More monoprints


The monoprints are taking on a life of their own. When I started doing these it was with the intention of using them as a base for drawing into, but as I have become more confident with the process they are starting to stand alone. Layering has been a key ingredient in the progression, adding depth and intricacy. Each time I peel back the paper after a pass through the press I am surprised at the changes that appear.

Random additional elements, such as pieces of raffia, string, textured paper ribbon, fabric and so on add another series of forms. Once colour has been added to these, they can be re-used to offset that colour back onto the image. Stencils have added another level of interest. I cut bird shapes from a piece of stencil paper and applied them in different ways. Adding a recognisable shape has changed the character of the image, now they have gone from completely abstract images to more of a landscape, or something reminiscent of a map or aerial image. The tertiary, earthy colours that I have been using – usually a mix of about three colours – also help this feeling.

Something I am also finding is that I like the small elements of the images, in some cases more than the complete image, such as the above image which is about a quarter of the larger piece below, so I could end up cutting the images into a series of smaller pieces. (The paper I use is approximately 50 x 40 cm.)


(Above) This is the complete image which includes the detail at the top.


Two more details of the image.


Two more full monoprints, made at the same time as the top one. There may be more layers added to these …


Author: anna warren portfolio

I draw, I paint, I am a printmaker. Always searching for the interesting detail in the world around me.

27 thoughts

  1. That is true – I have just (accidentally) placed another print with a large circle cut out of it on top of one of these and I thought ”Ooh, that’s interesting!”. There are many directions these could go in. Glad you are enjoying the colours, they are not ones I often use but I’m loving them.


  2. I just checked to make sure that ‘cartographic’ is a word before I started this comment. Yes it is. I thought of cartography before I read your words “reminiscent of a map or aerial image”. I see that too and what’s more, each work is a journey, an exploration, where the destination is unknown. Maybe the destination doesn’t matter and it is the journey itself which is meaningful.
    Yes, it is good to see the details because then one can appreciate the intricacies and textures which one may not take notice of when looking at the whole piece.
    Very satisfying – especially for a person who already loves to study maps and take journeys.

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    1. Each of these really is a journey – the first few marks are tentative, then gradually more ideas come to me and more gets added. After the first run through the press different paths suggest themselves, so the image is like a map in different ways, sometimes just charting a route through my thought processes! I have no idea of the destination at the beginning, sometimes I think I know then a fork in the road appears and off to somewhere else …

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  3. I’ve just been to the American prints exhibition at the British Museum. This included some very useful information about different types and ways of printing, so I come to your mono prints with new understanding (a bit, anyway)! I love the way the images change as you add.

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    1. I had intended to get to that exhibition but ran out of time, I heard it was excellent. I’m glad it gave you useful information, sometimes printmaking can be a bit impenetrable! There is a bit of magic in the way the images change with the layers – I have overdone it with one or two, but they still may come good with more added!


  4. I love the natural patterns that are so complementary to the colors you’ve selected. The layers to create these beautiful pieces are so symbolic to life and the wonder and unexpectedness of the ‘reveal’ after you’ve pressed, right? And tagging onto Evelyn’s thoughtful comment…like us, the subject becomes more interesting with each layer. Lovely work, Anna.

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    1. I love the analogy of how adding layers is similar to us growing (and ageing!) as humans, it is so true. Every new experience, like a pass through the press, adds unexpected textures and forms and extra depth to our lives. Thanks for your insight Carol!


      1. My online name is “whitefeatherfloating” and I made it up when I first began using the internet in the late 90’s. I was studying the culture of Native American History at the time. ๐Ÿ™‚ I love your art, Anna.

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  5. These are really beautiful and definitely stand on their own. You make me wish I had a press to do printmaking, which I have not done since college. As usual, you are an inspiration.

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  6. I love how these have developed Anna … the addition of swooping and soaring little birds unleashed within your monoprint *landscape abstract speak to me of freedom and joy ….

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    1. Your descriptions are so evocative Poppy, I always enjoy what you have to say. I have been getting more confident in my approaches, and more inventive as time goes on. Tomorrow I am back to them again, after a three week break, so I’m not sure what will emerge this time!

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    1. Monoprints are not always easy to explain, so I thought it would be useful to go into a bit of detail of how I created these. They are a constant source of surprise for me, which is one of the joys of printmaking – peeling back the paper after a pass through the press is always an interesting moment!


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