At the Encinitas library, one evening, last year, I overheard Greg Brown talking about cyanotypes and asked if he’d teach me how to make them. In exchange, I offered to teach him how to make monotypes, my specialty. We struck a deal, and an instant friendship was formed. Over several months we learned each others respective processes, and found that sharing, co-creating and connecting through printmaking, energized us and our work.
Our upcoming show titled “LUMINOUS, Light and Transparency on Paper” will be on display at the Civic Center Gallery from March 3 through April 16. The opening reception is 5:00 to 7:00 PM on Friday, March 7. The gallery is located in Encinitas City Hall, 505 South Vulcan Avenue, Encinitas, CA 92024.
Our goals are the same. To produce visually striking images that draw the viewer in, using texture, transparency, and light. Although our goals are the same, our methods are quite different.
My monotypes comprise half of the show. Creating monotypes requires acrylic printing plates, ink, brayers, brushes, stamps, stencils, and a 1500 lb. etching press. It is an exciting, and sometimes frustrating process. Generally the “successful” pieces occur from overlapping several images, working with different layers of color, transparency and texture but the results are hard to predict. It’s an intuitive process in which over-planning can lead to mishaps. With monotype, it’s best to avoid “overthinking” and allow for inner guidance take over.
Greg, whose cyanotypes make up the other half of the exhibit, has a background in Architecture, solar energy design and music. Cyanotypes are named for the blue “cyan” images produced by their photosensitive chemicals. Making them requires watercolor paper, a photo emulsion, a dark work- space, a variety of objects, film transparencies, a large sheet of glass, a large water tray, a spray nozzle, a sunny day and lots of imagination. It is an exciting, yet sometimes capricious process. An experienced printer can get exquisitely detailed photo prints using negative transparencies, but with objects set on the paper, freer compositions, and varying light conditions, there are always surprises. The results can be delicate, floating, mysterious, or other-worldly images, impossible to create in any other medium.
As printmaking partners, we have found that our chance connection through the common thread of art making has enriched our lives. It’s a deep experience discovering new artistic territory with another artist. We are grateful to the City of Encinitas arts program for providing the opportunity to exhibit our work.
To see Greg’s work, click here.