Anne Moore creates beautiful abstract imagery through her multi-layered monotype prints, each one a unique piece of art. To see more of her portfolio, please visit her website.
I was an adult, with five kids and a part time job, when I discovered printmaking. I was quickly hooked on this art form and spent many semesters at my community college learning the techniques and materials and, in the process, developing my own voice.
Because my husband is also an artist, some people ask if I print his work. No. What I make are original, hand-pulled pieces, not reproductions of something else. Basically, printmaking involves creating imagery on a “plate”, usually metal, wood, linoleum or plexiglass. The plate is inked and the image transferred to paper or cloth by running it through a press.
Early on, I discovered that I did not like making the same print over and over. At first it was a necessary part of learning the techniques, but I was soon changing each print with different colors of ink, combining plates or printing on handmade papers. Before long, techniques, materials and tools came together to open a new world of possibilities: monotypes.
As the name implies, monotypes are one-of-a-kind prints. There is no image embedded in the plate. Instead, ink is applied to a nonporous plate, manipulated and then printed. Once the ink is transferred to paper, there will never be another print exactly the same. Monotype styles range from representational to abstract, from single pass printing to multi-layered prints. The possibilities are endless and exciting.
I print in layers, first developing texture, then embellishing the surface to find some focal point and create balance. For me, printmaking is an intuitive experience, a work of discovery. I don’t begin with any end in mind. Every layer is a problem to be solved. Each print seems to take a life of it’s own and it’s hard to keep a series, an intentional set of prints, together.
I enjoy carving linocuts and often incorporate them in my prints. Sometimes they are used to remove ink from the plate before printing, and sometimes used to add ink to the print for embellishment. Just as often, I use scraps of textured materials that I’ve found or stencils that I’ve cut from acetate to create texture and detail.
The use of imagined alphabets which I create as linocuts allows me to introduce text as a design element. I enjoy the beauty of alphabet forms without tying a specific commentary to the finished print. As it is, I am more interested in beauty than message, more drawn to mystery than representation. My goal is to create work that is balanced, with appropriate colors, marks, imagery and texture yet with an intimation of history. My best pieces involve discontent, risk and intuition. They carry a history of themselves, with hints of earlier incarnations.
These days I am trying to pull the format apart by using different sized plates, or perhaps printing a linocut or stencil beyond the edge of the image. Of course, the size of my prints is proscribed by the press. My studio press handles a 22” x 30” sheet of paper, the smaller press can print 19″ x 30″.
My biggest challenge is bringing a piece to completion. Several times a year, my husband and I pack up my press and all our art supplies and escape to a borrowed home or a small rental studio to work for an extended period without interruption. Large blocks of time, something that’s elusive in my home studio, give me the opportunity to experiment, create and finish prints.
I find the creative process is as much a mystery as the finished pieces. It’s one I hope to keep exploring and so I remain a student.