life . Portrait . street

Madison, WI


Fontana Giusti

October 2023
A month in RGB

I’m going to try to stay concise because while it was a joy of a month art-wise, my brain moved on, it doesn’t dwell on the past… I’m joking, but not really, I do have ADHD and I move on to the next shiny thing at super speed…

The prompt: It doesn't happen all at once, Corita, 1970

Corita was a nun, an artist, an educator, an ex-nun, a printmaker. She lived a rich, complex life, and she stood true to herself and her voice. 

But most importantly, what Corita did for me this month, is she got my hands dirty. Her work with printmaking pushed me to get reacquainted with an art form that I have come to believe is entirely mine and push it three steps further, and to experiment with new tools and techniques.

What I did:

I must admit to not diving much into Corita’s work and life beyond the few pointers I gave further up in this article, I hopped on board mid-conversation when everyone in the Art Lab was pumping others with different printmaking techniques, and I realized I belonged in that conversation, because I used to make prints, in 2020, right before they locked us down with no end in sight, with a sheet of glass and water-based oil paints:

At the time I was attending weekly short pose figure drawing sessions, and I was collecting countless scribbles like those. One day I blew one one them larger on a photocopier at my husband’s workplace, and started playing with monoprinting techniques. To my greatest joy, it worked, and so I hyperfocused on that technique for a few weeks/months, and that hyperfocus, if memory serves me right, coincided with that first lockdown (in Ontario it was really endless). 

So I believe I shelved that creative act out of my mind, just like I, and many others, did what was in my power to forget the trauma and move on.

But the technique is very valid: you coat a thin layer of paint over a glass sheet (glass works great because it’s non-porous, but in all honestly I did break a significant amount of those), then you put a sheet of drawing paper over it, and make your imprint – I drew mine with a stencil layered on top.

The month of October also started with Holga Week, and by now most of my readers know I don’t skip Holga Week, I over-do it in every possible way, it’s the time of the year where I go wild with some of the ideas I’d sworn to try some day, and this year I did trichromatic photographs. I will not go into the details of the technique, but there is a great tutorial by Amy here.

And the trichrome images, some were mindblowing, and some were… not. So I’ll stick with the good stuff, nobody needs to see all of my fails, just trust me when I tell you I fail abundantly:

And I cannot remember when exactly that happened, but as I was resurrecting my monoprinting supplies from a dark corner in the basement, and as I was organizing the RGB channels of my trichromes, I realized I could make the two techniques meet – that led me down a tunnel on how to make color prints without color technologies but did not actually result in any actual work so let’s move on. 

– This post is turning into an illustration of how my ADHD brain works – 

What I did do, was a long and tedious process: I layered my monoprinting techniques, I created a red layer, a blue layer and a yellow layer, and hoped for the best.

The result: images that are weird and mesmerizing, and also totally off, and mirrored wrong, but that I consider treasures:

So will I do this again? I very well might… I’ll go lighter on the yellow though.

I’ll also report back when I try my hand at gum bichromate, and trichrome sun printing. I got a few kits, one day I’ll give them a fair try.

In the meanwhile, if you love my work with Holgas, I must let you know that I have a Holga print shop, and it makes me so so very happy when someone resonates with my work and makes a purchase! 

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