I just finished another session of classes with the wonderful Portland-area artist Marcy Baker. I’ve loved exploring a new medium, and I’ve found that I really enjoy the process of creating monoprints.
With my beaded canvases, I will often go through many layers and choices of colors at different stages, sometimes making radical changes even after many hours of work have already been invested in the piece. With monoprints, all the preparation has to be done ahead of time–preparing stencils, choosing ink combinations, etc.–and then the work is printed in one step. As you can see from the two pieces above, you can re-use a stencil that you like (in this case, changing from a horizontal to a vertical orientation) but change colors and use other patterns/stencils to create a different effect or feeling.
Taking a class in a new medium not only provides an opportunity to learn and to try to apply your artistic sensibilities in a new way, but it also provides the chance to meet other talented artists from the area and to build a sense of community. I know many artists can feel a sense of isolation after spending so many hours alone in the studio. These classes have been a great way to connect with lots of other talented and interesting people.