Saturday, January 30, 2010

More on monoprinting

As promised a bit more info on monoprinting.
There are two ways of monoprinting, one is to paint an image with inks onto a sheet of glass or acrylic, lay your paper on top, press down with a roller or just your hands and take a print. The other is to roll out a flat layer of ink on glass or acrylic, lay a sheet of paper onto it and draw with a pencil or sharp object onto the paper, it will pick up ink from the glass on the other side of the paper. This gives you a black line on white paper. If you're quickbefore the ink dries you can get a second print off the glass - the negative, white lines on black. It can help to dampen your paper to pick up more ink and get a better print on this second try. Thin paper like rice paper is ideal.

This is the proper way, but of course I'm doing the quick version with whatever I have to hand! Instead of a glass sheet I've been using a piece of shiny cardboard - even the waxy surface of a cereal box would probably do. Instead of slow drying printing inks I've been using acrylic paint with some retarder mixed in which I brush onto the cardboard plate rather than roll. I like the liveliness of the brushmarks and in a way it combines both approaches into one.
On other round up for January! I sent off a poem to the NT Lit Awards - my submission for January. I'm aiming to send off something each month, which hopefully will be do-able.
Last weekend we ate salad with 3 tiny raddishes - the entire harvest from those seedlings I showed you a month ago! My partner and kids found this laughable and asked for a magnifying glass to find them on their plates!! This didn't stop me from feeling proud of myself...well at least it's a step in the right direction.

Sunday, January 24, 2010


I treated myself to a late xmas present, a couple of books that I bought online (my first foray would you believe!) one is ' printmaking and mixed media' by Dorit Elisha. It describes various methods of printmaking without a press, I probably know this stuff already, but there's lots of colour pictures to help get me inspired!!

My first little play has been at monoprinting. A long time ago I used to do them a lot, before I had kids and when I had a proper studio I used to do a handful of monoprints each day as a loosening up exercise before painting. So it's wierd, you know how the negative voice in your head goes, ' why are you doing this, you're going backwards, this isn't anything new...' I've been trying not to worry about the finished product, just experiment.

This is a new one but is pretty typical of the work I was doing about 17 years ago.

I'm very interested in these more painterly ones, with several layers of prints.

If I get time this week I'll describe a bit of the process.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Soft rain

When I look back at the few months of art journal pages I managed to complete last year, the ones I enjoy the most are the diary-like ones that remind me of the day we went to the wildlife park out of tourist season and had the place to ourselves, or the time we had a birds nest complete with eggs right by the back door, or the day I cooked pancakes liberally sprinkled with anger!

My latest pages are full of clouds and rain! When there's a lull in the rain we dash out, my favourite is to go to the beach for a good walk.

This one might become a lino-print, I've also been playing with monoprints today - no photos to show yet, but I will soon.

Now a question! This vine has sprouted in my compost heap, I'm hopeful it might be sweet potato, but probably it's just a weed. If it looks familiar to you I'd love to know what it is!

Saturday, January 9, 2010


Before I had kids I thought I was a patient person. These days I lose my temper a lot more than I'd like to admit. Often I hang onto it all day, and then lose it at shower time, when peace and quiet is almost within reach. You can be sure one of the kids just won't get in the shower, and then once they're in won't get out. (I'm gnashing my teeth just thinking about it)

Working on being patient is something I have to remind myself about often. I like the phrase 'practising patience', because of the suggestion that if I keep practising I might get there in the end...

These journal pages started with splaxhing about watercolour to let off steam after a grumpy evening, but the end result makes me think of how women used to embroider verses from the bible, an act of contemplation.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year !!

I hope you've all had a happy and relaxing Christmas and New Year. It's a fairly quiet time for us - both our families are a long way away, and once the crazy shopping is over Darwin seems to wind down. A lot of people head south to family or hop over to Indonesia, Thailand, etc for holidays. We've been sleeping in, trying to keep cool, and as far as possible doing what the kids want - movies, bowling, and numerous trips to the skatepark and waterpark.

It's a time of year for looking back and forward, for making plans and resolutions. Some of the other blogs I like to drop by have been posting theirs.
Cathy Cullis has a beautiful and inspiring post on some of her plans for the year. My resolutions are ones I've made before, to draw in my journal daily, to write a draft poem a week and to work on revision. Inspired by Jesse I'm planning to start submitting my poetry again. I was feeling a bit discouraged that my plans are all the same old things that will probably fall by the wayside by June..if not Easter! But I came across this great quote by SARK "I've quit and started again and again, and I now know that starting is not better than quitting - it's just different. It's a circular dance of quitting and starting over and over again."

This time last year I went to a book binding workshop (run by Nat/smallest forest) and made a lovely leather bound journal, I used it for about 5 months and then neglected it...but the last few days I've dived back in. I'm also doing a bit of sewing, while the kids are in the pool I sit on the verandah and keep an eye on them, that's when I get time for a play at the moment!