Tell us a bit about your work and why you became a printmaker?
I discovered printmaking during my first semester at art school, about 5 years ago. I ended up focusing my major on it and got to try many different techniques from etching to screen printing, but something about relief printmaking stuck with me. I love the immediacy of it, how I can design an image, carve a block, and print it all in one day. I primarily carve linoleum and I appreciate how accessible linocut is, as there’s no fancy equipment that other forms of printmaking require. You don’t even need a printing press! Until I got my press last month, I printed everything using a wooden spoon to transfer the ink onto the paper. I’m also limited for space - I work from a closet-sized room in our apartment.
What inspires your work?
I always find inspiration from nature. I’ve always loved animals and before going to art school I was a biologist and worked outside with all kinds of wild creatures. I spent a lot of time catching tiny seabirds on foggy islands off of Newfoundland. My experiences outdoors, visits to natural history museums, and books about nature and science inform most of my art.
What’s your earliest memory of dogs being in your life?
There’s always been dogs in my life. The day we got my first dog is one of my earliest memories. I was 3 and we picked up a golden retriever puppy from a farm in the rain. There were 2 puppies for me to choose from and I chose Scout. I remember the 2 hour drive home, sitting in the back seat next to him in a cardboard box. We were lucky to have Scout for 13 years.
If you could be a dog for the day which breed would you choose to be and why?
I would be either a greyhound or a whippet. I’d love to feel what it’s like to run 70 kilometres per hour!
Favourite all time place to go for a long walk?
That’s a really tough choice! We are so lucky to live near a really beautiful park in Halifax called Point Pleasant. It has 39 kilometres of trails through the forest and along the ocean, and it’s full of dogs running off leash. And there’s lots of squirrels to chase! That’s one of my favourite places to walk my whippet, Scamp.
Are you working on any new exciting projects?
I can’t believe how quickly 2021 is going by! This year I’ve been illustrating a picture book about a rescued xoloitzcuintli (Mexican street dog) named Georgie and her journey to Canada. I’m using linocut printmaking for all 8 pages so it’s pretty time consuming. It’s my dream to illustrate a picture book, especially about a dog. I hope to do more in the future!
You can follow Abby and Scamp's adventures together on instgram and check out Abby's work here