I create single-edition monoprints by painting on gelatin printing plates. Each monoprint has many printed layers. With each layer, I press printmaking paper over the painted surface of the plate. When I pull the paper away, a single print of my image is revealed. To begin the process, I lay down an abstract composition of four or five printed layers, mindful of texture, color, and form. Within the abstract composition, I look for a figure to emerge. The final layer of printing is the negative silhouette of this figure superimposed with light or dark paint. I enjoy monoprinting because there is an element of surprise in the creative process. Often the results are unpredictable and seemingly out of my control. I am also very interested in the transparency of color, line, and texture within the printed layers. I like ghost images and ambiguous forms. Many of the figures that I create appear to be going through a process of change or metamorphosis. Some are mysterious and in shadow. Others are bold and defiant or burdened and broken. I try to show the figure’s inner struggle and transformation by revealing what is inside the body. The body is reduced to parts and pieces in a final reconstruction that, while painful and uncertain, ultimately results in strength and perseverance.
Woodstock, Illinois, USA / / 815.236.9272
© 2021 by Jean McDonough