Friday, November 11, 2016

Recent Monotypes

Arbolado III, 2016, monotype, image 8 x 6 inches, paper 11 1/2 x 8 inches 

I present to you some of my recent monotypes, this group forms part of a series of prints I talked about in a previous post.  The Arbolado series is a group of prints representing walls or groupings of trees which are very close to the foreground.  These clusters of trees take up most of the space, creating a darker, more mysterious space than other imagery I've worked with.   
Arbolado IV, 2016, monotype, image 8 x 6 inches, paper 11 1/2 x 8 inches 

The biggest challenge of this group was to keep them spontaneous, not relying on any other image previously made, like a photo or sketch.  These are all made up on the spot, letting the ink on the plate dictate some of the shapes.  Sometimes when rolling ink on the copper or zinc plate I would see certain compositions arise and I would leave those areas alone, not covering them completely so that I could be able to go back to them and carve out the image.  
Arbolado V, 2016, monotype, image 8 x 6 inches, paper 11 1/2 x 8 inches 

The original goal was to make a series with a minimum of ten prints, but the final count was open, and perhaps it still is.  So far I've created twelve of these prints, I think this is a good stopping point because I don't want them to start becoming repetitive. 
Arbolado VI, 2016, monotype (ghost print), image 8 x 6 inches, paper 11 1/2 x 8 inches 

I have been thinking about why I decided to work on this series.  The way I arrived at it was out of chance when in a monotype marathon party I was pressed (no pun intended) for time to get the last image done for the night.  In a matter of fifteen minutes I came up with the first Arbolado and at that moment something clicked.   
Arbolado VI, 2016, monotype, image 8 x 6 inches, paper 11 1/2 x 8 inches 

The approach was simple yet challenging, and yes very fun.  The spontaneity of it was what attracted me most, but what about the images?  I was drawn to them and as I kept thinking about it some more I remembered that while at the Hartford Art School,  Eric Holzman exhibited a group of large landscape paintings in the school's gallery.  I was mesmerized by them, not only by their size but because they were dark, mysterious, and beautiful.  His paintings of large singular dark trees with moody skies behind them, had an effect on me, I still think about them constantly and I think that this series was a way of externalizing my feelings towards his work.  
Arbolado VII, 2016, monotype (ghost print), image 8 x 6 inches, paper 11 1/2 x 8 inches 

The world can be a small funny place, and these days, through work, I have constant direct contact with Eric.  Even though I was intrigued by his work years ago, I failed to take note of his name but I never forgot those paintings.  I always kept on a look out for them, I wanted to find out who he was.  Over ten years later while at work, one of my colleagues had an artist's website up on the computer, and I was elated to find out it was the same man who had show his work at the Hartford Art School.  The man was a client of ours, someone I had talked to many times but never knew he was the artist who's paintings never left my mind.  Weeks later when Eric visited our shop I spoke to him and confirmed that yes those were his paintings I saw years ago.  I guess these are an ode to him, and to Eric I want to say thank you for the inspiration.   
Arbolado VII, 2016, monotype, image 8 x 6 inches, paper 11 1/2 x 8 inches 

More of this series to come in a future post, come back soon and check them out. 

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