Sunday, May 03, 2009

Into the woods.........and monopainting.

Actually, I don't have to go into the woods to find these beautiful wild flowers. I planted a spring shade garden at the edge of the woods when we first bought this land. At that time the idea for the placement of the house was going to be back next to these woods.
Now, it's an enjoyable walk from the house up to the edge of the woods to see what is in bloom.
My beautiful bluebells, some wild violets and one lovely bleeding heart.
I was watching a video, the other day, by Melanie Testa. It's on one the Quilting Arts Workshop videos. In the video Melanie talks about monoprinting and printing on fabric. The first time I ever heard about monoprinting was from Corita. She suggested monoprinting as a way to help get an artist relaxed about the outcome of a project.
At your local home store you can find sheets of plexiglass. If you are interested in monoprinting I would suggest you pick up a sheet. Look for one that is at least 12" square.
If you are working with fabric I would suggest that you use fabric paint that you can squeeze or dab on the plexiglass. If you are using paper you can use any acrylic paint.
A brayer is helpful but you know I found a little piece of lead pipe that works just as well. It's purpose is to roll over your fabric or paper after it is pressed into the ink on the plexiglass.
I apply paint to the plexiglass by just squeezing it around in squiggles. You could use your brayer to move the paint around but I find an old cheap paintbrush does the job just fine. If you are using acrylic paint you need to work a little faster because of the drying time.
When you have spread the paint in an even layer, take a barbecue skewer or chopstick and draw squiggles or words or designs into the paint.
When you are ready to apply the fabric or paper, Melanie had a very good suggestion, bring your fabric or paper up from the front edge of the plexiglass and gently lay it down on top of the paint. It's as if you are slowly dragging it up from off the table onto the plexiglass.
Gently, very gently start your brayer from the center working outward to the sides. You don't want to move the fabric or paper and you don't want to press so hard that you start getting paint coming through the fabric onto your brayer.
Very gently peel the fabric or paper off of the plexiglass and allow it to dry, right side up.
It's messy, it's fun and the results are always different. You can create some interesting background sheets or fabric with this technique.
Corita was doing this in her art classes back in the 80's. Now it has resurfaced once again for artists to try with different mediums. Have fun.
And, if things are tight try taping down a heavy plastic bag to your work table and using that as a plexiglass substitute.


  1. Oh Bea, I absolutely LOVE Bleeding Hearts. Unfortunately, I'd have a difficult time growing them out here. So I guess I'll have to enjoy them from my monitor. Love the bluebells too. Another flower that would not survive out here. How cool to live at the foot of the woods.

  2. Would love to see your experiments! :)

  3. Ack! WOW, it's that GPS thing on your name, right? lol Thanks for stopping by.
    I LOVE YOUR VIDEO. And, what I love about a video is that for somebody like me I can watch it over and over until I REALLY UNDERSTAND it. :)Bea

  4. Oooh, you had a visit by the lady herself! Lucky girl.

    Love the photos, the bluebells are quite unlike ours here, or the usual American ones that we have in our UK garden.

    I did a bit of that paint monoprinting at my college course. We also put 2 pieces of gladd together with paint in the middle and lay the material over that. It made the layer very thin so it didn't bleed through the fabric. then we had to sew over it!!