Time: 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
An exhibit of monotypes, monoprints and pottery.
Bio/Artist Statement – JEAN BARNES DOWNS
My childhood was spent on a general farm in Northwest Ohio during the 1940’s and 50’s. I loved that life with animals, fields, nature and freedom, and it has greatly influenced my life and my art. There on the land and within my family I learned reverence for the Creator, for creation and for solitude. From these earliest experiences I developed a profound connection to the earth which I try to express through drawing, printmaking and painting.
Drawing is a tactile experience that immerses me in my natural surroundings. Through this practice I connect physically to a subject with the touch of pencil or pen on paper. I begin to “see” not simply look. My Plein Aire work begins by drawing on site with accordion folded paper in small format. I then apply watercolor, and later when in the studio, I construct the folded drawings into accordion books. Drawing is a way for me to quiet my busy mind, and I use quiet meditative contour drawing as my entry into creative sessions in my studio.
My primary printmaking method is monotype. Monotype, a one-of-a-kind-print, is the most painterly of printmaking techniques and encourages a great deal of experimentation that aides my intuitive process of working. An image is created on a “plate” or surface that will not absorb the color and then printed on paper by running the plate through a printing press or by transferring the image by hand. Inks are applied to the plate with hands, brush, or brayer. Texture can be added with threads, stencils, torn paper, etc. all of which mask out the ink in selected places. One layer is printed and observed to decide where ink or stencils should be placed for subsequent layers. There are no rules with monotype and almost anything that accomplishes an end product is possible. A dried print may be painted on or collaged over, etc. As with drawing it is the joy of the process that pulls me to work.
More recently I have begun to paint on canvas with water mixable oil paints, the “ink” that I use for my monotypes. Different from the typical oil painting process these paints allow me to manipulate them with water and oil, wiping out, blotting, etc. to create textures as well as lights and darks. I am currently painting with a monochromatic palette mixed from 3 primary colors to emphasize value without the benefit of color.
Gelatin Plate description:
For nearly 20 years I have been using a plate of unflavored gelatin from which to print my monotypes. Since I do not have a printing press in my home, this unique way of printing monotypes by hand allows for building images with many layers of translucent/transparent ink. Transfer of the image from the plate requires only the simple pressure of my hand. The pliable surface of the gelatin allows the use of natural objects like leaves, bark and grasses and “found” objects like cheese cloth, thread, paper and plastic as stencils to make clean edged images. This method also allows me to use dry paper in the printing process eliminating the need to soak the paper before transfer as in traditional methods. All of my prints are done on archival papers using lightfast inks. I use non-toxic methods of printing using water mixable oil paints and inks.
My work has been exhibited in numerous juried and one-person shows and has won awards in the Washington, DC Metropolitan area as well as in the Cumberland MD area where I resided for many years. I have work in private collections in the U.S., the United Kingdom, Germany and Japan and have done commissions for individuals, churches and corporations. I have taught classes and workshops in monotype and drawing throughout my career.
6:00 PM 8:00 PM America/Detroit Artist Reception: Jean Barnes Downs
“EARTH RHYTHMS” An exhibit of monotypes, monoprints and pottery. Bio/Artist Statement – JEAN BARNES DOWNS My childhood was spent on a general farm in Northwest Ohio during the 1940’s and 50’s. I loved that life with animals, fields, nature and freedom, and it has greatly influenced my life and my art. There on the land […]Dexter District Library swright firstname.lastname@example.org