So after heading to the nearest art supply store (always a total pleasure, ooh what else can we buy, what else??? - that's me not the kids), we stopped off at a park to gather some bits for inspiration: a few leaves, twigs, branches. Course the pickings were slim, it being the middle of winter. I was hoping for a beautiful thistle or verbena head, but we had to make due with an evergreen leaf and a dried up crumpled thing. When it came to the kids doing their prints, they went deep. Right down into the depths of their imagination. Not a single reference to the bits n bobs we'd collected. But by then we'd been outdoors, so it really didn't matter.
There is something deeply satisfying about the sound of a roller slathering a surface in ink. It makes you think of... Well you tell me what it makes you think of when you get round to doing it. It's wet, it's a deep sea blue, it's joyous. Try it. Chances are you'll like it even more than your kids.
So here's what you've got to do: Cover a flat surface, such as a piece of glass, or an old tile in water-based ink using a roller. Place a piece of paper on top, then draw something using a biro making sure your hand doesn't mush into the paper. Peel off and hey presto you've got yourself a monoprint. It probably won't sell at Frieze for hundreds of thousands like Tracey's work does, but it will certainly put a smile on your kids' faces.
What you need:
- A cheap roller (available in any art supply shop or online)
- Water-based ink
- A biro
- A piece of glass (e.g. from a frame) or an old tile
Top tip: Get the kids to write something backwards (tricky!) as once they peel it off, it will be the right way around on the print side. Also, play around with different thicknesses of paper and see how it affects your prints.
Top quote: "But words are things, and a small drop of ink, falling like dew upon a thought, produces that which makes thousands, perhaps millions think." Lord Byron