Watercolor, Monotype, and Alcohol Ink Landscape, Still Life, Abstract
As a painter, Mary Wojciechowski continues to "push the envelope" as she explores new techniques through new applications of paint, new surfaces, and new ways of framing her art. Mary's journey as an artist continues to evolve as she brings her discoveries to the classroom.
Her award-winning art has grown to include watercolors "dancing" on a non-porous, "yupo" polymer-type surface, which lends itself to loose edges and unexpected formations. Her current passion is alcohol inks. Mary is exploring translucent surfaces (and clear, acrylic frames) which are simply gorgeous when the rich colors and loose techniques are lit on a windowsill. Some of her alcohol ink paintings are framed, with and without mats, and painted on non-porous, yet opaque, surfaces. Her monotypes often contribute to unique collages, bringing the unexpected to her creations which are both representational and abstract.
Mary feels fortunate to live in New England. The seacoast, salt marshes and woodlands nearby have been her favorite subjects and she is happiest painting outdoors "en plein air" whenever possible. If unable, Mary's photographs and drawings begin the process back in her studio.
Mary's love of watercolor began in college after taking two semesters in oils. It was as if a new world had opened up, one in which spontaneity and immediacy prevailed. She would escape the stuffy studio and paint outdoors, taking in the light and colors surrounding her as she painted. The fluidity and the chance opportunities for intermingling colors kept her approach fresh with each painting and many times she found a need to paint the same subject more than once just to experiment with the diversity that this medium offers.
The medium of Alcohol Ink is another adventure in Mary's artistic pursuits. It is a highly pigmented and quick-drying medium applied by pouring, brushing or stamping on a non-porous surface, such as “Yupo.” The vibrant colors of alcohol inks intermingle, creating unique textural effects, often leading to unexpected results. Mary has mastered the art of painting in this medium, and is a popular teacher of workshops in Alcohol Inks.
Her paintings would usually be considered representational in approach, although her creative side, many times, moves her to stretch beyond realistic boundaries. Expressive color, and the play of strong lights against darks, often take more importance than the direct interpretation of subjects in front of her. Gallery 31 Fine Art will host her second Alcohol Inks Workshop at the gallery on August 10, 2018. Contact the gallery for more information.
Mary has studied with some very strong watercolorists, including William Ternes, Peter Spataro, and Judi Wagner. Mary believes that her membership in the Rhode Island Watercolor Society has had the greatest impact on her as an artist. Painting and exhibiting with fellow members has motivated her to strive not only for increased skill in the handling of this medium but has helped her to develop her own personal voice as an artist.
Mary Wojciechowski, a retired visual arts teacher, received her BA degree in Fine Arts from the University of Connecticut. She is a signature member of the Rhode Island Watercolor Society, a juried artist member of the Cape Cod Art Center, the Attleboro Arts Museum and the New England Monotype Guild. Her award-winning art has been juried into many national, regional, and local exhobitions, including those of the New England Watercolor Society. She is a popular workshop instructor through Gallery 31 Fine Art and other venues in southeastern New England.
Throughout most of my artistic career, my principal medium has been watercolor, painting primarily in a representational style, both plein air and in my studio. For the past few years, my painting approach has become more intuitive and more about the flow and mingling of colors than strictly tied to a subject. The strongest influence on this growth has been my introduction to alcohol inks as an alternative fluid painting medium used on non-porous surfaces. These highly pigmented and quick drying inks may be poured, brushed or sprayed, creating distinctive textural effects and frequently leading to unexpected results. Because of the unique properties, my alcohol ink paintings are more explorative and experimental, often with a sense of creative playfulness. My goal is to continue working both representationally and abstractly with both mediums and allow the experiences in each to influence the other. — Mary Wojciechowski • 2019
The MONOTYPE PRINTMAKING of Mary Wojciechowski
A monotype is a form of printmaking that yields an original and one of a kind piece of art. It is begun with ink applied upon a smooth, non-absorbent surface, then transferred. The plate may have areas drawn or painted upon, wiped away or elements placed upon it to add texture or block areas of color. An image is then created by the transference of ink from the printing plate to paper through the pressure of a printing press or hand rubbing. There is always an element of surprise when prints are pulled as the ink may move under the pressure causing subtle differences between plate and print.
In creating my monotypes, I use found materials, both natural and recycled, as well as stencils that I have cut and torn myself. I now find that I am continuously re-purposing materials that are about to be discarded for possible use in upcoming works. In printing my monotypes, I use both a printing press and work off press havingrecently included the use of Gelli plates primarily for pieces saved for future monotype collages. My subjects explore both the natural world, using subtle textures and organic detail, and non-objective design with multiple layers of color and geometric shapes. As a watercolorist for more than forty years, I have found experimentation through monotype printmaking, and collage has been a valuable extension to painting and has had a positive impact on current work.