Studio: international art — 26.1902

Page: 172
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Any medium not before tried by an
artist opens up new horizons for him, and provides
an extra means of expression. It gives him, as it
were, another tool with which to interpret nature
and to put fleeting ideas into tangible shape. In
this way he enlarges his experience and exercises
his ingenuity; and perhaps each experiment, while
acting as a mental relaxation for himself, may give
to the world an unique work of art, and rescue
from oblivion an idea or an impression which
might otherwise be neglected or abandoned.

Any novel process of artistic expression gratifies
the natural craving of the mind for new impres-
sions, and monotyping, being of comparatively
modern birth, presents a subject of interest to the
novelty-loving artist. Although understood only
by a few, it should be as universally known as
etching, lithographing, colour-printing, or en-
graving. It has limits, like all mediums, but it
has also great possibilities and many advantages
far superior to any other known method of
drawing. As a quick means of jotting down im-
pressions—a shorthand method of composing a

picture—it has no equal, and it is invaluable for
an artist as a facile way of making black-and-white
drawings of any paintings he wishes to be repro-
duced. For the student, monotyping directly
from nature affords a splendid exercise for the eye,
and improves his judgment of values, as it
reverses his usual method of work from a dark
stroke on a light ground to a light one on a dark
ground. That this is a healthy change and an
intellectual exercise is obvious.

Professor von Herkomer is quoted as saying of
monotyping : " I know of no method of drawing,
pencil or colour, that can approach the beauty of
these printed blacks. The artistic mysteries that
can be given, the finesse, the depth of tone and
variety of texture, make this a most delightful
medium for the painter." In a catalogue, entitled
"A New Black-and-White Art," by the same
artist, he says : " When I visited America in 1885
I was shown by an American artist a form of work
at that time quite new to me—of painting on a
copper plate with printer's ink, and then 1 blotting '
it off on to paper by means of a printing press.
That of course produced but one impression (as
the whole painting came off on to the paper) and
was called a monotype. I found it a fascinating



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