Monoprinting at Phoenix Brighton

Inspired by my recent enjoyable foray into the world of ceramic making I have been keen to start participating in more creative endeavors and try my hand at new crafts. Since joining the world of work I have found I have less and less time (or  at least I don’t make enough time) to do drawing, painting and other creative things which I used to love and do every day.I think it’s easy to get caught up in the day to day routine and forget to leave space for the things which make you feel happy and feel inspired.




In the process of creating a monoprint.


Some pieces by our tutor, Rachel Cohen.

To remedy this I signed myself up to  take part in a one-day monoprinting workshop at Phoenix Arts in Brighton. I had always wondered what exactly this big building in the centre of Brighton was and finally, having walked passed it countless times during my time living in Brighton, I was heading inside. It turns out the Phoenix Brighton is a creative space for artists which houses studios, teaching spaces and also communal areas which hold events and the regular ‘art junky’ fair.


My work from the session.

Mexican sugar skull print
Our teacher, Rachel Cohen took us through all the stages we would be trying out throughout the day including standard monoprinting which involves drawing an image onto inked paper which produces a reverse-image on the back, and the subtraction method which creates light and dark tones directly into ink and is then put through a press to create a ‘ghost image’. For inspiration we had plants and objects for still life observation and were also encouraged to draw from our imagination and any other references.

bug monoprint

Bug monoprint 2
Monoprinting images seem to take on a life of their own and the lack of control is both exciting and frustrating as the prints you create never resemble too closely the original image you draw. As the name suggests monoprints are all unique so once they have been created there is no real way to continue working on the same image; you only get one chance to print something.

monoprinting studio

Some example works by previous students on the course.

plant monoprinting
I really enjoyed the immediacy of the process and the way in which each print seemed to have a distinct personality and style despite them all being created in a single session. Considering the workshop was only one day long I think all of us on the course were surprised by how many pieces we managed to create. This is such a quick way to create interesting prints and requires minimal specialist equipment, I would thoroughly recommend giving it a go! Details of all upcoming courses at Phoenix Brighton can be found here.

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