Begininngs in Printmaking

To get my blog going, some background on how I came to be an artist.

I commenced my artistic endeavours in 2004 when a dear friend invited me to attend a printmaking class.

I attended printmaking classes headed by Christine McCarthy, a professional South Australian printmaker, at the Ruth Tuck Art School for several years. The focus of the class was lino-carving. Here I was taught to draw, to establish a composition and complete an artwork via the printmaking process.

We held a group exhibition in 2009 entitled:

In Relief: An exhibition of works by printmakers of the Ruth Tuck Art School.

I entered 2 artworks in the exhibition, both Monotypes:

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Nymphaea in the Gardens, monotype, Elisabeth Howlett, 2009

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 Amazon Waterlily at the Gardens, Monotype, Elisabeth Howlett, 2009

A Monotype is essentially a one off ‘printed painting’.

In this instance, Monoprinting involved painting the subject using oil paints onto clear plastic. Paper was attached to one end of the plastic, to form the ‘registration’. The attached paper was carefully placed over the wet painting and put through the block printing press. Thus, the print is taken directly from the painting.

The result is an original monotype print, and the ‘ghost’; the plastic sheet showing paint left behind after the print is taken.

This was my first encounter with oil paint. I loved it – the smoothness and thickness, and the texture created with the brushstrokes.

I’ve used oil paints ever since!

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