Monos and ghosts



As the weeks go by, the monoprints are taking on a different character, becoming more representational but still have an abstract quality. Most of the forms are stencils, overlaid many times, with each layer responding to the previous one. I enjoy the serendipity and unplanned results, although I do plan the colour combinations with a degree of thoughtfulness.

I don’t clean the plate between layers, so residue from each application of ink remains and informs the following layers. Once I am satisfied that a print is complete sometimes I take a ghost print, which is simply the remnants of ink – some parts will continue to transfer, others will be exhausted. Below is a ghost print that initially was made after I sprayed water on the plate, intending to clean it, then decided to take another print. More layers were then added on top.


The last image shows a set of 6 postcard sized prints which were placed randomly on the plate that produced the top image. Each one is complete in itself, but they also work together as a set.


Author: anna warren portfolio

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

33 thoughts

  1. I look at these and think ancient landscapes – like central Australia. They encompass grand space and have a sense of the ethereal or spiritual as well. The ghost print is as evocative as the more defined prints above – but is more dreamlike than those two. I like the name ‘ghost print’. It has an element of mystery.
    The cards relate back to your little jewellery pieces. I could imagine tiny paintings of these in oils or enamels and worn round the neck or as brooches. They evoke mother-of-pearl.

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  2. Anna, I really love these and the the ghost images of the past plate as well as the wipe of a cloth which made the streak. Big ask, can you share how you make these? As I mentioned in IG they feel so mid century modern to me. Such beautiful landscapes!

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    1. Thank you so much Cathe – I have been really enjoying doing these!

      The process is quite simple, I start with a thin sheet of acetate, approx A3, about 1 or 2mm thick (sold here as drypoint plates). I make my stencils from Yupo, which is a thin, plastic-like paper, just roughly drawing a shape on it then cutting it out with a craft knife. Then I roll out printmaking ink (I am using water-based for these, nice easy clean up!) on a glass sheet. It needs to be quite thin or it will bleed around the edges of the stencil, then simply roll across the stencil that has been placed on the acetate. It can be moved and rolled again, I often repeat the images, but there is always the danger of smudging the shape you have just applied, but often the unexpected marks can add to the image. Once I have a few shapes on the acetate sheet I put it through the press, with dampened printmaking paper on it. It could be done by hand if your paper is thin enough. I then stencil more shapes on to the acetate without cleaning the first ones off, this means I know how the next layer will relate to the first, and keep going till I’m satisfied. One thing I do is sometimes turn the stencil over and roll it with a different colour, so the ink that remains on the first side will be transferred around the shape. The ghost prints are simply taken from the plate when I have added (and printed) all the layers, so there is just a small amount of ink left. The large ghost one I actually sprayed with water, about to clean it, then decided to take the print, that caused the mottled texture. I hope this helps – do ask if anything is unclear!


    1. You know, the deserts in Australia do have that feeling, that you are there by yourself. It affects different people in different ways, personally I love that sense of utter freedom and peace. Dwellings – I really hadn’t thought of that but you are right. A friend remarked that she could see igloos, which took me back a little, but now I see them myself. I wonder if icy landscapes will come next! Thanks Nancy.


    1. I’m so pleased that is what you got from these – central Australia, Kata Tjuta and Purnalulu were very much my inspiration. Its been interesting the different takes people have had on these, but I’m delighted that someone who knows these places can recognise them! Thanks Elaine.


    1. I love the way all observers can pick up on familiar elements in these images, it gives me a sense of universality. Mountains seen through smoke is a very evocative image, and of course something that relates to country Australia too. Now I want to go and see your North American mountains even more!


          1. Three days ago we revisited the Royal Tyrrell Museum in Drumheller, Alberta. When we’d first gone there three weeks earlier, unfortunately on a weekend, the crowds were so large that people stood four and five deep in front of the exhibits. It was such a madhouse I got a refund on my tickets. Three days ago things had returned to normal and we could enjoy the museum.

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            1. Interesting what a difference a few weeks makes! Timing should be a significant factor in decision-making when visiting potentially popular places. We are lucky we no longer have to travel in school holidays!


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