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A Spring (Monotype) Mixer

Updated: Mar 14

Tree and Flower Printmaking

Here’s something you might not know about me. I’m simultaneously a bit of a control freak and also enjoy working intuitively, in oil. These things don’t always mix well. But a workable combination I've found is a bit of planning, then letting it ride from there. I think that’s why I like making monotypes so much. I start with an initial drawing and a concept, which checks my “planning” comfort box. Then, as paint hits plate, the speed and serendipity of the process gets me into a creative flow where each lift of the paper offers its own reveal. (What is a monotype? Read here in my February post.)

Sometimes constraints actually set us free. I remember the spaghetti sauce choice overwhelm I read about years ago (Malcolm Gladwell's Tipping Point, or catch his saucy TED Talk here) whereby too many choices actually can make us less happy! Sometimes that applies to having too much time also. I know, seems impossible, too much time right? But, sometimes a little urgency and a limited pile of colors spurs the synapses in my brain to go go go, and the results can be much looser, more joyful - and that reads in the final outcomes. It also helps train my brain, and my hand, to keep that spirit, when I swap back to direct painting on canvas and panel.

So here’s a selection from two monotype series that I’m working on; both take inspiration and solace from the beauty of natural forms, floral and arboreal. The florals are new this year, as creating flower artworks in the spring just seems natural timing as color bursts forth from our gray and wet NW wonderland. The trees are also joining in their seasonal show with buds and early hints of color, but these monotypes are part of an ongoing project started last Fall to celebrate and document some of our last significant trees in Seattle. (Seattle is losing many of its larger trees due to development despite a tree protection ordinance – read more here.) I haven't name the series yet, so it's just Trees and Flowers for now!


The shapes of the trees and their graceful limbs, each is unique as a fingerprint. I feel like they are friends, keeping me company on local walks.


As winter's grays give way to pops of color, capturing these fleeting blooms brings me out of my winter cocoon.

So back to the studio for now... Updates on Spring events, an April plein air meetup (#pleinairpril yes indeed!), postcard sets, and new work to be posted to the shop soon!

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