Friday, 11 December 2015

SGCI - Print Portfolio - printed, signed and sent!

Our prints are all finished and have been packed into individual collections, one for each of the fourteen participating artists. Three sets will be sent to the conference in Oregon where they will be retained as a complete set for the SGC International Archives, Portland State University and Pacific Northwest College of Art. The remaining sets will be exhibited in NZ at a time and place yet to be arranged.

To read a bit of background about this project view my previous blog here and visit Aotearoa SGCI Themed Portfolio facebook page here.

To read the statements for each of the themed portfolios that will be on show at the conference go to the SGCI website here.

This is the statement for our themed portfolio about to wing it's way to Portland, Oregon. 

Altered Impressions

Curated by: Elle Anderson
As the mix of its citizens, living in Aotearoa New Zealand continues to evolve, so to is the way they interact with each other and the wider spaces they occupy. This evolution influences changes in the urban environment and it is with this inspiration that works will be generated, exploring how we, in Aotearoa, engage with a state of Flux. Alterations to a landscape creates a state of ebb and flow, a now and then, an unrest. Spaces where past and present can often clash, but also need to blend or live alongside each other, not just peacefully but also with tolerance. This constant adjustment creates a rich milieu in which many artistic conversations take place, providing each artist interpretive space to deal with such urban instability: Presenting areas for explorations from a personal, local and/or global perspective. One print within the portfolio will embrace this state of instability through exchange and evolution. This collaborative work, created by all printmakers in this group, will be generated and pass from artist to artist, each adding their voice to the print in response to what was done before. This print will further aim to reflect on a state of urban instability.

My individual print

Monotype, Lino print
by Toni Hartill for "Flux"

"There is a need to be reflexive when living in a constantly changing environment or risk being impacted by unsympathetic or inevitable forces. Inhabitants need to find their equilibrium, or be prepared to move on."

Reflexivity refers to circular relationships between cause and effect. A reflexive relationship is bidirectional with both the cause and the effect affecting one another in a relationship in which neither can be assigned as causes or effects.

Seaweed is used as a metaphor for the state of flux brought about by a constantly evolving urban environment. I have tried to capture a sense of movement and energy as the Ecklonia hangs on tight in the strong currents of change. This image is very similar to a previous lino print made in the process of preparing for this project but I made small changes to try to be as expressive as possible in regards to the theme. The Ecklonia is still surging and swirling but it is now contained within the frame of the image: we have to be flexible and adaptable but often we still have to fit within the rules or boundaries laid out by others. The tiny fish can be seen to be going in all directions, some in confused groups, some out on their own, and some are about to depart the scene altogether. I also chose to steer away from a crisp image and tried to create something a little more weather-worn using slightly textured paper (Fabriano 5) and a monotype layer beneath the lino print, to try to create a sense of wear and tear and variation which we all experience in our daily effort to keep up with the rate of change around us.

Collaborative Print

My contribution to the collaborative print.

Designing a mini lino block to fit
a free space on the collaborative print, linked to my individual print.

All 20 prints done and drying

The collaborative print after the
6th person (me) has contributed.

"Following on from ideas raised in my individual print I have again used seaweed as a metaphor for the need to be flexible with the constantly changing environment. I also considered the theme of flux in the urban environment to select my “site” on the print, shaping a plate to fit within a free section, like one might design a house to fit within a small urban site, knowing full well the instability of the situation, that planning may change and my site could be “built over” by others."

The evolution of the Collaborative print

There is an edition of 20 of this collaborative print. Each artist has had roughly a week to add their contribution to the print and then post it on to the next artist. If you would like to read each person's statement about their input you will find it on the Aotearoa SGCI facebook page here.

1st layer: Prue MacDougall (black hand and figure)
2nd layer: Esther Hansen (bees)

3rd layer: Gabrielle Belz 

4th layer: Nicola Ov (windmill)
5th layer: Kheang Ov (bull)

6th layer: Toni Hartill 
7th layer: Sheyne Tuffery 

8th layer: Kim Lowe 

9th layer: Struan Hamilton

10th layer: Deborah Crowe
11th Layer: Delwyn Holder
12th layer: John Pusateri
13th, 14th layers: Toni Mosley, Elle Anderson

Monday, 19 October 2015

Artist Studio Clearout Sale!

