Last week, well known local artist Barbara Albin visited the Order of the Golden Brush at St. James City Civic Association to demonstrate mono-printing.
"Barbara Albin has loved art since the tender age of 4. By age 17 she sold her first two watercolors to Northern Illinois University where she was a freshman and won a first place ribbon. Since then Barbara has been in over 400 juried and invitational shows with many awards to her credit. Her paintings are in the permanent collections of Northern Illinois University, Harper College, McHenry County Government Center, Knaak Manufacturing and many other corporate and private collections." From www.BarbAlbin.com
Mono-printing is a form of printmaking that creates one mirror image of the original.
"What we do is paint an image onto a plexiglass sheet," Albin said. "If you want to reproduce an art piece, you can place the original artwork underneath the plexiglass and 'copy' the art. Once that is completed you create a mirror image by mono-printing that's what we are doing today."
There were 10 artists in attendance with images of old houses, seascapes and even nudes. Each artist taped their original art under their plexiglass and painted their copy. Once completed, Albin demonstrated how to soak the heavy grade art paper in water. After 15 minutes, Albin removed the paper from the water bath and dried it off with a towel.
"Paper towels work just as well," Albin said.
Once the paper was dried off (damp but not dripping), Albin carefully placed the damp paper onto her original painting. With some help from fellow artists, Albin placed a sheet of wax paper on top and began rubbing the entire back of the paper in small circles with a wooden spoon. First vertically, then horizontally and finally diagonally. Once this process was completed, Albin lifted the paper from the original artwork and voila! The original artwork transferred to the paper.
"This is a process that has been going on for centuries," Albin said. "I came to it about six years ago and was hooked."
"The great part of these classes is they are good for anyone at any skill level," Sharon Astle said.
Pine Island resident Marilyn Polen brought a picture of her dog. The image transferred beautifully.
"Now I have something I can send to my daughter," Polen said. "The beauty of this is you get a great artist like Barb Albin to teach you things and it's all free. If we went to any of her sessions off the island it would cost a lot."
Albin's paintings may be seen at Sea Grapes Gallery in Punta Gorda and WildChild Gallery in Matlacha.