Tracy Leagjeld says her art is a way to communicate and share with others her love and reverence for nature. An accomplished printmaker she creates layered, subtlely textured landscapes as well as architectural forms. Tracy paints plein air when hiking and visiting the wilderness areas of Oregon and beyond.
“I love being outside surrounded by nature. Forests, meadows and deserts all have a different kind of energy. While exploring these areas I try to soak in this energy and hopefully transferred it to the painting or print I am working on. If this has been accomplished, I am satisfied with my work. I am not so concerned with capturing correct shape and color. I strive to create paintings and prints that allow the viewer to put themselves into the painting and feel the spirit of the place.”
Most of Tracy’s images are made using a monotype technique. Her unique style is accomplished by using different size brayers to lay in the colors. An avid plein air painter, she usually paints with gouache in the field and often uses these smaller paintings to inform her larger works
What is A Monotype?
A monotype is a painting on paper. Both the terms monotype and monoprint are a form of printmaking whereby an original image is inked or painted onto a non-porous surface, such as a piece of plexiglass or metal (called a plate), then transferred onto paper by laying a piece of paper over the painted surface and applying pressure. Typically a printing press is used although Tracy “pulls” her prints, meaning she doesn’t use a press. Using lots of ‘elbos grease’ she applys pressure by hand until the ink is transferred to the paper.
A monotype is a unique image, unlike a monoprint which may contain some repeatable elements. A monotype is a unique work of art, and much like a painting, cannot be replicated. Tracy applies two to four or more layers of ink to her images to achieve the final painting, re-inking and pressing the plate with each new layer. Many types of pigment can be used, including oil paints, acrylics and watercolors, although she prefers to use oil-based printer’s ink as it has a wonderful luminous sheen. Some artists use brushes to apple the pigment to the plate, but Tracy uses a 1 1/2 inch rubber brayer as the inks are too tacky to be applied with a brush.
Monotypes can be embellished by the artist with collage or by drawing or painting directly onto the print. The possibilities are endless, and when combined with the vision of the artist, the results are quite diverse and imaginative.