Looking Back at 2019’s Art Books – putting our stamp on it

Some blogs ago we talked about the importance of getting inspired by your art heroes, that’s all well and good, but copying alone isn’t going to get you far. The key to creativity is to put your spin on it.

So, when it came to our 2019 art books, just how had each SEVEN member put their individual stamp on their chosen artist or art movement?

Kim – Robert Rauschenberg

“My own practice – mixed media and collage – were a good fit. I threw everything at it really, including the printing we had previously done as a group, and the use of fabrics.”

Yep, SEVEN regularly get together to experiment with new creative techniques, one of which was gelli printing. Jo shared this technique with us early in the art book process, and the results were pretty interesting – although some of us wound up with mouldy gelli plates…

Jo – Hundertwasser

“Hundertwasser was primarily a painter, architect and ecologist, my practice is collage art, design and print.”

Jo continues:

“I reinterpreted a selection of his paintings in my collage style using found ephemera and tissue paper to emulate the translucent quality in his paintings.”

She also:

“[M]ade a lino cut of his spiral” and used it to “make prints on tissue paper”.

While a stream of consciousness doodle proved the ideal way in which to incorporate Hundertwasser’s spirals and organic shapes.

Then, taking inspiration from both Hundertwasser’s ecological interests and current Earth Day Network projects, Jo used her collage technique to:

“[Focus] on environmental issues using found ‘letters to the earth’ published by Extinction Rebellion…”.

Amanda – Matisse

“I am not sure my own style has shone through this book, I have borrowed heavily from Matisse, but perhaps the one area that is me is that the pages were created through chance experimentation with water based paint and ink, something I use a lot in my paintings.”

Amanda goes on to say:

“I felt that an additional ideas guide would be useful for the viewers as research into the themes brought my interests into play: history, mythology and the natural world. So another more conventional book [Amanda’s book was based on the Turkish map fold] was made for this purpose.”

Helen – Surrealism

“I had a few symbols and interests I wanted to explore. These include: Clarissa Pinkola Estes’s ideas around hands, red shoes and the handmade life; mythology and tales of metamorphosis; alchemy; Jung; dreams and nightmares; etc.”

She goes on to say:

“And I chose to do all this largely through collage. I’ve always been drawn to collage, and as it turned out, so were many of the Surrealists.”

Juliet – Art of the Pacific

Oceanic art is often filled with organic forms and intricate patterns, so Juliet brought her embroider’s eye to her art book:

“I wanted to do more stitching onto this theme, and also experiment more with gelli printing to create a variety of backgrounds.”


So, that’s how each SEVEN member put their personal spin on our 2019 art theme: A favourite artist or art movement. Finding your own artistic style is a process, a journey – an adventure! One that involves taking inspiration from the world around you, then playing with those ideas again and again in different ways. Enjoy it!

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