Inside the Artist’s Studio with Barbara McPhail: Printmaker

I have a small printmaking studio in my home in Canandaigua, which has excellent light and looks out onto the street. My main medium is monotype, although I also use collagraph, linocut, woodblock and etching.

View of my etching press and the street

View of my etching press and the street

My monotypes are mostly created from shapes made from tagboard, and textures like wallpaper, fabric and netting. I start with drawing, but quickly go to designing with shapes as soon as the idea evolves. The shapes are inked up with brayers and placed onto inked plexiglass.

Shapes for "Fire and Ice" on the inking island

Shapes for “Fire and Ice” on the inking island

The print “Fire and Ice” was made of 6 inch square sections that were glued down to form a large print. Below are the sections before I glued them together and added the fire, which was painted paper collaged on at the end.

"Fire and Ice" sections before gluing together

“Fire and Ice” sections before gluing together

Sometimes I overlay images onto an existing print. First I draw out the idea and play with shapes on paper before deciding how I want it to look.

Working out the idea for adding a layer of shapes

Working out the idea for adding a layer of shapes

The beauty of monotype is the fascinating and endless possibilities, which keeps my creative energy flowing and my mind going…going…going.


Stop by Main Street Arts to see Barbara McPhail’s prints in our current exhibition the Upstate New York Printmaking Invitational (runs through October 7). View her work online at http://barbaramcphail.com

Sign up for our workshop: Linocut Printmaking with Barb McPhail.

Take a look at our previous Inside the Artist’s Studio blog post by sculptor Jerry Alonzo.

One thought on “Inside the Artist’s Studio with Barbara McPhail: Printmaker”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>