MGNE Members Highlight: Q&A with Bonnie Mineo
At our 2016 Annual Meeting, we awarded artist Bonnie Mineo with a lifetime honorary membership for her service to the Monotype Guild of New England. Bonnie has been a member of MGNE for about 8 years and served on the board for 4 years as Secretary, Co-President and President. Over the summer, we were able to ask Bonnie some questions about herself and her work:
Q: Describe your work in three words.
A: Colorful, Balanced, Layered
Q: Why monotype? What draws you to the medium?
A: I like the experimentation aspect of monoprints and the fact that the work creates more work. I appreciate the balance of chance and control. Working in a series, plate upon plate, with the “what happens if I….” aspect of the process keeps the work exciting. And then there is the anticipation of pulling the paper off the plate.
Q: How did you hear about MGNE?
A: I actually saw the small ad in Art New England [for MGNE] and responded to that. I went to the website and I was impressed by the artist members, their work and the programming of the Guild. I most enjoy being with and building a community of printmakers who share ideas and enthusiasm for making unique singular prints. The fact that we are able to offer three or more show opportunities a year for our members to participate with like minded artists and exhibit their work. These shows fulfill a real need to get monoprints being created today out there.
Q: What inspires you?
A: My work is about discovery and the translation of the “experience of place” through printmaking. I love exploring the great outdoors – hiking, rafting, wandering and traveling to places with open vistas and small details. I store these collected colors and patterns in sketchbooks and photos, but mostly in my memory to start a series of work in response to the colors and shapes observed and absorbed in the natural environment.
Q: What are you currently working on in your studio?
A: Last summer I took a week long printmaking class at Anderson Ranch in Colorado with master printmaker Sue Oehme. I was reintroduced to collograph plates and have been experimenting with them in my studio this year substituting the oil based ink processes I learned there with the water-soluble inks that I use exclusively in my studio. I have a small Charles Brand press that was recently repaired so I am able to use that for these plates. And I continue with relief printmaking experiments using polystyrene plates with no press creating line, shape and texture and some mixed media to achieve a “mix it up” printmaking method. Seaweed from the ocean garden, beach stuff, leaf forms and bird friends continue to show up.
Q: What advice would you give to a new printmaker?
A: Just Start (from Bill Flynn, Museum School); Keep it simple. Work in a series.
Q: If you could meet any printmaker/artist in history, who would it be? What would you talk about?
A: I would love to engage with artists who explore across mediums –Johns, Motherwell, Rauschenberg or John Cage. But the one artist I continue to admire and learn from is Helen Frankenthaler. She works across disciplines and combines several techniques in a single print. She is fearless. I would ask her about her mark making tools, her free-wheeling process, and how her printmaking and painting effect each other. Her work combines energy and grace.