Thursday, June 9, 2016

Printmaking: The Other Thing that I do.

So, for those of you who don't know, I not only love to paint, but I love Relief Printmaking too and have been working on and off as a printmaker since the mid-ninties. I am mostly self taught, but with the help of Michael Roosevelt (Armentrout), who is a master Printmaker, I learned how to design, carve and print blocks made from linoleum, or wood or rubber. For almost a decade, Michael and I shared a work space and shop in Margaree Harbour, NS - a stone's throw from the famous Cabot Trail. That's where I developed a love for printmaking, working  mostly with linoleum.
'Community' Linocut Print by Teena Marie Fancey (Saunders)
Through the years I have made a lot of prints, mostly in editions of 50 or less and I have quite an archive.
'Commuting' Linocut Print by Teena Marie Fancey (Saunders)

Although most prints are black ink on beautiful, creamy Rives paper, I have also done 2,3, 5 and
7-colour reduction prints, made by registering the paper on pins and carving away a little bit of  the block a bit at a time between colours and printing it by hand on Japanese papers. (If you've bought an unframed colour print from me, you may notice there are holes along the top...that's how I have made sure that the inked block printed where I needed it to).
"the Embassy" 
5-colour reduction linocut print by Teena Marie Fancey (Saunders)

In the past few years I have been collaborating with textile artist Shari MacLeod and we have started a small business called Cabot & Rose Handmade Goods. I have used my skills as a printmaker to carve and print designs on fabrics which we transform into our original designs.  Check us out :)
Small Zip Bag by Cabot & Rose Handmade Goods

Every now and then it's nice to work in a different medium. Printmaking is a very non-forgiving art as once you cut into the block, there is no going back and not every print, especially when printing by hand, is exactly the same as the last, so you may notice minor inconsistencies. You also have to PLAN AHEAD and think a little differently. The block's image will print in reverse, like a stamp, and only the  material you leave behind when carving will when you cut, your are removing the surface (think potato printing). I once heard relief printmaking referred to as drawing with a white line.

Painting for me, allows a bit more freedom in the execution. Although I start with a composition idea, or concept or a chosen subject, I almost never draw on the canvas or panel but instead, brush on colour and allow myself see things in the strokes and colours to lead me. I can change my mind anytime and PAINT OVER what I don't like. Although, sometimes after too many do-overs, I find myself sanding off the surface so as to start fresh...they can't all be winners :)

Moving from one medium to another works out the ol' brain and hands in different ways. For more information about any of my work or if you want to see more, please email me at