About a month ago, I had a chance to spend a few hours with my good friend (Brother)Eric. What resulted was good clean fun and several successful open-screen mono-prints. In this method of printmaking, a silk screen with a rectangle masked off, is used to create abstract designs. One can introduce a variety of mark making by painting/drizzling ink on the back of the screen, as well as introducing torn stencil pieces directly on top of the paper's soon to be printed surface (the paper sits underneath the screen and the ink is forced through with a squeegee, seen in the foreground). The jagged edges in the image are a result of the torn paper blocking out the ink. The smoother more organic shapes/marks result from the drizzling and direct application, which comes through the back of the screen (which is the side seen in the image at left).
Part of what makes this process so exciting is the harmony between and among the images. Though each print ends up quite different there is a visual echo between images. By clicking through the slideshow quickly the similarities can be seen. A body of work produced this way has a cohesion too it while each print maintains a uniqueness, by which it can stand alone, visually interesting in itself.
Mono-prints are made quickly and involve several layers. The element of the unknown is ever-present, yet one develops an intuition about obtaining certain general results. Each print has 2-3 layers of printing. Each sheet of paper receives a first layer of ink marks and is set aside. The sheets are cycled in underneath the silk-screen a number of times until you like what you have and aren't willing to risk another layer. Complexity in the images comes through repeating the process, sometimes emerging quickly, so that you might stop printing after two layers in certain cases. The result is a print with spacial depth and graphical richness, a diversity of both clear and ambiguous mark-making and a visual invitation to seek out imagery and symbolism.
J0hn Hunter Speier
Recent work, and explorations of techniques, aesthetics and poetics.