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Monotype Prints

The Monotype: Description & Process

'Orange Mandala'
The art form – medium and technique - known as the Monotype is an exciting, vibrant, gestural, mixed-media method of printmaking that delivers up an original, one-of-a-kind print that cannot be repeated. Thus the name “monotype”, a unique work of art.

Sometimes called the "painterly print" - so named because of the alchemical nature of oil inks when subjected to hundreds of pounds of pressure from the printing press as well as the gestural, impulsive and manipulative use of color on the plate - the monotype is a member of a larger printmaking family which includes: lithography, etching, serigraphy, and the woodblock.

The particular method I use for the monotype is called viscosity printmaking whereby multiple layers of color are built up upon a Plexiglas, aluminum, or copper plate to form, in most instances, a rich and colorful dimensional appearance.

'Anchorage at Edgartown'
The main medium is oil-based etching ink which is applied – with different viscosities - to the plate with rollers, brushes, small brayers, pieces of cardboard, rags, Q-Tips, bamboo sticks, and others objects for applying, distributing, and fracturing ink. Stencils, collages, and transfers are often used in the composition of the image.

The composed plate – upon which is positioned a full sheet of Arches 88 or Rives BFK printmaking paper - is then printed on a flatbed etching press and one image – a monotype – is "pulled." At this point a second residual image, called a ghost print or cognate, can also be obtained from the residue of ink left on the plate.

In this case, the ghost image can form the foundation for the development of an entirely new monotype, related to, but different from, the original image. Both prints are one-of-a-kind originals. Tim Chadsey
'Black Marks on Orange'

My Style

Imagistically my forms, shapes, and colors have evolved out of my overall appreciation for natural objects, landscapes, deteriorated materials unexpectedly found, and, of course, growing up on the coast of Connecticut, overlooking a tidal inlet and diurnal mudflats.

I tend to favor abstract work over representational, and like both bold color compositions and subtle monochromatics.

Some of my favorite printmakers include: Helen Frankenthaler, Robert Motherwell, Hokusai, Hiroshige, Utamaro, Richard Diebenkorn, Wayne Thiebaud, Mark Rothko, Jasper Johns, Pat Steir, Jim Dine, Emil Nolde, Nathan Oliveira, Robert Rauchenberg, Michael Mazur, Sam Francis, and Joan Snyder.