Pears and their leaves
Subject: Pears and leaves
Methods: Double masking, object printing, brushing
Four colours: red, yellow, blue, green
Today, channelling Andy Warhol, and therefore probably doing something that would work better as a screen print, I tried to combine effects into a print that was somehow also a reflection or commentary on monoprinting itself, some kind of reminder -to -self. (Kind of like stitching a sampler…)
Started with a (not-so as it turned out) cunning plan, and improvised as I went along. It had started out as in idea jotted in my sketchbook of using a 4-colour grid (a la Warhol)- and introducing variations on positive and negative masking- the kind of thing I did with the Egyptian figures, but this time with four.
Started with masking the glass into 4 sections- this was a mistake, I realised at the end. Or at least I should have taped the other side of the glass, not the printing side. Anyway, this is a learning experience. Decided to use shapes from my environment, so chose the pear tree in the garden, and drew the shape of a pear to make a template. The second related shape was a leaf taken off the tree.
First, I put the positive mask shape in the top corner, after rolling on a yellow background. This is when I started to realise the masking tape needed to be put on afterwards, as it was hard to roll up to the edges. Parallel to this, the negative mask was put down and the positive shape rolled in yellow. I tried to roll this a bit unevenly so that there would be still be white highlights on the pear shape. Printed both of these at the same time.
Then, fixed a leaf onto one of the bottom squares with tape, and, because it’s hard to roll over a solid object, and didn’t want to press the paper onto it either, painted the background around the leaf with a brush, keeping the brushstrokes as even as possible. Printed this.
Then lifted the leaf, pressed it into green ink and used it to make an impression onto the adjacent square. Printed this.
Using the positive pear mask, laid a red background on the other top square. This time I masked the print surface.
Then, used the leaf to make a mask for the bottom corner, and printed a blue background.
Next, I added some detail to the pear at the top, by painting into the negative mask shape. Used the three other colours, blue, green and red. The misalignment worked to make another colour with the yellow.
Finally, painted the front of the leaf using red and yellow and made an impression directly onto the printed page.