Posted:April 12, 2020 Documenting My Familiar I have been quietly painting plein air for 35 years, documenting specific sites and gathering imagery for making monotypes and etchings during the colder months. I gravitate to presentations of nature surviving despite coastal storms. The humble strength of a dune or waterway endures natural onslaughts with stoic dignity. I make my monotypes indoors during daylight hours working with natural light from eight windows. Newly printed monotypes drying. The large monotypes are printed one at a time on the 36×60” American French Tool press in the background. André Beaudoin designed and built and delivered this press to me from his workshop in Coventry, Rhode Island in 1976. It weighs 2,400 pounds. Turning the wheel moves the 500-pound press bed under a 500-pound steel roller. I love to draw and invest several hours developing a compelling composition with accurate values, enhancing nature’s curves that the camera flattens. I flip the plate so the finished drawing is in reverse when it gets inked. Charbonnell oil base inks are applied to the plate in thin layers using small rubber brayers. I roll on several layers of inks to achieve an impressionist luminosity, “pink under the blue”, “ochre under the green”. First layers complete… this plate is 18×27” Now I mix the final actual greens of the trees and grasses. The finished layers of ink create luminosity. After many hours of brayering, I wipe the edges of the plate and bring it to the press bed. Dampened cotton rag BFK Rives paper from France is placed on top of the inked plate with two felt blankets to cushion it. I run the plate through the press with gentle pressure once only. The reversed image prints frontwards after all! Sanctuary monotype 18×27″ 2020 The transferred painting on 22×30″ paper is a monotype, a singular impression. The painted plate now has only a ghost layer of ink left.
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