Sunday, October 14, 2012

Melissa Meredith, Master Printmaker Shares Monotype Tips At Farmington Valley Arts Center Demonstration

Printmaking With Disposable Plastic Chopping Mats At The Farmington Valley Arts Center, Avon, CT

I arrived to my studio at The Farmington Valley Arts Center  (FVAC) and there were so many parked cars in the lot that I wondered what was going on ?

Meet Melissa Meredith

The draw ( no pun intended) was that Melissa Meredith, our FVAC painter and printmaker (at our center for 30 years)   was giving a free demonstration on monoprints in her studio on the second level.  The beauty of this demonstration was that it was informative for both beginners as well as artists who may have had some printmaking experiences before.
We all like to learn new ideas from  seasoned artists and Melissa did indeed deliver on sharing her secrets.

Using Common Art And 
Household Supplies To Print With

Melissa, a veteran printmaker demonstrated how to use plastic disposable grocery cutting boards (chopping mats) as plates for printing with watercolor,  gouache,  watercolor crayons and soap.

Meredith explained that while some printmakers use inks specially designed for the press, she was showing the group how to  make Monoprints with ordinary materials such as common  artist paint  including acrylics, oil and watercolor . Additionally watercolor crayons work quite well too.

Melissa showed us how to apply both paint and crayons to her plates.

Printing With Plastic Chopping Mats

Meredith explained to the audience that she has discovered the power of using ordinary dish detergent (she was using Ivory) to mix into your paint as you apply to your "plate" to help lift the paint later.  While many people use  Plexiglass (plastic) as plates with one side roughened with sand paper, Meredith has delighted in using clear cheap thin disposable plastic cutting boards or chopping mats as they are often called, which she finds at a discount store such as Job Lot. She works on the rough side of the plastic sheet.

Pulling The Print

After Meredith  applied some simple applications of paint on her plastic "plate" she used one of her presses to lift the paint off the  "plate" onto previously  dampened and blotted paper.  For those without a press (most of us), you can use a rolling pin or burnish with an old wooden spoon. After the image is "pressed" you gently "pull the print" from the plate and delight in the results.

The group of observers were inspired .....Meredith , a soft spoken artist with  a dynamic grasp of design and composition, created her magic in front of the gathered crowd. It was so exciting to see so many people spending a lovely Saturday  at the Farmington Valley Arts Center.

Visiting The Monotype Show At The Farmington Valley Arts Center October 12th -November 3, 21012

The FVAC campus  in a park like setting (right of route 44 in Avon, CT), is currently surrounded  by brillant colored Fall trees and flora. It is indeed  a glorious time  to visit the Center and our two new shows,  "Interpretations and Inspirations"  juried show in the main Fisher Gallery and  our print show, "The Monotype in Autumn" in the smaller Esther Drezner gallery.  There was a  buzz at FVAC yesterday, both upstairs  and downstairs as many of the print workshop participants were also able to meet some of  the 20 studio artists at FVAC  as well as visit the two gallery shows and gift shop.

There is so much  happening at FVAC be sure to visit  their wonderful website for calendar information.

Here is the link:

C. Dianne Zweig is the author of Hot Kitchen & Home Collectibles of the 30s, 40s, 50s and Hot Cottage Collectibles for Vintage Style Homes. She is also the Editor of I Antique Online an actively growing internet based resource community for people who buy, sell or collect antiques, collectibles and art. You can find Dianne’s fabulous retro and vintage kitchen, home and cottage collectibles at The Collinsville Antiques Company of New Hartford, CT, a 22,000 feet antique emporium with an in-house retro cafĂ©. To read more articles by C. Dianne Zweig click on this link: C. Dianne Zweig’s Blog Kitsch ‘n Stuff Email me at Visit my website, Dianne is a member of: The American Society of Journalists and Authors The Society of Professional Journalists

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