This is among the first batch of monoprints I made using Flexseal (liquid rubber) as a medium. I had just seen a painting by Max Ernst that I love, entitled Napoleon in The Wilderness, which somehow evoked this image.
I want it to be clear, I did not notice the evocation as it was happening. I was simply swirling rubber on paper for the first time with my bare hands (took me a while to clean them off), and I was becoming fascinated by the smearing techniques I was discovering. So you could say I was in the wilderness as was Napoleon.
It’s a very strange feeling when you are working, that you are the first person to use a medium in this fashion, and for me, this aspect of the adventure is still exciting. It’s not easy to be first at anything anymore, is it? And yet, somehow I found the way. Look, I am not implying that I am the first artist to use Flexseal as a medium because I have seen at least one person do a painting with it as paint. I am, however, the first to use it to create printing plates and monoprints, and I work with it this directly and exclusively. But that’s the medium. Look at the image.
There are several methods being used here I want to mention. The first is that I used the rubber to paint the framing mechanism to evoke an old photograph. The second and most important is that I used one of my first successful Flexseal printing plates on it (rubber to print with rubber!) as another layer, and also used scratchboard techniques on the background. For me, this image represents a new discovery.