Iona Howard

http://www.ionahoward.com/

She has a studio in Cottenham in the Cambridgeshire Fens.

My prints explore the notion of time and landscape through a contemplative exploration of surface. The sources of my prints can come from working in the open air or expressing landscape filtered through memory…I am captivated by the ancient semi-natural landscapes typical of my native west Cornwall where a blurred line exists between nature and human activity. Recent works of the Fens focus on the meeting point of land, horizon and sky, their flatness altering the perception of distance. ‘

From interview with Iona in Cambridge 4th Feb 2017:

Her landscapes have a strong geometric structure of contrasting colours and textures. She mainly uses a combination of carborundum, drypoint and monoprint techniques. A mix of a binder (polyurethane varnish) and carborundum grit is applied onto the surface of a plate and sealed with the same varnish. The binder has to withstand a lot of working but should not be so thick as to hide the grit texture of the carborundum. To contrast the carborundum, drypoint is added to produce an incised line. The plate is then inked up using etching ink and copperplate oil with a brush or roller.

Originally she worked in black and white. Now she also works in colour from memory and notes. Colour is built up by layering carborundum plates or more often overlaid though monoprint. Dry ink can be added as a third pass. Ink can be laid on thickly for more embossing. She can use the same base plate but with different seasons. Editions of 40. Or 10-15. She gets commissions where people ask for specific colours.

The technique allows working directly in the landscape to paint on the carborundum and the drypoint plates, and large images can be produced. She prints  on thick Somerset paper, printing to the edge of the paper to “leave the composition as unconstrained as the landscapes from which I seek inspiration”. She mounts with  nonreflective glass.

 

Monoprint inspiration

 History and development

Hercules Seghers (1589-1638), a Dutch painter and printmaker, was one of the early artists who experimented with printing in color, on unusual papers (and linen), and with unusual horizontal formats to emphasize the horizon,  called. He experimented by using different inks and papers, but reworked his prints by adding accents by hand. Most of his images differ widely from impression to impression, and most are preserved in only a few sheets.

Rembrandt in the 1650s often retouched his plates with drypoint, burin or by burnishing areas to delete some unwanted parts. He also inked and wiped the plate each time differently, reworking some areas by moving around the ink with rags, fingers or paintbrushes. This enabled him to render flames, smoke and rich areas of shadow,  creating dramatic darkness and light contrasts. Each impression was virtually different from the previous one.

Benedetto Castiglione (1609-1664) devised a new printmaking process by drawing images directly onto an unetched plate and then pulling a unique impression; he drew white lines with a stick, created tonal areas with his fingers, rugs and brushes, then printed the plate using a press, just like we do today.

William Blake (1757–1827) started experimenting with monotypes. He painted with oil and egg tempera onto a copperplate or piece of millboard from which he pulled prints by pressing the dampened paper against the paint. He then retouched his works by hand with ink and watercolor. Some of the monotypes were used as a guide for overpainting in another media.

But the medium failed to become popular because of its limitation to one print and also because it depended too much on accidental effects and uncontrollable properties of ink when subjected to the heavy pressure of a press.

In the late 1860s when the young impressionists became interested in the creative use of inking. These printing experiments seem to have been influenced by early developments of photography with its black and white contrasts and interplay of positive and negative imagery.

Edgar Degas (1834-1917) found monoprints gave him a great deal of artistic freedom. He used the ‘dark field’ method and created very dramatic chiaroscuro effects. 

Camille Pissarro (1830-1903) was one of the artists who became interested in monoprinting after Degas exhibited his prints in the third Impressionist exhibition of 1877.  Through experimentation and accidents he created a series of unique impressions, turning his imperfections to his advantage to create effects of light and texture.

Camille Pissarro Vacherie le soir, c. 1890 Monotype in warm black on wove paper sheet
From Wikipedia

Paul Gauguin (1848-1903) worked independently developing his own unique technique called trace monotype. His method consisted of inking a sheet of paper, laying another sheet over it, and drawing on the back of fresh paper thus transferring the ink creating an image in a linear manner. Paul Klee (1879-1940) experimented and mastered this method a few years later in his inventive drawings.

Maurice Prendergast (1859-1924) used this method extensively. He was  influenced by Japanese prints. He described his way of making monotypes : “Paint on copper in oils, wiping parts to be white. When the picture suits you, place Japanese paper on it and either press in a printing press or rub with a spoon till it pleases you. Sometimes the second or third plate is the best.”

