Kathleen DeMeo is a printmaker, painter and mixed-media installation artist. Her work has been shown in respected juried exhibitions including the Center for Contemporary Printmaking biennial "FootPrint International" and Connecticut Women Artists' annual national juried exhibition. Her monotypes have merited several "best in show" prizes among other awards. She has created outdoor installations for the Florence Griswold Museum's popular "Wee Faerie Village" for the past five years. Kathleen earned a BFA in graphic design from the University of Connecticut, completed post-graduate art courses at Wesleyan University, and has taken numerous classes in printmaking, painting, collage, encaustics and ceramics. See more of her work at kathleendemeo.com.
About My Work
I like the expressiveness and painterly aspect of monotypes. My subjects are imaginative landscapes and abstractions incorporating rich textures, vivid colors and elements of nature. Recently I’ve been experimenting with transparent printing inks, layering colors to create new, unexpected hues. In the “Moon Series” (using circle-shaped stencils) and more recent work using grids and rectangles, I convey movement and depth by varying the color densities. These works evoke a range of moods and emotions: calming, spiritual, joyful, mysterious.
Unpredictability, chance, surprise and discovery are part of my process: I never know exactly how two colors will combine or how the image will appear when I pull the paper away from the plate. Dual forces battle and make peace: static vs. fluid, hard-edged vs. soft, asymmetric vs. balanced, loose vs. controlled. I strive for pleasing compositions that resonate with viewers on a personal level.
The Monotype Process
I'm drawn to monotypes possibly because they’re the most “painterly” form of printmaking. I’m not interested in producing multiples, which is generally the aim of printing. But since monotypes are usually created using a press they fall into the printmaking category.
My work is made using oil-based inks on smooth plates made of Plexiglas. I apply ink directly with a brayer or brush, or I’ll ink objects like leaves and cut stencils and place them on the plate. Images are transferred from the plate to archival paper (Rives BFK 100% cotton) using a large etching press. Most of my monotypes are multi-layered and require several passes through the press as I add more color and imagery. Because there are no cuts or etched lines in the plates, each work is a one-of-a-kind “original” with no single repeating element. Occasionally I'll experiment with other printing techniques like collagraph or woodcut, but I never ink a plate in exactly the same manner so these works are considered monoprints.