Using old methods for new art

Class teaches the art of monotype without a printing press at TOSH

Diane McCarten is teaching an art class using Monotype without a press at TOSH beginning Oct 24.

Diane McCarten loves surprises and that’s just what monotype gives her.

“When you pull the paper off the plate you don’t always know exactly what it will look like,” she said. “And its like a little present, it’s like a surprise.”

Monotype is an art medium and in the basic sense the technique involves applying inks to a plate, placing paper on top and then pulling it off.

McCarten’s been using monotype as a medium for many years as well as teaching it, and she’ll be teaching a class at The Old School House Art Centre called Introduction to Monotype Without using a Press that starts October 24 and runs to December 12.

McCarten studied art at the University of Alberta and also took classes and workshops in Texas. She has exhibited her art in Poland, Denmark, Malta and Texas while living abroad and also taught art in many of those locations. She has now lived in this area for six years and has taught a monotype class at Nanoose Place.

McCarten discovered her love for monotype while living in Texas in the early ‘90s. Two artist friends introduced her the medium and she instantly fell in love with it, she said.

That’s because marks that can be created using a monotype are marks that can’t be creates with a brush, or anything else for that matter, McCarten explained.  There are a number of different techniques that can be employed using monotype and it can be very explorative or, for those who aren’t into surprises, there are ways to get a more predictable result, she said.

Many famous artists used monotype, many as a base to add other mediums to, McCarten explained.

She likes to add some mixed media to her pieces, making distinctive abstract creations. She said anyone can use monotype and enjoy themselves.

“A total beginner and a professional (painter) can get equal pleasure out of doing monotypes,” she said.

Introduction to Monotype Without using a Press is $145, $135. Visit to register for this or a number of other art classes at TOSH this fall, or call 250-752-6133.