Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Second Mini Residency 2017 at Shipston Designs Studios

On Friday January 27th, I got up early, packed the car and headed back to Wolfville, NS for another Printmaking marathon weekend at Shipston Designs Studios. The wonderful Julie and her welcoming husband Peter hosted me on their beautiful property. My experience there is always a mix of being in this beautiful retreat in the country and very hard work with no distractions. Peter relinquished his huge "garage" space for me again so that I could take on part 2 of this project, this time editioning "The Old Soul" linocut on Shoji Baika Natural.

As smoothly as the last mini residency went, this time I ran into all the problems at once. My favourite barren got damaged and was damaging my paper before I noticed it. My inking roller started falling apart leaving little pieces of roller in the ink, my paper did a weird unexpected buckling thing. This of course is part of printmaking, printmakers are after all master problem solvers. Things sometimes go wrong but when you deal with hand printing blocks that are 3x3ft the consequences are felt literally in the arm, hand, wrist. I ended up having to print two additional prints more than planned and by the end of it even with icing my arm regularly and many breaks in between it was still too much. I did get it done and I have to thank Julie for being a master motivator when I was feeling down and in pain. Now I do have 2 more blocks to edition before October but I can take my time and prepare more. To make those happen I have to order that detail roller set that's been on my list for a year. Having a 1/4 inch roller will make all the difference when spot inking tiny detail! 


Beautiful sunrise on my way out of the house.

After my arrival I set up the studio and cut more paper, just in case.
It turned out it was a good move. 

Matching colour with old swatches on a proof printed on white fabric.

Mixing inks.. boomerang style. 

Mixing inks and pulling the first proof to make sure the colours are where I want them to be, I actually ended up deciding the next morning to alter the red again. 

Crunchy walk to the studio.

That tractor and I are ready... to work... or are we...



I started the day by changing the red to a slightly warmer colour. 

3-step inking process. Inking the block each time took about 1 hour.
Step one: red.

Step two, with a smaller roller the intricate spots with brown ink. This one would have been much easier with a 1/4 inch roller instead of a 1 inch roller. 

Step 3, the circular spots get inked overtop it all with a dark purple.  

Then I place the paper, secure it and roll it onto the block.

I then transfer the ink to the paper by rubbing the back of the paper with a barren. 

The paper is so delicate and transparent that I can see exactly what I am doing, the ink shows right through on the other side. 

Finished and ready to be pulled of the block.

The first big reveal of the weekend. 


Snow flakes dancing in the field.

What a beautiful sight... the sunlight going for a stoll across my carved block...

Spot inking.

Two of the prints hanging up are not useable for an edition, so they will get turned into greeting cards. (Nothing goes to waste)

Handprinting timelapse.... so much handprinting...

Pleased with this one.

After a nice flurry of snow it froze and crunched beautifully on the path between house and studio.
A path well-trodden this weekend. 

It took me an entire day to create two additional prints due to the pain in my arm. But I got it done. What a challenging printing session. Thank you to Julie for keeping my energies up, to Peter for stopping in for a chat when I needed it most, to Scott for hanging out on the phone with me and distract me when I almost gave up.

Last pull for this residency.


As a deadline was looming I needed "The Adventurous Soul" prints signed and ready to go. I took advantage of the large table space to get it done on Monday morning. Then it was time to pack everything up and load the car. 

But before I could leave I had to give the cuddly Mr. Thomas McNally a good massage. He is the cuddliest kitty I have ever met. Erma Turnip was not impressed when I returned home and smelled like Mr. Thomas McNally.


Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Creation & Process of "Self-preservation"

During the Christmas holidays and in the beginning of the year I spent time in the studio creating small reductive linocuts. Printing at least one colour per day, sometimes two until the piece is done. This was the first in the batch. I've thoroughly enjoyed spending extensive time in my own studio, which during "teaching season" often only happens while I am teaching private lessons. It's a marvellous thing to do printmaking in your pyjamas and squeeze another layer in between chores. 

The printmaking corner in my studio space, which gets completely dismantled every time I teach a workshop as I almost always take the press and the materials with me. 

The first layer of this block. I only carved the outer shape and printed it yellow. 

Often the first few layers are carved fairly quickly and get printed on the same day if I have time.

Layer 2. Carved and then printed (below).

Layer 3 carved (above) and printed (below).

Layer 4 carved and printed (below). The carving is starting to get much more complex. And the colours are stronger. 

Layer 5 carved and inked (above) and printed (below).
The switch to cooler colours  is starting to happen with this layer. Often when blues are mixed into my inks, those end up being the layers that start to define serious detail in the image and the jump from the previous layer to this one often is very noticeable. 

Layer 6 is introducing the first purple. Getting closer to blue each time.

Carving tiny details with the tiniest of V-gauges.

Layer 7.

Layer 8.

reductive linocut printed with
Akua inks on white rag paper
Paper size: 8.5in x 8.5in
Edition size: 10
$80 +tax +shipping

If you are interested in purchasing one of these prints
please send me a message at

As always all images on this page shall not be used without written consent by the artist.
Copyright 2017 - Maria Doering.
Please be respectful.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

First Mini residency 2017 at Shipston Designs Studios

After more than a year had passed since I printed the first proof of "The Adventurous Soul" I finally had the opportunity to edition the print. In need of a large space to be able to spread out and hang the prints and be uninterrupted, Julie at Shipston Designs Studios and her husband Peter allowed me to convert their downstairs Garage area into the perfect print studio to edition these large 38x38 inch prints. An extra special thank you to Peter Rosvall as this space is technically his domain! 

I arrived on Friday and spend the afternoon setting up the studio, cutting paper and mixing inks. Knowing that I would have a few very exhausting days in front of me, I decided to stop there and just relax that evening with some embroidery, spending quality time with Julie and the cats Thomas and Sophie. 

Saturday morning a quick trip to the Wolfville Farmers Market was a real treat and then it meant back to work. I managed to print the first proof and 3 good prints the first day and followed that with 3 more good prints on Sunday. Monday was for a slow start and clean up before heading home. 


The space before I set up my mini residency studio.

Here a little video tour of the space all set up.

Cutting paper with water and brush.

10 yard of paper cut and ready to go. 

looking at an old proof on fabric to figure out what colour I need to mix I dug up a lot of my old draw down colour test samples. 

Mixing some hanco lithography inks. I could spend all day mixing yellow into red, it's so beautiful. 

I did spent the evening with Thomas (above) and played with Thomas and Sophie (below) their favourite toys and the cardboard box I brought them. 


Ready... Set... PRINT! 

High speed hand printing.

My two favourite hand printing tools. 

The big reveal.

First finished print. Not too bad! 

Studio set up, working in the studio with Land Rovers and tractors.

 Julie kept my energy up with late night spiced turmeric concoctions that were absolutely delicious, especially when topped with coconut whipped cream.
I finished up in the studio at 11:30 pm.


Despite all that arm soreness, still smiling.

High speed inking of the block while being kept warm by the wood burning stove.

I managed to print three more that day, this was the last one, and my breaks between each step became longer and longer due to sore arm muscles and general fatigue. 

Sore hand. 

Sore tools ;).

Hand printing the last one.

Feeling enormously accomplished when seeing them all hanging up. :)

Later in January I will be back for another weekend to edition "the old soul" linocut. I am already looking forward to it.

A huge THANK YOU to Julie Rosvall and Peter Rosvall for inviting me into their home and work space. You two, Sophie and Thomas are wonderful hosts. :)