Tag Archives: monotype

Identity Crisis

While working on my Artist’s Statement, I realized I’d better check my passport.  I’m not entirely sure of my identity these days.  Am I a graphite artist or a painter?  A perceptual artist or an impressionist?  We’re only half way through the semester, and so far I have worked in acrylic, watercolor, ink, oil pastels, and colored pencils. I’ve enjoyed them all, so the burning question remains: How can I possibly choose a medium? A style? A specific subject matter?  But an even bigger questions begs to be answered: Do I really have to choose?

In life, I am a mother, wife, homemaker,bookkeeper, teacher, counselor, dog walker, chauffeur, and student. I find ways to manage all of those roles, so why not manage multiple styles and mediums?  I have crafted a few mixed-media pieces, but each medium is so marvelous and unique on its own that I almost feel guilty asking them to share space on my canvas.

Is it really necessary to define my identity by subject matter, style, and medium?  Or can I periodically change my ‘appearance’ like Mother Nature does as she cycles through her seasons? Only time can answer these questions, so for now I will simply have to define myself as Suzanne Tamberrino: Artist.

“Revolution”–a mixed media monotype series

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I’m Off to See the Wizard

Brayers, and presses, and ink!  Oh, my!  This week, I journeyed into the topsy-turvy world of print making where I encountered plexiglass, stencils, and a whole new medium–oil based ink.  In print making, the ‘print’ is the mirror image of the inked design.  As I watched my professor’s involved demonstration, I felt myself slipping into a bizarre, technicolor dream world.  The layers, textures, and techniques made my head spin.  Would I have enough courage to use the great and powerful printing press?  Enough brains to master new techniques like the ‘rainbow roll’ and ‘chine colle’?  Enough heart to design a meaningful print? Or would it be safer to just click my heels and go home?  I decided to continue my journey into the fascinating world of print making.  I followed the yellow-ink road, brayer in hand, turned the giant wheel of the press, and pulled back the printing blanket to reveal my very first monotype.

There were definitely unexpected challenges along the way.  The ink was thick and sticky, and didn’t glide like acrylic paint.  The paper needed to be the perfect degree of ‘damp’ or the ink wouldn’t transfer properly.   Too much ink, and I had a mess–not enough, and I didn’t get results.  And even after the 30 minute clean-up–which involved a toxic blend of turpenoid, Simple Green, and baby oil–my skin, nails, and cuticles were stained a sickly shade of green, making me look just like the Wicked Witch of the West.

After a week of print making, I stepped into my ruby slippers, clicked my heels together three times, and before I knew it, I was back in my own studio among familiar friends like natural bristle brushes and tubes of acrylic paint.  I don’t need to wonder if my print making experience was all just a dream.  The proof is in the prints–and under my fingernails.

“Pile Up”–My very first monotype

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