Workshop: The Mono Printed Brushmark

Experimental Printing Techniques

Vivien Haley Agate

Vivien Haley, Agate

I’ve mixed feelings about this one day class I attended yesterday.  The finished works shown by the tutor, Vivien Haley, were spectacular, beautiful colour schemes, innovative patterning and quality outcomes.

Should I have felt a little put-out that the samples she brought along were actually digitally printed rather than hand printed, when she was teaching us a hand printing class?  Probably not, but I did.  To be fair, she did have 2 gorgeous scarves that she had hand printed but her focus is firmly in the realms of digital printing.

Vivien Haley Fan Coral

Vivien Haley, Fan Coral

Vivien Haley Seven Fishes

Vivien Haley, Seven Fishes

In her defense I should add that she isn’t just playing at designing and producing a few lovely pieces, teaching from time to time and considering her talents as a ‘serious hobby’.  No, she is trying to eke out a modest living and endeavouring to promote her name and art style by selling on-line and through art shows/expos.  Therefore she needs to produce a quantity of quality, hard-wearing, desirable items in a range of colourways and digital printing is the way to achieve that.

When designing, she primarily concentrates on mark making and shape making.  Realism isn’t her thing.

She uses cut wood, cardboard, old x-ray film, plant material and whatever other fairly flat items she comes across.  She works shapes and patterns with acrylic paint on cartridge paper and later scans them into a computer.  Components are isolated, repeated, resized, re-coloured, reoriented and regrouped to form a unique unified whole.

Obviously the majority of her process was well outside the scope of the class, so we concentrated on making marks and patterns on paper which, frankly, I could have done equally as effectively at home or with friends.  However, it was a day out and I spent some dedicated hours mucking around with paint and paper.

Vivien demonstrating with wood and plastic transfer sheets

Vivien demonstrating with wood and plastic transfer sheets

Drawing on painted cardboard, printing plant matter, simple cut shapes.

Drawing on painted cardboard, printing plant matter, simple cut shapes.

A few of my samples:

VH-3Left to right: 1) paint transfer from glass, with a netting resist. The piece was relaid a second time slightly moved to create the ‘broken line’ effect. 2) Cardboard shapes, painted and used as stamps. Gauging the amount of paint required to create brush marks. 3) Repeated lino stamp I previously made with a cardboard cutout.

VH-4Left: A range of cardboard stamps & repeated plant material. Right: a bigger, less dense version of image number 3 above, with a more definite focal point of interest.

VH-5Here I repeatedly used the same wood block to print, alternating between 2 brushes – one with lighter brighter colours and the other with black or blue.  The brushes were never cleaned and the block was overlapped time after time, creating an integration of the various colours.

I think there is some scope to develop this type of printing/stenciling/stamping but I find it difficult to visualize unified outcomes (for me).  The idea of just messing around and making all sorts of patterns then selecting small sections and using the computer to formulate something workable from individual components could be interesting, but without the means to print out cloths myself it’s not somewhere I want to go at this stage.

Overall, a nice day, average teaching and techniques.  Something to keep at the back of my mind I guess.  You never know what you might want to do in the future.

Works by others in the class:



About Claire B

I am a passionate printmaker, paper maker and book artist. I'm a 'forever' student and frequently attend courses and workshops to extend and improve my creative skills.
This entry was posted in General Arts, My Creative Pieces, Workshops & Classes and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Workshop: The Mono Printed Brushmark

  1. Vivien Haley says:

    Hi Claire …
    I try not to be prescriptive in my workshops, my thinking is to allow students to work towards developing their own ideas and designs through experimentation and guidance.
    Having developed my own visual language over some 25 years with these simple techniques, I was fortunate to exhibit my work in many curated exhibitions. I brought along one of these 3 metre pieces to explain the process…
    An allergy to the textile ink has meant embracing the digital age so I can now continue my career, an issue for many printmakers.
    All the art work is still hand made and it is the building up of layers that gives the work its complexity and sophistication, not really the digital process. The Seven Fishes scarf you have shown on your blog is all hand printed silk and just scanned in….some areas slightly enlarged.
    Anyway, thank you for your blog and feed back…

    • Claire B says:

      Thanks for commenting Vivien, and I’m pleased that you have explained your work further here. It’s always good for blog followers to understand the process and how the imagery is achieved. As I said, you have some absolutely lovely pieces and great colour schemes.

  2. Pingback: Workshop: Vivien Haley The Mono Printed Brushmark: Experimental printing techniques | Fibres of Being

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