Monotype is the most serendipitous of printmaking techniques for several reasons: it can be quick; it offers numerous options; and it involves immersing yourself, hands-on, in colors, textures, patterns, and possibilities.
Contrary to first impressions, I find that serendipity has some requirements. First, it demands an open awareness, a kind of relaxed receptivity, to allow the intuitive, the unexpected, to make itself known. Second, the corollary: serendipity requires not being attached to any particular outcome or, as Sherry Suisman, creator of the monotypes below, puts it, “not looking for just that one thing.” Creating monotypes encourages my expectations to soften, to ease, and it does so without chastisement. Rather, it offers enticement: look at all these colors, look at all this texture, look at all these possibilities, all yearning to be set free! For me, that's the joy of monotype: immersion in the process, eyes soft but alert, hands flexible, mind open.
Sherry returned from a trip to Iceland in love with ice. To re-create in monotype some of the gorgeous ice-scapes she saw, she employed 3 different kinds of stencils, 2 different textures, 3 differently sized rollers, and 2 different sets of ink. Then, toward the end of the second class, Sherry began pulling stencils off her plate and noticed the gorgeous textures they’d picked up underneath. She flipped those stencils over and – voila! While she’s enjoying all the prints she pulled, the last, daughter of serendipity, is her favorite.
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