“A painting or drawing is an accumulation of marks made over time, a process that the viewer may be able to decipher or that the artist may emphasize. The layering of the image visualizes temporality as unfolding, in process, almost geological.
A monotype, though, is printed at a particular moment in the development of the image on the plate. The artist must work relatively quickly, before the medium dries, and can make wholesale changes right up until the plate goes through the press; as an index of that final instant, the resulting impression is a kind of arrest, a way of freezing the gestures of making in time.”Jodi Hauptman. introduction to “Degas: A Strange New Beauty“
Delayed gratification: you don’t know what the print will look like until you lift the sheet of paper. Serendipity being part of the result generates excitement and anxiety. Committing to the moment — now I’ll print it — and learning acceptance for whatever results.
With a painting you could work on it further tomorrow and no-one else would be able to tell that you’d stopped and restarted. With a monoprint the dynamic is different. Degas on occasion continued with pastel.