I have been invited to take part in this awesome event: 

Less than a month away till the annual studio clearout SALE!! 

A whole bunch of arty girls get together with all their seconds and samples and fabulous bargains!! 

Pass the word on - its a great chance to shop for Christmas and birthdays and an excellent place to nail those end of year teacher/thank you gifts as well as an opportunity to pick up some great art! 

Here's just a taster of some of the work I will be including in the sale, all at marked down prices.

I'm also including some extras such as some of my crocheted Nest brooches, the remaining few Lubi Lids Hats (some of you may remember me making and selling these at the Titirangi Market while my kids were little), and perhaps even some of my little knitted kete, amongst whatever other bits and bobs I can hunt out. 

Maybe even some crocheted Nudibranchs!! 

Hope to see you there!

Psst: please pass this on to all your friends, family and work colleagues, etc. Maybe even drop some big hints for yourself for Xmas! 

Wednesday, 14 October 2015

Barrel Store 2015 - Print group show and the year so far.

The Barrel Store is an historic venue available for hire at the Corbans Estate Arts Centre in Auckland. It's a raw and rustic venue which brings with it a fair few challenges but it is also a large space which allows us to spread out and show a decent amount of work. It's a great chance for our print group, Waitakere Printer's Ink, to exhibit together and celebrate our enjoyment of printmaking as a group.

My focus this year has been to learn, develop and resolve skills and ideas through doing. And lots of. Two areas of concentrated effort have been exploring monoprinting and lino printing, neither of which I had much experience. 

Any works not sold at the show are still available to purchase. Simply message me with your details and I can contact you directly to answer any questions regarding prices and availability.

Monoprint series by Toni Hartill


These images were all achieved through inking up sheets of acetate to create layers of texture, hand cut paper stencils for the imagery and using ghost prints to achieve fine, delicate line work. They were all created from building up multiple layers and working intuitively, responding to what happens with each new development. 

"Submerged" series I - IX
by Toni Hartill

Kelp series I - IV
by Toni Hartill

This is a more painterly approach to printmaking and quite different to the thorough planning undertaken in, for example, my dry point images or in my lino prints. As I am previously a painter who is learning to print, I enjoy the freedom this way of working allows and this in turn is influencing how I am thinking about my painting techniques.

"Deep Blue Kelp" series I - VI
by Toni Hartill

Assorted prints by Toni Hartill

To add to my monoprinting knowledge and to try to push my ideas and skills further I participated in a term of evening workshops at the Browne School of Art taught by Alexis Neal. This was just the boost I needed. It provided the motivation to continue to work on pieces between sessions, experimenting and trialing different ways of working. I ended the term with about 15 works that I was very pleased with and a whole new concept for a body of work (still work in progress).

"Flotsam I"
by Toni Hartill
"Flotsam II"
by Toni Hartill

"Bedrock I"
by Toni Hartill

 This pair of prints is printed on 300gsm Hahnmuhler paper. Building up many, many layers using collagraph plates for textures, cut stencils, and transparent medium, the paper took on a leather-like quality which is quite delicious!

"Bedrock II"
by Toni Hartill


As seen in earlier posts this year I have been exploring possibilities with lino with a goal of working towards creating an edition of prints for a portfolio to be sent to Portland. In the process of developing my lino printing skills I have produced a series of images along the way as I tweak and hone my final image for the portfolio. These are my largest linoprints so far with the lino block being A4 in size, printed onto A3 paper. I was really trying to capture the sense of movement and tension as the ecklonia is pushed and pulled by the surging sea. 

by Toni Hartill

by Toni Hartill

It was interesting to see how the image could be viewed from a variety of orientations. In the "Nocturnal Ecklonia" image I tried to capture a sense of the colours as seen underwater with the end result being very lustrous.

