Neptune Bridge is a monotype gel print made with acrylics on paper. It is about 30 cm square. The print is mounted on a cradled wooden panel with edges painted black. It is wired and ready to hang.
This is one of a large series of gel prints made during lockdown. You can find many more here
The title is another inspired by my love of Science Fiction. In this case it draws on one of a series of books by James Blish called Cities in Flight. I misremembered the details though, the original story is about a bridge on Saturn. It can be found in the first novel of the series called They shall have stars.
Gel Printing with Acrylics on paper
Monotype prints are made by drawing or painting on a smooth, non-absorbent surface. This surface, sometimes called the matrix, was historically a copper etching plate. In contemporary work other materials are often used, such as acrylic sheet. The image on the matrix is then transferred onto a sheet of paper by pressing the two together. This usually requires a print press. Monotypes can also be created by inking an entire surface and then, using brushes or rags, removing ink to create light areas in a field of opaque colour.
The specific process I used for this print was gel printing (or Gelli but this is a trade mark). The matrix in this case is a soft synthetic gel. I apply the paint to the gel sheet with rollers or brushes, often using stencils or masks to limit the area to which the paint is applied. The rolled out paints can also be drawn into or otherwise textured in various ways. This process is repeated until I’m happy with the image. Some of my prints made this way have over 20 separate full or partial layers.
This process lets me make complex prints without needing a press, but the build up of paints gives the resulting monotype print many of the physical characteristics of a painting made with acrylics on paper.