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.

For more information about Bonnie, visit her MGNE profile page in our Members Gallery or visit her in her studio during the Fort Point Arts Open Studios on October 14 – 16, 2016.