Christy's Monotype Process

The Monotype

"The monotype process combines both painting and printmaking; it encourages the freedom of working with brushes and the rich colour of oil paint,  yet it includes the challenge of printmaking.   When creating monotypes, I work in the reverse of the finished piece and I am never sure of what will be revealed as the paper is pulled back.  The monotype process requires a sense of adventure!"

The Process

First I make a detailed drawing, which is then placed under a piece of heavy glass. Next, using brushes and oil paint, I paint the image onto the glass using the drawing for reference. The paper is laid carefully into place on top of the wet paint, then I rub the back of the paper thereby transferring the paint onto the paper surface.

Monotypes are often called, 'the Painterly Print' due to the expressive marks that are left upon the paper. Many monotype artists create their images in one transfer, however, I have developed a technique using repeated layers which result in detailed and textured finishes. Many of my larger pieces have 400 to 500 'lifts', with each small area being transferred at a time. Then I add layers which encourage rich colour variations.

Once I am satisfied with all the paint transfers, the glass is scraped off and it is ready to be used for a new artwork to be created. If a similar monotype is desired, then the drawing may be used for reference, however, the artwork must be repainted completely. I often do this, yet changing the supporting paper colour which results in a very different character to the finished artwork. Hence, the name monotype, meaning, 'one.'

My Next Step

I have been preparing wooden and canvas supports in contemplation of painting directly onto the surface. Whether this comes about is an ongoing discussion with myself, the monotype process is so intriguing that it captivates me.

Watch this site and come to the shows, perhaps there will be some changes! In any case, the monotypes will inform and suggest ways of working so that even if I do take my brush and actually 'touch' the finished surface, there will be strong connections to the work that has kept me fascinated for the past 18 years.

Please Note

Some clients have shown interest in work that has already been sold by the time that they see my work at a show. If you are interested in a particular series, please contact me so that I may send you images by e-mail.