Before the Shut Down

For quite some time I had been thinking about doing something with my monotype ghost prints,  I have so many of them and I know they have potential to be more than just faint prints.  A while back I mounted some of them onto wood panels, the idea was to go over them with egg tempera and use the ghost as an under drawing.  It didn't work well after my first try, so I gave up on that idea momentarily until I could gather the nerve to try again.  But what about the ghost prints that were printed on really nice paper, what do I do with them?  How can I bring these ghosts back to life?

After seeing the 2016 MoMA exhibition, Edgar Degas: A Strange New Beauty, I realized that my monotype ghosts prints could have life beyond their current, faded state.  Degas went over his ghost prints with pastels, I never knew that and found it fascinating!  That was the little seed that caused a hum in my head to for a while.  Although I admired Degas's process, it was not for me.  I have never enjoyed working with pastels, either chalk or oil.  How can I use these ghosts prints and turn them into new works of art?  How can I approach it without repeating something that has already been done?

One night, it's always at night when my light bulb turns on(yes there are many puns in this blog post, but not intentionally), it occurred to me that I could draw over one of my ghosts and see how it turns out.  I mainly wanted to try out the ink and glass pen I received as a Christmas gift.  I have never seen a glass pen in person and had no idea how it would work.  After trying it out I realized that there was something substantial here that I could pursue.

I decided to buy a fountain pen with an extra fine nib.  I have been buying fountain pens in the last two years trying to find the right one for me, but after buying this Lamy Al-Star I stopped my search.  I was able to get the quality of line I've been looking for, and it brought the process a little closer to the pen work I've been doing in my sketchbooks.  Then it hit me...most of these prints started out as rough drawings or sketches in my sketchbook.  By drawing on top of the ghosts I was bringing the image back full circle to where it began.

I have continued this new process during the NYC shut down, and the drawings have taken on a new life.  Since this Lamy pen purchase I have added four more to my collection and another one coming in the mail soon.  And for each pen I have also purchased a different color of ink.  It's become a thing!!!

Please keep checking back soon for more posts.  For a while I left this blog unattended because Instagram took over the way I shared my work with the world.  Also I thought I had run out of interesting words and ideas to write about, but things are beginning to happen and take off.   I now feel the need to share more on recent happenings and development of new work.  Besides you can't ramble for days on Instagram because people's attention span is very short on that platform.  So do come back, I promise to get better at this.  Till next time be well and stay creative!


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