I was recently accepted into an international miniature print exhibit to show a monotype image measuring 1 1/2″ x 2 1/2″ – a total of 4 square inches. (That is smaller than a business card.) The organizing group – The Center for Contemporary Printmaking – emailed me an invitation to send an additional 6 “variant or similar” monotypes to accompany the show.
The juried piece will be included in the wall display, but they maintain binders of additional work by the selected artists for the duration of the exhibit to maximize sales opportunities.
My usual approach to monotype doesn’t include making similar or variant prints – so I did not have work already available to send – in fact this was the first time I had attempted a miniature monotype! Most of my monotypes are 11″ x 14″ or larger.
I thought about what inspired me to create the first miniature monotype and decided to pursue that inspiration further to come up with additional imagery and energy for new work. “On a theme” seemed a reasonable criterion.
The first miniature, “Sea Wall” was inspired by memories of the South Carolina beach on Debordieu Island that I had visited many summers with my mother. Since Mom passed away last September, she has been on my mind frequently, and I was drawn to those beach memories in rememberance of how much she loved it there. The sea wall on the sand was something she and I had talked about and I enjoyed the juxtaposition of the man-made structure next to the sand and the water.
When planning the new pieces, it was May, the month of Mother’s Day and also the month that Mom would have turned 89 years old. I looked through my photos taken on trips back to visit her to find other images of the beach and the dunes on Debordieu Island that incorporated that element of something man-made juxtaposed with the wild beauty of the dunes and the sea.
Many of the resulting images were views from the homes we stayed in over the years when the family gathered in South Carolina to enjoy the beach, walks in the sand, catching up on family news, and long nights of games and laughter.
It may be that South Carolinians would find these images of dunes and boardwalks rather mundane, but to this California girl, they seemed interesting and strangely beautiful, and imbued with memories of shared family time.
If you have the opportunity, visit the 9th International Mini Print Biennial at the Center for Contemporary Printmaking in Mathews Park, Norwalk, CT from June 2 – Sept. 1, 2013