"Nocturnal Ecklonia"
by Toni Hartill

"Nocturnal Ecklonia"
by Toni Hartill

Monotype, linoprint
by Toni Hartill

Monotype, linoprint
by Toni Hartill

"Cove" "Sway","Refugia", "Holdfast"
by Toni Hartill


 These works just seemed to grow of their own accord. I was interested in the matrix of the print and how it could be altered, extended, overlaid and added to, a concept I'm keen to explore further,

Paper Sea I
Monoprint, collage, stitching
by Toni Hartill

Paper Sea II
Monoprint, relief, collage, stitching
by Toni Hartill

Assorted prints by Toni Hartill

Included in the show was a display of some of my collagraph plates with the intention of hopefully further engaging visitors in some of the print processes used and to give an idea of how much effort is involved in producing some of the works. I am tempted to create these as artworks in their own right.

Display of collagraph plates by Toni Hartill.

Thanks for visiting. Any feedback is welcome.

Sunday, 20 September 2015

Waitakere Printers Ink - coming show!

This will be our third show at the Barrel Store. 

Participating artists include:
Lisa Bate
Diane Charraz, 
Toni Hartill,
Alicia Poultney
Tracy Singer
Lorraine Vickery

A wide variety of styles and techniques of printmaking works will be on show including collagraph, linocut, drypoint, monotype & monoprint, screenprint...

This is an opportunity to buy direct from the artists at affordable prices.

Tuesday, 4 August 2015

Getting in the Groove with Lino

Detail of inked lino block by Toni Hartill

My latest lino blocks.

I've progressed to working on A4 sized blocks and, having experimented with cutting techniques, I find the process of carving the lino to be very meditative and enjoyable. I could quite happily sit for hours whittling away - which is just as well as my designs are getting more detailed and complicated.

Experimenting with rainbow rolls and overlapping complementary colours allows the image to build up a rich patterned surface - colour and pattern being two main drivers in my work.

Base colour for lino print by Toni Hartill

 I've also played with the effects of using one layer of rich colour on white paper, letting the cut lines and texture sing for themselves, giving a fresher, more graphic effect.

Second colour plate for lino prints by Toni Hartill

Taking yet another approach I printed another slightly modified design over a monoprint layer. I wanted to achieve more movement and interest with the use of dappled colour beneath the surface. Using slightly textured paper I was able to get a bit of surface texture in the top print, adding to the patterning and layering effects of the colours. 

I chose to have the shape of the first layer of colour ever so slightly larger than the lino block to allow the background textured surface to peep out from behind, adding more interest and detail. Just as I like to be able to see the presence of the artist in paintings through brushstrokes and mark-making, I like to make use of the marks of printmaking through the process used.  The more I explore and learn about print making the more I enjoy this aspect.

Monoprint base layers for lino prints by Toni Hartill

Ultimately I have been working towards having the skills to print what I would call a reasonably large edition of prints. There are so many variables along the way that can throw a spanner in the works! Also, once I've achieved a result that I'm happy with once or twice I'm ready to move on to the the next idea bubbling away in my head so it takes a lot of patience and will power on my part to stick around long enough to print anything more than five in an edition! 

Mixing a quantity of ink for an edition of prints.

However, with all the "playing" I've been doing along the way, which has enabled me to do lots of PLANNING  (key) for the process, the actual act of producing this edition was not one of stress and hair pulling as I imagined it would be. It was actually very satisfying! Especially aided by having the right tools. I'm sure other print makers will understand when I say how "sweet" it was using my new "professional" 250mm roller lugged back from a recent trip to Spain. 

Joy! Using my new large roller, all the way from Spain!

(I'll post images of my final prints in a later blog once I have photographed and collated them.)


I found the "how to" tips on preparing the lino, provided by the artist Elizabeth Banfield on her bog, to be very helpful and her beautiful work with fine lines to be very inspiring.

I was also inspired by the lino prints of Mark Hearld and how he layers up overlapping blocks to achieve beautiful results with so much movement and pattern.