These monoprints were made with Akua inks, with which I have been experimenting for a few years. Little Backyard Tree is a trace monotype. I rolled Black Akua Intaglio ink over a plate, then laid the printing paper laid over it, with a piece of tracing paper over that, taping both in place. I made my drawing on the tracing paper with a fine ballpoint pen or a hard pencil, and the pressure of the pen pulls ink off the plate onto the printing paper. You can see here that the paper also picked up some ink between the lines, making a tone. Mountainside Village II is a print from the plate from which another trace monotype was made. Before I ran the plate through the press, I wiped off the ink in some areas, using various tools. Rivers Watching II was done similarly, but I had first done a four color trace mono of the turtle. After drawing the yellow, I replaced the yellow plate by turns with others inked in different colors, drawing more on the same tracing paper. Then I reworked those plates by adding and subtracting ink. I printed the reworked yellow and black plates to make this image, adding the reddish "ear" to one with a brush.
The birch trees are viscosity prints. This term refers to the tackiness or stickiness of the ink, also described as thinness or thickness. This quality can be used to make layers of ink either mix with or resist each other. The Akua liquid inks serve as our first resist layer. For Birch Tree I, I drew with black liquid ink with a squeeze bottle topped with a fine metal tip. I preserved the white of the bark by painting it with Transparent Base. Next, Akua Intaglio ink is used, perhaps straight from the jar (but adding Transparent Base to the ink will improve the resist) to sponge on the foliage. Finally, a thicker, more sticky mixture of Akua Intaglio is made by adding magnesium carbonate powder to the ink. If the balance is correct this ink may be rolled over the other inks on the plate and they will resist it, so that only blank areas of the plate will take this ink. In this print, the viscosities of the two Akua Intaglio ink layers are a little too close to do this perfectly, so they blend a little, making the greens.
Kit Browne Pike grew up in an outer suburb of Boston, Massachusetts, drawing, writing, building snow forts, and doing amateur theatricals, for which she often did the posters. She earned a BFA in Printmaking from the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, including a semester internship at Pratt Graphics Center in Manhattan. She worked at engineering drafting, then still done by hand, and met her civil engineer husband. Later she became a stay-at-home mom who could weave her artwork around and through her house and church work. Without access to a press, she did watercolors, drawings, quilts, painted clothing, and calligraphy, showing with Calligraphers of Maine and as a member of that group. Kit was Scenic Artist for the South Portland (Maine) High School musical theater program for 13 years, directing students and volunteers who helped her paint the sets for these much-anticipated productions. In 1996 Kit discovered and joined Peregrine Press, helping to establish and maintain its new etching practice.
Kit’s artwork has been seen each August for nearly 20 years at South Portland’s Art in the Park. She has participated in each Peregrine Press exhibit since she joined in 1996, and in both Press portfolios. She has shown her work at other venues such as CMCA, Maine College of Art, and the University of Southern Maine, Lewiston/Auburn. Her work is in many private and public collections, in Maine and beyond. Kit Browne Pike lives in South Portland, Maine