The Monotype or Monoprint

As the name monotype implies, it is a unique and singular print. A transfer to paper or canvas from a smooth flat non-absorbent surface (glass, Plexiglas, acetate, zinc or copper) which I have directly painted with brush or other non-incisive tools.
I began painting monotypes in 1979 and was inspired by the spontaneity and the freshness of the medium. For several years painting on zinc plates and printing the monotypes with an etching press, I produced an extensive body of oil-based works. During this period the toxicity of the oil-based medium began to affect my health, so in 1991 I stopped making monotypes. I continued to paint directly on canvas and paper with water-based oil and acrylic paint. One day, while making a collage element on a canvas surface, due to an accident, I discovered a method of using acrylic paint to produce monotypes. For several years my monotypes became thoroughly experimental as this new process was perfected. In the course of this investigation, I experienced a special technique of making an archival monotype superior to its oil-based predecessor. To my surprise all the traditional flavors that one would expect to view in a monotype were present; the only exception is the lack of a plate mark created by the pressure of the etching press. The etching press is not used in this new process; instead, the transfer from the plate is executed by hand. Because the plate surface is smooth and non-absorbent, the limitless workable viscosity of paint creates many exciting surfaces and textures.
I have found this new technique to be rich in possibilities both for new effects in color and texture and in its ability to move the viewer. These new works address fabrics, light and shadow, landscapes, and the metropolis.



The Archival Inkjet Print (Giclée)
Inkjet technology is little more than a couple of decades old. That's nothing when you consider it was over 500 years ago when Johannes Gutenberg invented the printing press and artists such as Albrecht Dürer, Martin Schongauer, and Lucas van Leyden began printing engravings. By many accounts, the use of inkjet printers to create fine art began in 1990, in Venice Beach, California, where musician Graham Nash began experimenting with methods of outputting reproductions of his computer-enhanced black and white photographs.
After more than a year of research, Nash discovered the Iris 3047 graphics printer, but wasn't satisfied with the surface quality of standard Iris papers. So, he and partner R. Mac Holbert began modifying the printer and its software so they could print on a variety of quality papers. After much experimentation and some initial successes, they produced the first giclée or Inkjet print. The term giclée is tossed around rather freely when it comes to printmaking, which simply adds to your confusion when someone trying to sell you art by the next Picasso launches into art-speak. Originally, giclée applied to output on an Iris inkjet printer, specifically the Iris 3024, 3047, or the 3047G (renamed the Iris GPRINT in 1998). But today, depending on who you talk to, giclée refers a scanned or photographic reproduction of an original artwork printed with any archival quality inkjet printer. The prints seen here are not reproductions of other artworks; they are the original artwork as limited edition digital stylus drawings. The colored inks are pigmented, so the longevity exceeds all die-based colors used in many fine art mediums. Like any other fine art printmaking edition, when the edition is finished the digital matrix is destroyed. This is new media experimentation and I hope you will consider, when viewing this work, that the creative process is still alive.



Mixed Media Artwork

A technique involving the use of two or more artistic media, such as painting and collage, when they are combined in a single composition.

I started combining digital elements in my work in the early 90's. Mainly carbon based laser prints from scanned drawing, photographs and various writings. This was the beginning of my interest in mixed media work. I found the possibilities endless and refreshing.

I hope the mixed media works seen here, the bringing together of new and traditional mediums, create an unusual visual experience for you.

©  Jon Rife Studio 2015