Laying down ink

Exploring the printmaking process

Printmaking is something that I’ve been thinking about for a long time. My first and only real experience with it was in an overview class of several processes in high school. I loved it at the time, but was focussed on photographic printing in the darkroom. Over the years, I eyed many a printmaking class but never found the courage to try it – I wanted to learn and explore the various techniques but had no idea what I wanted to make images of.

A couple of months ago, I finally signed up for a monotype printing class. It was only four weeks and was designed as an exploration of the technique – no pressure to create a series of works. I loved some things and not others. The mechanical process of the press, the soft and careful handling of the paper. I was not in love with the inks or with the openness of the one-off approach.

While taking the class, I learned of a printmaking studio that happens to be a lovely walk through the neighbourhood from my house. They were offering screen printing – another technique on my to-try list.

The studio space is full of big windows overlooking the city, beautiful old presses, and equipment that reminds me of my darkroom printing days. Here is a gallery of my very first and second prints in progress and some photos of the studio one evening.


So far, I am finding printmaking to be a perfect combination of technical, methodical, and creative. I enjoy the puzzle of backward engineering an image. Taking it apart into layers and steps and then putting it back together. Of course, there’s a variability of the tools that adds an unpredictability to it, too. I love the precision and rhythm of it and the mechanical aspect of repeating motions and steps to craft multiples of an image. There’s nothing more satisfying than working with your hands and watching an image as it develops. Magic.

I am working on a series of limited edition screen prints that will be available in the Painted Stories Shop. The gallery below will be updated as work is produced.

♥ UPDATE: I’m happy to say that I’ve been accepted as a member of the studio. Purchases of the screen prints, below go directly toward covering my startup costs for studio membership and initial screen printing supplies. Your support means a lot! Thank you!! ♥

Indigo houses

There is a quality to this indigo colour that I love, so I thought I’d to make a few houses with it. Buy now on Etsy.