Wednesday, April 26, 2017

March at The Grand Army

Sunday printing at The Grand Army NYC happens about once a month and it is the best time between friends and artists who respect and admire each other.  Not to mention that the intimate setting, Rob's home and studio, can some times lead to shenanigans that will not be revealed in this blog.  We feed into each other's insanity, all while creating a body of work that will hopefully have a dialogue across the different styles of each individual.  So what is The Grand Army?  Initially it was born out of a need to run some monotype prints in a more relaxed and private setting.  Two friends, Rob and I, who found a mutual obsession and we wanted to start a tight group that would also enjoy the monotype process.  I would hate to use the word society but that is the idea.   
Access to a bigger press with no time restraints has been a God sent.  I have been able to work on larger plates, 12x18 inches copper plates to be exact, and this has brought in a new kind of freedom to my monotypes.  Above is an image of a larger plate ready to go under the press. 
Two in a Row, 2017, momotype, image 18 x 12 inches, sheet 23 x 17 inches, Private Collection 

This is the printed image, a bit greyer than I expected.  I have been running into a small problem that my black ink has been setting faster than it should and it is not transferring to the paper.  It is not a press issue that I am sure.  Although I add burnt plate oil to the ink mixture it still seems to dry on the plate, especially the dark areas which I leave untouched.  I'm not sure how to correct this problem, but if any of you print makers with more experience have any suggestions please be kind to let me know as to what I'm doing wrong.  I still have a good amount of ink left in the tube but I can feel that it is getting stiffer each week, and I think this is why it is not transferring over to the paper.  
My friend Ashley, a sculptor who lately has been working on large scale drawings, gave monotype a go and has fallen in love with the process.  Come back soon you hear Asheley!
A Tuscan Villa, 2017, monotype, image 10 x 8 inches, sheet 13 x 11 inches 

A Tuscan Villa, monotype (ghost print), image 10 x 8 inches, sheet 13 x 11 inches 

Here's another plate almost ready for printing.  Recently I have been working with 8x10 and 12x18 plates which are bigger than what I'm used to, but the biggest change is that I have not been using any reference sketches for these.  I come up with the images on the spot, which can be an exciting, challenging, and scary all at the same time. 
A Walk Through the Park, 2017, monotype, image 10 x 8 inches, sheet 13 x 11 inches

This print came out well, all the dark areas printed how I wanted them...success!
While Ashley and I were working on our plates, Rob was on the other side of his studio drawing and painting into his monotypes.  His process becomes more involved and painterly after he runs his prints. 
In the video above Rob is running Ashley's first print...a moment that can't really be described, you just have to look at her face and it says it all!