Still Waters #2
12 x 12 oil monotype, 2008.
Why Plein Air Monotypes?
I’m a painter, and thanks to a simple process, I’m a printmaker, too. To make my monotypes, I do a painting on a piece of plexiglass, dampen a sheet of paper, and transfer that painted image onto the paper using a press or a palm press–that’s it! The process is exciting because there’s a constant surprise element. When transfered, the image is squished, changing my brush strokes and paint placement into something very different than what I applied to the plexiglass. Also, the image is reversed, which is always a bit of a jolt when first viewing the print but I like these surprises very much. They’ve added an energy to my painting experience, which at times can become a bit of the “same old, same old.”
The sheep series started with a painting retreat to a farm in central Pennsylvania 14 summers ago. I went to paint cows, but couldn’t take my eyes off the sheep. They were Jacob sheep, an ancient breed that dates back to biblical times. I found their huge curved horns, fluffy spotted coats and spindly short legs quite captivating. They’ve become my primary source of imagery, allowing me to explore paint application, surface texture, composition and color in a way that satisfies me.
Sheep are often one of the first images we see in our lives. Think of all the nursery rhymes and children’s stories that involve or are about sheep. In my case, one of my very first memories is of painted wooden cut-outs of Little Bo Peep and her sheep that my mother had hanging above my crib. I can envision that room and how the “art” was hung to this day. Maybe you, too, have some kind of formative visual in your mind about sheep. Or maybe you connect with them for other reasons. Either way, I hope you will enjoy my sheep images!
Carolyn Letvin is a resident of Milford, Massachusetts. She began her painting career in 1973 by attending a three-month painting intensive with the renowned Pennsylvania realist, Ted Fitzkee, at York Academy of Arts, York, Pennsylvania. After graduating valedictorian from New England School of Art & Design in 1977 with a Certificate of Graphic Design, she took a hiatus from painting to run a freelance graphic design business. She returned to painting in 1989 and has exhibited in the New England area since 1990. She is an accomplished landscape painter and also creates stylized feline and farm animal imagery.
She has won many awards through the years, including the Top Award at the 18th Annual Faber Birren National Color Award and an Honorary Mention/Sakura Award from the United Pastelists of America/Oil Pastel. Her most recent award is a second place from the Blanche Ames National Juried Exhibition at Borderland Park, North Easton, MA. Currently, her work can be seen at Lauren Clark Fine Art in Great Barrington, MA, Gallery Wright Studio in Wilmington, VT, and Hudson Art & Framing in Hudson, MA. She is on the board at the Concord Art Association and a board member for the Monotype Guild of New England.