The idea for the monotypes first came to me during an exhibition visit in Paris. Reading some information about Degas‹ work, it struck me, that some of his pastels were done over monotype. Degas applied an oily ink to a metal plate with a brush or rag and put it through a press. After that he used a mixture of pastel, gouache, and distemper to color his monotypes. I was surprised to learn that some of Degas‹ pastels were even done directly over oil paint. Unfortunately I can’t recall which those pictures are. (Imagine you’re in Paris and have caught a stomach flu!)
So I thought why not try oil paint instead of oily ink.
I just put some oilpaint (Sennelier) on an extra plate, added turpentine, and applied this with a brush an a piece of glass. Instead of a press I simply used an ink roller.
I tried various grounds for the monotype, but the Pastelmat seems to take it on best.
I varied the mixture of turpentine and oil paint and it seems best to work with pastels the more the oil paint is thinned down with turpentine.
2010 © Astrid Volquardsen
I waited for about a week till I applied the pastel, but I’m not sure if there won’t be some alterations. I’ve got the feeling the one monotype with the most »pure« oil paint alters already. (I guess, every experienced oil painter could have told me that.)
A number of Degas‹ monotypes have suffered from cracking and subsequent flaking. Well, they still looked beautiful to me.