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Monotypes by Storrs Bishop

As we round the corner to the final stages of production for our next book - Life List, by Marc Beaudin - we thought we'd share a little video. This book contains over 20 original monotypes by Storrs Bishop, each one a rendition of a bird found flapping its way through the poems in this collection. In this video you will see the artist at work.

The images in this book were created on a printing press using water-based ink printed on very thin Japanese mulberry paper. To create the image the artist rolls out a thin coat of ink on a large piece of plexiglass. Using small pieces of scrap mat board, he scrapes away the ink in the areas that will show as white on the paper. That means white feathers or highlights are areas where the ink is removed and the black areas are what remains on the plexiglass. If he doesn’t like how the image evolves, he rolls out a fresh layer of ink and tries again. When he likes what he sees he places the plexiglass on the press bed, sets a fresh piece of paper over it, and runs the sandwich through the press rollers to transfer the ink onto the paper.

The artist considers the resulting prints to be monotypes because each impression is completely unique and irreproducible. In contrast, a monoprint has reproducible printed elements, such as from a carved linoleum block, that carry through multiple copies, while other elements are changed with each imprint – colors, textures, additional papers, etc.

This process allows for a freedom of expression similar to gestural paintings and drawings. It engages a physical movement similar to dance matched with the manual dexterity of sculpting. It is messy and intricate and technically challenging. Through the manipulation of water and ink with paper and press settings, a certain chaos is controlled, or rather, negotiated, into an expression of art.

Learn more about the artist here: Storrs Bishop

Order the book here: Life List


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