Chinese Ink Landscape Washes
By Donald Kolberg, Contributing Arts Editor
There are times as a monotype artist when I fight the wall, the blank page, and the empty canvas. Then something catches my eye – a bit of news, a painting, something someone says, or, in my case, a video: Lotus Flowers: Explore the Plexiglass Monoprint Techniques in CBP with Henry Li.
There is something about the ease with which Li seemed to work his monotypes, at once a serenity and decisiveness, the accidental played against the more intentional. I had to try it. I grabbed some deckled-edged paper I’d picked up from a flea market, buff linen resume-weight – heavy enough for the monotype process.
I set to work exploring ink washes. With a spray bottle, I moistened the area for the sky and watched the ink blur and run into incredible designs. Then I used an eyedropper to run a horizon line. What I created was a series of India ink wash landscape monotypes printed off of a glass sheet. By using thin and thick layers of ink on the glass I was able to manipulate clouds and ground to create depth.
Even the pressure I placed on the paper created differences in the resulting image. My next step will be to try acrylics in washes as well as printing inks. Though I think I’m going to stick with just the black.