Somewhere up the Yarra II


Monotype on wove paper, printed to the sheet edge.
Signed, titled, dated and annotated "1/1" in pencil, on the verso.

NOTE: The first image you see on this page is a detail of a larger work. To see the overall composition, please scroll to the other image(s).


Every media can be made to accomplish a great many effects.  However, many printmaking techniques tend to be uniquely suited for particular styles.  Mezzotint tends to be monochromatic (with notable exceptions) and focus on blacks, contrasts and grayscales.  Woodcuts have often been strongly graphic with distinct linear qualities.  While every generation of artist tries to subvert its chosen technique at least a little, artists who create monotypes are seemingly more at ease with the flexibility of this technique. Marketa Kemp, who likes to draw and paint, is not someone who came to printmaking directly.  It is obvious that she chose to create monotypes in particular because of their uniquely painterly qualities among printmaking techniques.  In monotypes, as long as you imagine it, and can draw it or paint it on the surface of your matrix, you can render it.  There are, so to speak, no technical constraints.  In Somewhere up the Yarra Kemp plays with all manner of painterly effects.  She saturates the upper left corner with inky black.  She then uses a variety of tools and fabrics to scrape textures and lines in these dark spaces.  In the background two layers of gray, one more beige, the other more blue, have been drawn to render a dense foggy forest.  The black layer comes on top of these grays, creating a strong sense of depth.  In the foreground, a delicate film of ink has gently been applied, contrasting with the saturated layers of ink above, thus creating a palpable effect of light reflecting in the water.  Kemp is using every skill available in her toolbox to obtain this wonderful atmosphere.

Secondary note: The artist uses mostly black ink in this composition.  The silhouettes of the trees on both sides are strong repoussoir elements which draw the viewer into the center, where she has mixed in the slightest bit of color, into the calm waters in the foreground, and the hazy tree crowns in the back.

The Yarra River, also named the Yarra Yarra River, is located in Southern Australia's Victoria province, near Melbourne.

13 5/8 x 22 1/2 inches