Pierre Bonnard (1867-1947) produced hundreds of richly colored monotypes pressing the paper by hand or with a roller on a previously inked and painted metal plate.

Pablo Picasso (1881-1973), Chagall, Miro’, Dubuffet, Matisse and many other contemporary artists produced hundreds of exceptional monotypes, too.

Contemporary Monoprints

Georg Baselitz

Tracey Emin.

Sources

http://www.monoprints.com/history.php?PHPSESSID=787ea8eb30503093980f9d647feb644e

Monoprint Techniques

Monoprints and monotypes

A monoprint is a single impression of an image made from a reprintable block. It  involves the transfer of ink from a plate to the paper, canvas, or other surface that will ultimately hold the work of art. Monoprints are known as the most painterly method among the printmaking techniques; it is essentially a printed painting. The beauty of this medium is in its spontaneity and its combination of printmaking, painting and drawing media. Monoprints may also involve elements that change, where the artist reworks the image in between impressions or after printing so that no two prints are absolutely identical. Monoprints may include collage, hand-painted additions, and a form of tracing by which thick ink is laid down on a table, paper is placed on top and is then drawn on, transferring the ink onto the paper. Monoprints can also be made by altering the type, color, and pressure of the ink used to create different prints.

  • monotyping: plates have no permanent marks that will impart any definition to successive prints. Imagery is dependent on one unique inking, resulting in one unique print. At most two impressions (copies) can be obtained
  • monoprinting:  plates have permanent features on them that can be reused, but not to produce an identical result. Monoprints can be thought of as variations on a theme, with the theme resulting from some permanent features being found on the plate – lines, textures – that persist from print to print. Variations are confined to those resulting from how the plate is inked prior to each print. The variations are endless, but certain permanent features on the plate will tend to persist from one print to the next.

 History and development

Castiglione

Degas

Contemporary monoprint inspiration

Materials

Plates can be of any type, as long as they are non porous: plexiglass or thin sheets of metal such as copper or zinc, heavyweight vinyl, mylar or acetate, masonite, discarded thin litho zinc or aluminium plates, cardboard sealed with gesso or acrylic spray or glue, glass (only used when handprinting), styrofoam, polystyrene

Ink  can use water-based or oil-based inks, or paints. Other media can also be combined at different stages of the image.

Paper  can use thin or thick papers, watercolour paper, and cheaper papers like newsprint etc

Applicators  brushes, rollers, sticks, rags etc

Techniques

Painterly approaches

Rolling the ink onto a plate and then removing it with different types of markmaking, or applying the ink like paint. Monoprints can be created also by using water-soluble materials such as watercolors, crayons, watercolor pencils, watercolor felt tip pens or commercially produced monoprint inks (Akua-Kolor, Createx or Green Drop Inks).

Prior to drawing, the plate to be used (usually plexiglass) needs to be finely sanded and the edges bevelled. This will allow color to fix better on the plate and make drawing much easier. Using a sponge or small brayer apply a thin even coat of hand soap to the entire printing surface and allow it to dry. The soap will perform as a releasing agent and allow the colors to lift during printing.
Draw directly onto the surface of the plate with the water-soluble materials, letting the color dry for a few hours prior to printing. The paper to print on should be damp, but not excessively wet unless you want the colors to “run”. When printing, the moisture in the paper will reactivate the drawing materials, allowing for the transfer of the color to the paper. Run the plate through the press with moderate to heavy pressure. This will give you the best impression. Prior to removing the printed image. Check the impression quality by lifting the corner of the print and checking the image. If the impression is not satisfactory, lightly spray/sponge the back of the paper with water and run it through the press again. Repeat this until the image is of acceptable quality.

Projects:

First Monoprints

Markmaking: 1.1 First Monoprints

Human Form: 1.1 First Monoprints

Inspiration:  Castiglione   Degas

Masking

Using thin plastic or paper shapes to produce positive and negative space images in one or more colours.

Projects:

Coloured silhouettes: 1.2 Masked Monoprint

The Miner’s Wife: 1.2 Masked Monoprint

Inspiration: Matisse cut-outs

Trace drawing

Also known as back-drawing or back-tracing. Inking up a plate and then drawing on the back of the paper with different instruments to produce a line and shading- pencils for sharp lines, flat or soft objects for tone. This gives a very angular and nervous line. There is no limit to the number of times you can back-drawn a print and different colours and textures can be built up.

Projects:

The Human Figure and Portraits: 1.3 Back Drawing

Inspiration: Gauguin, Klee, Tracey Emin

Textured prints

Using textured materials to make marks in the ink and/or act as a mask between the ink and the paper.

