As a child I remember gazing at examples of Op Art in my grandparents’ home in Miami FL. My Uncle Wilfredo Arcay was a Master Serigrapher in Paris for European artists including Victor Vaserely, and Yaacov Agam. I grew up looking at this art, and it is interesting to me how the influences of childhood are working their way back in some of my current work. The color theory of Joseph Albers and the impressionists’ use of color has been an integral part of my art making in all its incarnations.
These pieces are a combination of printmaking and pastel and while I call them monotypes because each is a one of a kind, they are far from traditional monotypes. They involve layering imagery taken from photocopies of various things such as foliage, photographs, maps, and fabric patterns. I have also incorporated imagery from scientific artists, designers and illustrators such as Eadweard Muybridge, William Morris, and Ernst Haekel. I do a lithographic process directly on the photocopy using it as a disposable plate. Using oil based litho or etching ink on BFK Rives 300 gsm printmaking paper, I then layer on top of the imagery with translucent color fields and more imagery, printing anywhere from 2-15 layers on one piece. Usually images are covered or camouflaged and more done over the top to create the richness of color and texture.
When the monotype is finished I draw on top freehand, with charcoal pencil and pastel. These are my pastel monotype compilations. I look at many of photographs of birds and animals, and use them as well as memory to draw from. As the monotype part of the piece is developed organically and without a known outcome, the drawing is deliberate and precise. The surface of the monotype makes a wonderfully rich, ground for pastel and the combinations often surprise and delight me.