Have you ever heard of monoprints? They are basically the easiest, most fun art ever,
Monoprints are made by painting on a surface (so many options) and then pressing a piece of paper or cardstock onto the painting to make a print.
I first learned about monoprinting in this amazing art book called Art Workshop for Children by Bar Rucci. It's packed full of awesome process art ideas--I want to try ALL of them. It's like my art mom handbook. My parents actually bought it for me for my birthday a couple of weeks ago because the library wouldn't let me renew it a twelfth time :)
I'm no art expert, but I have done a lot of reading and researching. Process art is basically no rules art. Instead of focusing on the final product, like crafts, process art focuses on the process of making the art. It's all about the fun! Nothing to replicate...just get in there and create. I've seen a huge change in Kinley's willingness to do art, and happiness while doing art since we quit the crafts and the rules. We like to put music on and relax while we are getting our process art on...it's definitely the best part of our school day.
Anyway, let's get back to it! One of the first projects we tried from Bar's crazy awesome book, was a monoprint, but for that one we painted on gallon-sized plastic storage bags. We had an absolute blast!
So, then we tried it on our plastic IKEA lunch tray--LOVED it.
When I read further in the book, I found an idea for monoprinting on plexiglass, so I had the hubster bring us home a sheet of that stuff. I've been anxiously waiting for him to cut it up into manageable art-sized pieces for a couple of weeks, and today I just couldn't wait any longer to do more monoprints. Time to improvise.
What is smooth, easy to cut, and won't soak up paint? Hmmmm...got it! WAX PAPER!
I haven't ever heard of anyone doing this before. That's not to say I invented it, because what are the chances of that, but isn't it silly that I was almost certain it wouldn't work because I hadn't seen it on Pinterest? I depend way too much on my hoard of ideas on there! It's hard to get out of the mode of searching for how to do anything and everything instead of just puzzling it out, isn't it?
Anyway, back to the process art! I'm not doing so well at focusing today, am I? :)
I grabbed a couple of sheets of good old wax paper and trimmed them up so they'd have nice straight sides. Not because this is necessary, it isn't. Just because I am crazy and can't stand messy edges.
After the trim, I used painter's tape to stick the wax paper to the schoolroom table. It doesn't have to be neat, you just don't want that stuff to slide around while you and your small human are painting on it.
Today was St. Patrick's Day, so I grabbed two shades of green craft paint. Tempera or washable kiddo paint would work well for this, too, we are just running low on that stuff. Oh, and I let K choose two paintbrushes--one wide, one thin. You could use anything for this--paint rollers, cotton swabs, fingers. You'll wanna get your paper ready before you get started, too. I usually give Kinley 4 half sheets of cardstock, but anything will work. Remember, no rules!
After we got our smocks on and sleeves pushed up, I let Kinley squirt two little puddles of paint wherever she wanted on her wax paper--you really don't need much paint. And then she got to work and so did I.
We just love doing art together :)
I love watching Kinley paint. She uses these mesmerizing quick, little purposeful strokes and concentrates so hard that her little tongue peeks out of the corner of her mouth. Adorable :)
The best part about monoprints is the reveal! When the painting is perfect, just grab a sheet of paper and press it right on there. Give it a nice rub to make sure all of that beautiful art is making its way onto the paper, and then...LIFT.
It makes me holler and shriek with excitement every time. Every. Time. Yes, I am aware that I am a complete weirdo.
You can squirt more paint after each print and make brand-new designs. We each made 4 today and the wax paper was getting a little wrinkly, but definitely would've been alright for a few more. Just repeat until it's not fun anymore.
K is convinced she is the world's premier monoprint artist because I fa-LIP out and swoon each time she reveals a print. It's just exciting and so dang cool! Is this the face of one proud, happy and extremely cute little monoprint maker, or what?!
I'm seriously considering having her make me a set of notecards for Mother's Day using this method because I love them so much. Little modern art masterpieces!
The texture of the wax paper/craft paint combo is super smooth and almost buttery. We will definitely be trying this again. It'll probably be awhile 'til that plexiglass finally gets trimmed into shape anyway ;)
If you have any questions just holler, or if you wanna show me your monoprint masterpiece, just post it on Instagram and tag me (@cara.raisingkinley) I would love to see!