Friday, June 23, 2017

Creation and Process of "Vivaciousness"

Vivaciousness by Maria Doering

Earlier this year I carved "Vivaciousness", a reductive linocut that was intended for a print exchange, as so often once I decide I needed an exact number of perfect prints in an edition, I ran into all sorts of technical difficulties. It turned out there was a dent in this block which was causing havoc. It took quite a bit of improvising to not have it appear in each print, and eventually I worked it out. A few of these prints have already found new homes. If you are interested in adopting one of them, please visit:

The first layer always starts with a drawing to work out the initial shape of the carving. 
This drawing happens with permanent marker directly on the block of linoleum. 

After carving the initial layer I clean the block to remove as much of the permanent marker as possible as the Akua ink is notorious for picking up any left over marks. 

The dented block made the printing of this linocut a lot more challenging. The white smudge on the left is where the dent is in the block. 

Layer 2 carved and inked.

Layer 2 printed, the dented spot is slowly disappearing. 

Layer 3 carved and inked. 

Layer 3 printed.

Layer 4 carved and inked. 

Layer 4 printed. 

Layer 5 carved and inked. 

Layer 5 printed. 

Layer 6 carved and inked. 

Layer 6 printed. 

Layer 7 carved and inked. 

Layer 7 printed.

Layer 8 carved and inked.

And finally the print is finished. In the end I only had 9 prints that were useable for the edition. But I was very happy with each of those 9. 

I also as per usually print a few of them on eastern paper for my exhibition in September. 

Fun fact, sometimes I make a big mistake... on the very last layer. 
In this instance the mistake was that I placed the block upside down into my registration jig. Sometimes mistakes can create very interesting unexpected effects, which is what makes me hold on to this print despite the error.

Fascinated by this process and the results? Adopt a Print, Feed a Printmaker!

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Creation and Process of "Authenticity"

Earlier this year, end of February beginning of March I finished this print.
"Authenticity" is a limited edition reductive linocut print that was submitted to the Horned Toad Print Exchange in El Paso. I do have a few left over prints that didn't make it into the print exchange, which can be purchased here.

Here are some step by step photos of the process.

Layer 1

I use marmoleum which is flooring linoleum for my carving, I love it because it's a lot more durable than the battleship linoleum many people use. Also it holds up small detail much better for longer. 

As per usual I start with the lightest and warmest colour, it sets the tone for the rest of the print.
This is the inked block.

reductive linocut process by Maria Doering

First layer printed.

Then as with all reduction prints, you have to print that first layer on every sheet, because you will carve away more from the same block, there is no going back. 

Layer 2 

After carving more detail I am ready to print the next layer.

Layer 2 is the first time when you see colour overlap, this is sort of a brain twister for everyone who first starts doing reduction. Everywhere you carve away the previous colour will be shown, everything you leave behind will cover up the previous colour with the next. Any colour layer after Layer 1 cannot be experienced as pure, because it will sit completely on top of the previous layer and as these inks have transparency any colour printed on top of yellow will have a yellow influence.

Layer 3

Carving of layer 3

Inked up block. 

Layer 3 printed overtop of Layer 1&2. 

And printed on all the sheets in the edition.
Layer 4

Layer 4 being carved. There is always a tipping point when I carve reduction. It goes from carving more and more detail into the block to eventually removing more and more of the detail that you carved. I've also established my highlights and am now at the lower end of the mid-tones.

Layer 4 inked and ready to be printed. 

Layer 4 printed and editioned below:

Layer 5

This is the first cool colour that I printed, in general I am drawn to warm colours so most of my prints have an overall warm feel to them. But it would never be a successful image for me without introducing some cool colours to create the illusion of depth in my imagery. 

There isn't much more detail that can be added in the block, so now more and more I will remove segments all together, only small areas get printed in the blues.

Layer 6

In layer 6 the block surface is shrinking pretty significantly. 

But these layers will define the detail and depth of the print the most, they will make all the other marks jump out at the viewer. 

Layer 7

This final layer is really a cleaning up of areas of the block, only leaving areas behind that I want to be the darkest. As I am using Akua inks, I find that around this time the ink starts having trouble absorbing into the paper as the paper is getting pretty much sealed up. So if I know I am going to go beyond 7 layers I will have to add dryer into the ink. 

A few details of all 7 layers on top of each other. 

Each one of these prints in this series I have also printed a few on shoji baika rice paper. 

reductive linocut on rag paper
Edition size: 10 and II5

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

B&W Block Printing Workshop at Visual Voice

On February 18th, I taught a B&W Block Printing Workshop at Visual Voice Gallery in Truro with such a wonderful group of ladies. Here are some process photos: 

Haley carving her block from a piece of Marmoleum.

Inking her block to pull a proof. 

After a few changes, she printed a limited edition of her block.

Her block, first proof, second proof and edition.

I love the experimental nature in Janet's mark-making. Below the print on the right was an early stage, what amazing texture, but compositionally it didn't quite work so she changed it by carving much of the "sky" away and now the island has a lovely glow.

In every relief class I hand out little test plates so people can get a hang of the material and decide which material they would like to use for their project for the day. I always love it when students turn those little test plates into images as well. Here a bunch of little fishes carved by Suzanne. 

To get a hang of hand printing, we pulled a proof using a barren. 

The main block is Suzanne's christmas card for 2017. (I envy her foresight. Having your Christmas cards finished in February. Amazing!) 

A quick hand-printed proof. 

Changes made and Suzanne's block is now ready to be editioned on the press.  

Registration (alignment of paper and block) in single colour printing is not crucial but it is never a bad idea to practice it now so it is not as awkward when you try printing a multi-coloured print later.

Lovely results!

If you would like to try out these fun workshops at Visual Voice Gallery in Truro, I have 3 more of them scheduled this month:

All workshops are $75 per workshop.
Limited space, Pre-registration required 902-843-9464.