos” or do they all end up as parts of further painting efforts?

  3. Thanks, Bob, and really, I am very happy that you have created this blog.
    All my “monotipos” in fact end up in something which perhaps does not look like some print! All the paintings of my series “The Thief of Hearts and the Firecat”, for example, have been done that way. You can see most of them in
    (which reminds me that I forgot to put the last 6 ones!).

  4. Hi Bob, yes continuing on the discussion of art. I was thinking of my favorite all time book, Anam Cara by John O’Donohue. I just heard he died about a year ago for which I am greatly sadden that there is another great person I was unable to meet. He starts right off in his prologue: “Its strange to be here. The mystery never leaves you alone. Behind your image, below your words, above your thoughts, the silence of another world waits.” And he goes on to say, “Everyone is an artist. Each person brings sound out of silence and coaxes the invisible to become visible.” That is such a good place for me to comment on your work and your thoughts. You are coaxing out meaning with every line you draw, every thought you express, every print you create and all the philosophical musings you share. You work has great meaning for me. All of who you are is coming out through this rich medium you are sharing with us. Thank you, Gayle

  5. Loved your prints, you are very talented. I love the way you describe the uncertainty of the outcomes. how do you do them? What sort of inks do you use. If you do notuse a press, how do you get such good prints?

  6. your printwork is very good. i like your approach towards printing techniques.

    I am a art student at the working mens college and wer’e currently doing a print making project. mainly we’ve done lino cuts, screen printing and foam boards.

    as you have commenheted each print is different, no two are the same. great work.

  7. Pingback: Natural monoprinting? « caitlynnmarsh

  8. I’ve just returned to printing after retiring from teaching primary and doing very little arty stuff since the 1970s. I, too love the unexpected. The accidents can be wonderful. I am completely besotted.

    Lovely prints, Bob, and I so like the small intimate nature of them it makes you want to look closer instead of stand back. Clever.

  9. Bob, I randomly came across your blog while looking up inspiration for a printmaking class I took this semester. Your eye for color composition is amazing, especially the second print on this post. I’ve just finished my senior thesis in Media Studies on a digital/electronic production track, so I’m just so excited about contemporary art and artists at the moment, and I’m glad I found your blog. Please keep monoprinting!

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