Collage monoprint: materials are not glued on the surface but are used on the paper either inked or not inked (only used to produce embossments on paper). Materials often used are cut or torn shapes from textured papers, lace, cloth, thin vinyl sheets, leaves, and even metal grating.

Special effects can also be achieved dabbing solvents such as mineral spirits or turpentine to your inked plate, allowing the solvent to dissolve the ink so as to create beautiful reticulate marks.

 

Projects:

Rockpools1: 1.4 Textured Monoprints

Combination monoprints

All these techniques can be combined in different ways to produce

Project:

Images of St Ives: 1.4 Combination Monoprints

Inspiration

Edgar Degas

Le Sommeil c 1885 Courtesy of British Museum

Degas (1834-1917) took up monotype printing in 1874-75. Degas found monotype gave him greater freedom to improvise and be spontaneous than drawing on paper allowed.  It was ideal for capturing secret and intimate scenes, such as women engaged in their toilet or in brothel scenes. He was influenced by Japanese woodblock prints and was interested in the ways shapes and lines can be organised on paper to indicate figures in movement. From 1870s he started to have problems with his eyesight, so he was more sensitive to light/dark contrasts and created dramatic chiaroscuro effects.

He was introduced to the process by his friend the amateur etcher Vicomte Ludovic Napoléon Lepic (1839-1889).  Lepic enjoyed experimenting tonal wiping (l’eau forte mobile or variable etching) to create many variations on a basic landscape composition. He used one etched plate and  wiped off this plate, and also ‘retroussage’,  a way of adding ink to previously wiped plates to produce much richer tones on the prints.

Degas adopted this  ‘dark-field’ method. He covered the entire surface of the printing plate in oily, slow-drying ink and then removed it as necessary to create the image. He scratched and brushed it, wiped it with a rag and manipulated it with his fingers to create the composition, before fixing it by printing it onto paper. He worked and reworked his plates, wiping off and adding ink with rags, fingers and brushes. Later he began to draw on the plate with Indian ink, often diluting it with turpentine and working directly on the plate with a paintbrush.

Degas usually printed two impressions of each monotype subject, one strong, the other weak. He would keep untouched the first impressions (this is a first impression), but he would rework the second with pastel or gouache.

In his lifetime he produced more than 250 subjects and 400 separate impressions in monotype, far exceeding his etchings or lithographs. He used ghost prints as a basis for pastels. Between 1876-1881 nearly 70% of his works in colour were monoprints enhanced with pastel, sometimes drawing with them, sometimes wetting them for watercolour effects to give different moods, and to add and take away figures.

Degas Creative Commons site for paintings only.

Benedetto Castiglione

Giovanni Benedetto Castiglione

(Wikimedia Commons)

Kopf eines bärtigen Orientalen 1655 31.7 × 23.6 cm (12.5 × 9.3 in), Windsor Castle

Giovanni Benedetto Castiglione (1609–64) was an Italian painter and etcher who was the first artist to produce brushed sketches intended as finished and final works of art (rather than as studies for another work). He invented the monotype process in the 1640s. He produced over twenty surviving monptypes, over half of which are set at night.

He normally worked from black to white. He drew directly into an unetched plate, drawing white lines with a stick, created tonal areas with his fingers, rags and brushes. He then printed using a printing press.

File:Giovanni Benedetto Castiglione - The Creation of Adam - Google Art Project.jpg
The Creation of Adam circa 1642 Monotype (dark manner) in black on ivory laid paper Height: 303 mm (11.93 in). Width: 203 mm (7.99 in).

Koichi Yamamoto

Inspiration for my printmaking

I find Yamamoto’s large abstract monochrome monoprint landscapes extremely evocative. Inspired by a Zen minimalist aesthetic, with a focus on tone and markmaking, they have a dreamy and ethereal feel – full of suggestion of light and dark, huge towering buildings or seething underlying masses in the deep. Yet cannot be completely grasped or understood.

