Glide of Pelicans

I have been working on my entry to the Morean Arts Center “Pelican Proud” exhibition. Morean is located in St. Petersburg, FL, which this year dubbed the pelican the official city bird.

It’s due in April, but as the Morean and everything else is now closed for COVID-19, I have no idea if this exhibition will happen. But art stops for no one — and no virus. Even though the exhibition may never happen, pelicans deserve attention. Especially brown pelicans, which have had such a rough go of it in the Gulf.

For inspiration, I made a drawing from a photo I’d taken of two injured pelicans at Homosassa Wildlife Park.

Pelican Pair, drawing

I love the look in the eye of the one on the left. She (?) seems to be supporting the one on the right, who is blind. They both look like they’d like to take wing and glide away together. I thought to try linocut and monotype to express what they may be thinking.

Glide of Pelicans – VE linocut monoprint w. stencils, 2020; Akua intaglio on Hannemuhle Copperplate; 11″x15.5″

I will likely develop this idea further, maybe incorporating scenes of St. Petersburg FL. I’m also noodling an abstract interpretation. Stay tuned.

Monoprinting is torturous fun

Monoprinting is torturous fun. You paint in reverse, and inside out. And chine collé adds further complication. Trace monoprinting is the riskiest of all, either reducing hours of work to an irretrievable mess, or adding the mark that makes all the difference.

I absolutely love monoprinting!

By definition, a “monoprint” is one of a kind, but has repeatable elements, like etchings, relief plates (linocut, collagraph, stamps), or textures I scrounge from packing materials or nature. A “monotype” is something that is entirely original, with no repeatable elements. I do both, yet I particularly enjoy incorporating original carved or found textures in my work and seldom combine them the same way twice.

The image shown above is a close-up of “Improv with Gold“, a banner piece on Masa paper. Because it was created using stencils, relief plates and stamps, it’s technically a monoprint. I used brayers to apply the ink, and embellished with trace monoprinting for the asemic writing (a fancy word meaning words with no meaning).

It’s always a journey of surprise and discovery to see how these disconnected marks work together on a single piece of paper.

I am the Ibis

I am the Ibis – Monoprint, collagraph, 2019; Akua intaglio on Arnhem 1618; 21.25″x12.25″

A fitting first blog post is my first entry into a group show. The theme was “This is Me” and the show was the annual member show at Morean Arts Center in St. Petersburg, FL.
Pondering how to tackle such a dull subject, an “industry of ibis” gathered in dozens in my front yard, persistently picking and pecking. Ibis are the hardest working avian around; the busiest of birds.

This is my spirit animal, I thought. I am the Ibis. Goo goo g’joob.

The above image is the fourth of five monoprints made from a collagraph plate, stencils, found texture and asemic writing. The monoprint submitted to the show won honorable mention.

Spirit animal, indeed!