First experiment with monotype prints

Crazy as it seems I signed up for yet another class, Make Monotypes. How could I resist a class that looked this much fun? I couldn't. Last week was pretty exhausting, I was up late every night making my latest animal fable, so it was tough to pick up and start something instead of laying on the couch (which I did a little). Thankfully I had bought all the ingredients for the gel plate, so it got me going. Check out the plate making process below. I never thought I would be in the kitchen for an art project, but that was cool since I do like to bake occasionally. Too bad I can't eat this plate!  

We're suppose to be super careful not to induce bubbles in the mix, and it started well enough I was stirring very slowly. When I added the gelatin, it got kind of thick and it seemed like too much but all four boxes had to go in. As soon as I added the boiling water it got frothy and good luck getting rid of those bubbles! Maybe I needed to add more water or use less gelatin. Or maybe I stirred to slowly and the gelatin was starting to set? Not sure, but I went along with it, trying to squash the bubbles against the sides of the bowl as much as possible. 

Once in the baking sheet I tried to pushed them out but they got stuck to the side and the gelatin was starting to solidify. So you see below the left side is looking good, but the right side is a little messed up. I figured if I use the backside for printing it should be fine.

After that we let the plate set and stick it in the fridge for 2 to 4 hours. In this case two hours was fine, since my plate was pretty solid already with all that gelatin. This morning I pulled it out of the baking sheet. It came right off without much pulling, thanks to the no stick surface, I really recommend getting that type of sheet at the store.

Next we had to cut up stencils using a variety of found materials and threads, restricting ourselves to just one shape. I picked some type of an eye shape, which cut in half looks like the bottom of a sailboat. Love that kind of shapes.

With those stencils I was now ready to start printing. For some reason I was kind of nervous to start and procrastinated all day. When I finally got started it was 10pm, but I don't why I waited it was so much fun! I forgot how late it was. Following the videos, I had to work pretty quick, twice 20 minutes with no time to waste! Very good practice to go with the flow without thinking and seeing what happens.

And here are the resulting prints below. I used a a few different colors of Speedball ink: blue, yellow, red, black and a couple less standard colors like brown and copper. The copper especially makes a really nice effect. At the end I sort of mix a lot of the colors together.

For a quick first time exercise I'm impressed how fast it was to produce something that looks pretty cool.  Linda is a wonderful teacher, she walks us through the process step by step, very calmly and confidently. Can't wait to see what this next week will bring!