Yamamoto Printmaking Official website

Monoprints

Google images of Yamamoto monoprints

Koichi Yamamoto is an artist who merges the traditional and contemporary by creating unique and innovative approaches to the language of printmaking.Koichi’s prints explore issues of the sublime, memory, and atmosphere.
Koichi has worked with meticulous copper engravings to large-scale monotypes.
He completed BFA at the Pacific Northwest College of Art in Portland, Oregon then move to Krakow, Poland for producing works and to study copper engravings in Bratislava Academy of Fine Arts in Slovakia Republic.
He studied in Academy of Fine Arts in Poznan, Poland and then completed MFA at University of Alberta, Canada. He also worked as a textile designer in Fredericia, Denmark.
He has exhibited internationally. He has taught at Utah State University and University of Delaware and currently an Associate Professor at University of Tennessee in Knoxville.
Video of his working process

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Sources of inspiration in water surfaces

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Metal engraving

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Copperplate etching Kite design

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Pablo Picasso

Picasso (1881–1973)  made prints throughout his career – over 2,500 principally in etching, lithography and linocut. Also monoprints.

Google Picasso monoprints

Google Picasso linocut

Google Picasso etching

Google Picasso lithograph

Google Picasso drawings

Exhibition British Museum exhibition: 10 January – 6 May 2014

See works

Review

Picasso linocuts acquired by the British Museum

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Picasso Prints: The Vollard Suite at the British Museum

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Morris Shapiro and the Park West Gallery Picasso collection

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Pablo Picasso 1962 \ 63 Linocuts \ Linogrvures \ Linolschnitte

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Pablo Picasso linocut

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Invention of the reduction linocut

His earliest linocut is from 1939, but his major period of working in this medium was from the mid-1950s to the early 1960s. During this time the artist resided mainly in the south of France, far removed from his collaborative involvement with the master printers in Paris where he had made his etchings and lithographs in the 1930s and 40s. He began by producing linocut posters for ceramic exhibitions and bullfighting events in Vallauris with the talented local printer Hidalgo Arnéra.

Within a very short time Picasso was finding new ways of producing colour linocuts which dispensed with the orthodox method of cutting a separate block of linoleum for each colour.  He devised a method of progressively cutting and printing from a single block that required him to foresee the final result, as once he had gouged away the linoleum surface he could not go back.

Pablo Picasso linocuts at Connaught Brown Gallery March 2013 review

http://blogs.mirror.co.uk/the-ticket/2009/03/pablo-picasso-linocuts-at-conn.html

Still Life under the Lamp, made in 1962.

These two sets of linocuts highlight Picasso’s astonishing technical innovation and creativity. The first set consists of nine progressive proofs for Picasso’s masterpiece, Still Life under the Lamp, made in 1962. The image depicts a still life of apples next to a glass goblet, brightly illuminated under a lampshade at night. In nine stages, beginning with a blank tabula rasa, Picasso progressively cut and printed the single block, gradually building the image with increasing complexity. At each stage the viewer sees an image that would appear finished but Picasso goes further, pursuing it to its final form. Each print is vibrant and fresh in the colours of the 1960s: citron yellow, acid green and bright red. The proofs are extraordinarily rare, being extant in only one or two impressions, and the complete set is unique. They come originally from the printer Hidalgo Arnéra, with whom Picasso worked in producing his linocuts. Still Life under the Lamp is perhaps the most often reproduced of Picasso’s linocuts and appears in nearly every survey of 20th century printmaking.

Jacqueline Reading

The second set is four progressive proofs for a monochrome subject, Jacqueline Reading, also made in 1962. The sitter is Picasso’s second wife Jacqueline Roque with whom he lived in the last years of his life. She is posed reading, one hand held to her face and eyes cast down, locked in an interior world. For this print Picasso used two blocks. In the first block he scratched the surface with a stiff comb to describe the form of Jacqueline’s head and bust in tonal terms. A second block was cut with gouges to leave just her outline. Then the print from the second block was superimposed over the first to achieve the final image. Jacqueline became the final muse in Picasso’s life and appears in countless paintings, drawings, prints and ceramics during this period. The British Museum already owns the colour linocut of her, Portrait of Jacqueline with necklace, resting on her elbow, which Picasso produced in 1959, and this set of black and white proofs made three years later amplifies the importance of this theme in Picasso’s work.

Use of simultaneous contrast:

 

Bullfighting beige brown and black

after the lance apres la pique 1959

before the lance avant la pique 1959 1

before the lance avant la pique 1959 1

Deux femmes près de la fenêtre, 1959

Bachanalia

Danseurvet musicien  

Les Banderilles Like Cretan. Like the composition. How about the background?.

Trois femmes 1959

le vase de fleurs  

mere danseur et musicien 1959   Much simpler

les vendangeurs grape pickers  1962   

les danseurs au hibou  

tete de femme de profil

Picasso linocut exhibition at British museum:

Video :
www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ht4ZgiwpC7Q

Sources:

Idbury  prints