Archive mensuelle de juin 2010

Alexia at Atelier Circulaire

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My niece Alexia recently celebrated her seventh birthday. For the occasion I offered her a printmaking session at Atelier Circulaire. Alexia is a budding artist. In her basement there is a big wall permanently reserved for her artwork. In her kitchen there is an original Alexia pastel of a still life, next to her felt drawing of a black piano with purple pedals, and her bedroom wall is adorned with two of her abstract gouache pieces.

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At Atelier Circulaire last Saturday, I showed Alexia how to make monotypes. Monotype printing is the most direct of all printmaking techniques. I gave her a thin styrene plastic plate and showed her the different ways to apply the oil-based printing inks: by brush, rag, hand, spatula and roller.

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Alexia picked up the technique easily, mixed colors and experimented with different effects on the styrene plate. The difference between monotype and painting directly onto paper is that on the styrene plate, the artist can slide and combine the ink easily and play with transparency. On paper the ink is absorbed quickly and does not allow for this type of manipulation. Also, the fact that the monotype passes through a printing press, creates its own look, where colors and textures merge together.

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In an hour and a half, Alexia made four monotypes, ranging from abstract to figurative. She tried her hand at all the steps of the creative process: wetting the paper, working on the plate, turning the wheel of the press, and putting the prints between boards and under weights to make them dry flat.

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Yesterday our family visited Alexia. She numbered and signed her dried prints and gave them titles. The seven-year old artist had an impromptu exhibition of her monotypes in her dining room for the family. I was impressed with her work but what gave me the most joy was to hear how she described her experience and the technique to everyone. There was definite pride in her voice. That is always the magic moment for me as an art teacher, when I realize that I have transmitted that wonderful feeling that comes from creating art.

Talleen Hacikyan




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