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Making a monotype
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Dreading The Prognosis - Monotype Abstract Portrait Collage

Richard Arfsten

United States

Collage, Paper on Paper

Size: 40 W x 32 H x 0.1 D in

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$640

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About The Artwork

As I get older every time I go to the doctor and get another battery of tests for the new problem there is the anticipation that the prognosis is going to be not good. Oh joy when it is not so bad. Printmaking: Monotype on Paper. I love making monotypes. The big attraction to me is the huge amount of unpredictability in the process. Basically you put ink on a plate and then lay a piece of paper on to the ink and then put pressure on the paper. Only some of the ink transfers to the paper. This is where the magic happens. When you peal the paper away from the plate it is elation or disappointment. It is Christmas each time you do this "opening of the sandwich" because you really do not know what the art gods will give you. There are many variables involved such as the amount of pressure, the type of paper, the amount and type of ink, the design, how the ink was applied, yatta yatta. After you pull the print you have to decide "do I stop here, or keep on manipulating the image. The other gift you get is the remaining ink on the plate. Most people wipe the remaining off of the plate but not me. I put another piece of paper on the remaining ink and create a ghost which becomes part of the history of another composition. These are called montypes or monoprints because you only get one copy of the design. I like to work in a series to show all the variations of the design. I put a number on each print so I can keep the variations organized. The printing press to make monotypes is extremely expensive. This along with the time required to make one painting can be very long. It takes a week for the ink to dry before I run it through the press again to add to the design. Some time it takes months to make a picture because I do not have a road map how to make it and what I want to do to it next. These things are too big to fit in your garage so now you need a special building that must be rented. On top of that it costs thousands of dollars to have a machinery mover put it in your space after you have spent your life savings on the press. Bottom line is monotypes are expensive to make but are really really fun to do..

Details & Dimensions

Collage:Paper on Paper

Original:One-of-a-kind Artwork

Size:40 W x 32 H x 0.1 D in

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I have an ambitious approach to life ... and to art ... make something happen every day ... but most of all have fun doing it! A sculptor first, and now working in 2D, I do my best to do just that. Presented here are examples of some of my work. •• My sculpture runs the gamut from abstract, to figurative, to architectural. The materials and methods used are diverse ... from figures modeled in clay or wax, then cast in pewter or bronze ... to aluminum maquettes (produced by evaporative pattern casting) which serve as the 3D blueprints for the pieces that are enlarged and fabricated from sheet metal of all kinds. •• My 2D pieces range from abstract to figurative. You’ll find Originals done in oils or acrylic, one-of-a-kind monotypes, collages, mixed media paintings, and more ... I love working in all mediums. Some of my 2D work may be available as reproductions on this site. ••• MY FASCINATION WITH SCIENCE FICTION & MAKE BELIEVE - When I was in second grade, television was new and the hottest thing. The "Adventures of Flash Gordon" was my favorite program. There was only one kid in the neighborhood who had a TV. We, all the kids, gathered at his house for every episode. I was a huge fan of the characters. Flash was cool and my hero. Dale Arden was OK but Princess Aura was way cooler because she was naughty. Ming The Mercilous was very interesting. But Dr. Zarkov and his super duper telescope - that could see into time forwards and backwards, far and near - was the star of the show for me. The spaceship was really hoakey. You could see the wire that it was traveling on and the little puffs of smoke coming out of it were a joke, even for me. But the concept of the show was magical. Also at that time there were radio shows about space travel and aliens and monsters. I would listen to those shows with my grandfather as I sat on the floor next to the big wooden box radio so I could get the full impact of the sounds. •• These shows inspired me to draw spaceships, mostly "new and improved" versions of Flash's ship. I taped them all over my bedroom walls. At night I would travel with Flash. We would go to distant parts of the Universe and explore ancient ruins - like what I saw in National Geographic when I was not looking at the bare-breasted girls of exotic cultures. (I think artists and sculptors, are to a large part, voyeurs.) Those memories pop up in my art over and over. •• Faces also intrigue and inspire me.

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