Joan Brailsford – Monoprint – Waiting for spring
The monoprint challenge provided a chance to experiment with a technique that I have not used much before, and I thoroughly enjoyed doing that. Having experimented with stencil, block and line methods of monoprinting I decided that I would use the latter in my piece. I decided that I would keep my design simple, so that the line element of the print technique could be best utilised. I fell back to my usual place for inspiration, the countryside. It seems that a lot of my work springs from this source, even when I don’t initially start off with that intention! In this case I wanted to capture the stillness of the countryside in the winter months and the calm, muted colours which are so often overlooked
The work is in three sections with the print as the central section. I used a glass printing plate, the width of the finished piece, covered with Thermofax printing ink and drew my design into this on white cotton. I then painted the sky and earth sections of the print with a mixture of fabric paints and inks. There are a few ‘stripes’ of printing ink among the trees, but these do not worry me. The top and bottom thirds of the work are cut from the same piece of variegated commercial fabric. I added a layer of grey/blue chiffon to the top and rust/brown chiffon to the bottom, to give each a richer colour. I added a line of black quilting stitches to the printed ‘contours’ of the fields, then machine quilting for the ploughed field, and the ‘clouds’ in the top section. The grasses and ferns of the foreground, and the remainder of the other elements were worked by hand.
I enjoyed this process and even though the print does not cover the entire surface, I am happy with the way it works into the overall piece. One bonus for me in this piece is that my husband has declared that he likes it (he who normally says – “it’s OK”, or “what’s it supposed to be”!).
Close up views