Thursday, September 28, 2017

Monoprint Alchemy - making inspirational books

Next week I'm heading down to Geelong (Victoria, Australia) to run a week-long workshop titled 'Monoprint Alchemy', where the participants will experiment and play with a variety of monoprint and print mixed-media techniques to create a themed coptic bound book.

Over the past year, I've been working on two sample books to take along, as well as running a trial project with few art friends where the outcome is they also produce their own book.  The idea of this trial was to be able to take along to the Geelong workshop samples of completed books, showing the diversity resulting from a range of styles, choices, preferences, and skills. To just take my books wouldn't tell the whole story.

As the project comes to a close, I thought I should show you the results of many months of working together.   And I must say, I'm both impressed and humbled by the outcome - a beautiful collection of books that each reflect the personality of the creator.

So a HUGE thank you to all of the girls.  And yes, I've managed to fit all of the books in my suitcase - 5kgs of them - I just can't bear to leave any of them behind!

Now I just need to think of another exciting project for next year to keep us all busy. :-)

Here we are showing off our wonderful Monoprint Alchemy books -
Wendy, Lyn, me, Joanna and Ngaire.  Karin was absent for the photo.

Don't you just love a stack of colourful coptic books? 

A sample of Joanna's "Garden Shambolic" book, with
a beautiful expressive drypoint print.  Her book is
all about her garden, featuring prints and snippets of plants.

Wendy's "Banksia Connections" book with cover-wrap.

Wendy's gorgeous cover-wrap made using Paper Cloth techniques.

 A collage of banksia leaf monoprints in Wendy's book.
Her restricted colour palette and repeated leaf imagery
link the prints together really well.

A sample of Lyn's colourful Japan inspired book, featuring
her original artwork, haiku poems and ephemera.

Ngaire's sublime book "Shore Lines" was inspired by her walks
along local beaches.

Ngaire's book features her beautiful poems on foldouts and popups.

Karin's book 'Leaf" is organic and earthy, with a beautiful
eco-dyed cover with a leaf monoprint.

My book 'Nest Feather Song' is all about birds.
I frequently use bird imagery in my prints
so it wasn't hard for me to find content for my book.

A spread from my book, with monoprints, drypoint prints,
zines, and pages from bird books.

This is my other book, 'Leaf'.  Karin also did this theme,
but our books are TOTALLY different, which shows that
each book is a creative artwork and a reflection of
the artist who made them.

A spread from my 'Leaf' Book showing use of printed
shipping tags (love them!).

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Working smaller and smarter

Its been a while since I've made time to do some large fine-art monoprints as it requires quite a bit of planning and preparation.

So in between fine-art prints, I like to do small ones, A6 size up to A5 size, at home on my portable etching press or my Xcut DieCut Machine.   I also do a few prints when demonstrating at my workshops, but often those ones don't work out as I'm rushing it with an audience looking on.

My small prints are great for selling in my local shop outlets, as I can keep the price reasonable, under $100 framed.

As the prints are small, I find that the photo-ready frames (with mats) at local shops are great.  I source these frames from department stores (BIG W, Kmart), homewares shops (Freedom Furniture), and stationary shops (Officeworks).  For larger prints, I always use professional framers, as I've found from experience that cheap frames tend to warp in larger sizes and its difficult to attach D rings without damaging the frame.

Sometimes I don't bother framing the small prints.  I just mount them on a piece of stiff white cardboard, sometimes using a precut mat to 'frame' it, and finally wrapping it cellophane.

I've found that presenting smaller works for sale doesn't always have to be expensive.  And keeping the price down means that more people can enjoy my work :-)

My work for sale at a local show.  Cards in boxes, small works
in cellophane on stands at the back of the table,
hanging works on the wall
"Bodhi" monoprint.
This one's between A6 and A5 size.

Feather monoprint.

Feather monoprint again.
I used a black mat for this one,
it really brought out the moodiness of the
dark tips of the feather.
You can see it in the first picture of my display at the local show.