Artists Books

Welcome to a gallery of my artists books.

Below you will find some links that will take you to earlier blog posts 
by hovering over the titles as you scroll down the page. 

Click on the links to view background info about the creation of the books.

I see, however, that there are several books that I have overlooked writing about. 
Perhaps I may go back and write about them someday....

Although I have always loved books, and the more tactile the better, I had never really  considered expressing my own ideas and concepts through artists books until I participated in a PCANZ Summer School in 2016 presented by Dianne Fogwell. You can read about the workshop HERE and how I was inspired to delve into the format of the artists book as an interactive, expressive, playful and altogether engaging discipline. Apart from the very first book, all of the others were created since Jan 2016 so I am still very much a "newby" in this field but with every intention of pursuing it long term.

My ideas often come to me in a circuitous manner - I might be working on another project and the theme or concept will lend itself to being further explored or expressed through the structure of a book. Or a small found treasure - a piece of driftwood, a scrap of paper or ephemera - may trigger an idea. Or sometimes I may just hoard interesting bits and bobs because of some loose idea that they could be put to good use when, after much percolating, lo and behold, inspiration strikes and stuff happens!

Ultimately, I think my books always require the act of "play."

Landscape meander book in progress by Toni Hartill

Most of the following books are quite small, some even minuscule. I like that they can be held and manipulated and then secreted away somewhere special. My latest, however, is MUCH larger at almost 2 metres long. Drop by from time to time (or subscribe) to see what I am working on next.
Or for more regular updates follow me on Instagram @tonihartillart .

And finally, PCANZ is hosting a selected artists books exhibition later this year (2019) and so I look forward to the interest and activity this may encourage for members across the country.
It is also an opportunity to toss around the question

"what, actually, IS an artists book?"

"Search & Rescue"

My entry into the Estuary Art & Ecology Awards, 2019.
This book is meant to be handled. 
Visit my blogs (click link above) to see details inside the book 
and the lengthy process of creating it.

"Search & Rescue" by Toni Hartill

"Field Notes - Manawa, NZ Mangrove"

For the love of mangroves.

"Field Notes - Manawa"
Artists Books by Toni Hartill
Edition of 3

"Field Notes - Manawa"
Artists Books by Toni Hartill
Edition of 3

"Kahikatea NZ - A Buttery Demise"

A "need" to share the history of the tragic demise
of our once mighty Kahikatea forests was the
inspiration behind this book.

"Kahikatea - A Buttery Demise" 
Artists Book by Toni Hartill 

"Kahikatea - A Buttery Demise" 
Artists Book by Toni Hartill 

"Once a Grand and Noble Forest"

A quiet contemplation of the loss of our Kahikatea forests.
Inspired by a quote from an article in a 1937 newspaper.
Modeled on an old photo album, complete
with vintage silk ribbon.

"Once a Grand and Noble Forest" Artists book by Toni Hartill.

Imagined Journeys through Lost Landscapes I, II, III

Watercolour meander books within origami boxes. 
Inspired by the lost landscapes that once were the swamps of the Hauraki Plains.


Inspired by a piece of driftwood. 
Made use of lots of reject prints!

"Driftwood" Artists Book by Toni Hartill Unique

"Rockpool Rambling"

Inspired by the colours of prints I had made. 
Playing with colour, texture and structure.

"Rockpool Rambling" Artists Book by Toni Hartill

"Rockpool Rambling" Artists Book by Toni Hartill

"Rockpool Rambling" Artists Book by Toni Hartill

"Rockpool Rambling" Artists Book by Toni Hartill

"Tiny Books"
 Each made from a single piece of folded paper.
Tiny tags, and ribbons or pearl buttons to fasten.
"Tiny Books" Artists Books by Toni Hartill

"In Swings The Tide"

A silky smooth piece of driftwood,
collected and hoarded, was the starting point.

"In Swings The Tide" Artists Book by Toni Hartill

"In Swings The Tide" Artists Book by Toni Hartill


Started with a loose idea of a leaf on a journey.
Just played to see where it would lead me.

"Drift-Line" Artist Book by Toni Hartill

"Drift-Line" Artist Book by Toni Hartill

Mangrove Logbooks

Inspired by my grandfather's logbooks.
Work in progress.

Mangrove Logbooks by Toni Hartill

Mangrove Logbooks by Toni Hartill


Inspired by play with colour, pattern and structure.

"A-Float" Artists Book by Toni Hartill

The following four books were created as a direct result of
my participation in Dianne Fogwell's workshop 
at PCANZ Summer School, 2016.

 "Cellular Migration"

"Diatom II"

"Diatom II" Linocut by Toni Hartill

"Diatom I"

"Diatom I"
Linocut by Toni Hartill

"Up Stream"
"Up Stream" Artists Book by Toni Hartill

"Where to Now?!"

This is possibly my first actual artists book.

It has a very personal story behind it and was instrumental in setting
me on a new pathway as an artist.

After entirely loosing my mojo due to a somewhat monumental life-event the activity of allowing myself to play, gently and quietly, with no planned outcome, enabled these wee pages to form and, as if by magic, the messages on each page "just happened."

This became a guiding mantra that continues to lead me on my journey to be an artist.

I will never underestimate
the power and importance of "play".

Well, where do you go from here?
by Toni Hartill

Be on time in the mornings.

build links
listen to advice and instruction

but having listened,
think and form your own opinion

be considered

Be individualistic

consider for a moment

acquire knowledge
learn for yourself


exist naturally

By all means be ready...

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