Favourite artists of 2021

Discovered any new artists in recently? These are my favourites from 2021. Follow the links to see more of their work – enjoy!

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Tina Berning

Highly saturated, modern portraiture. Tina’s spectral subjects are rendered in intense, richly pigmented colours. Works communicate a narrative, photographic quality as figures stare directly into camera. Prints and originals are available to buy online here.

Molley May

Low-key visual poetry. Molley’s art shifts between charcoal, ink, and oil pastel. Subject matter includes the artist’s clothes and personal effects, plants, the washing up, and portraits of strangers – a quiet tour de force in making shapes out of lines. View Molley’s shop here.

Rambling Sketcher

Tiny watercolour tributes to New York, New York. Katie specialises in skylines, bridges, and sunsets, capturing perfectly the layered infrastructure of a historic city. Original paintings can be found on Etsy. Head over to Society6 for a huge range of affordable prints.

Evie May Adams

Despite shifting between 2D work and ceramics, Evie’s pieces are instantly recognisable for their distinctive style and recurrant motifs of ribbons, chains, and stars. Ceramics are listed in small batches with prior notice given on Instagram. Prints, paintings, pins and more can be found here.

Claire Fletcher

Claire is an accomplished watercolourist whose work effortlessly relates all the charm, sensitivity, and imagination of the most celebrated children’s illustrators. Prints and original paintings are available through the Made in Hastings online shop.

Foraged Fibres

Suzie uses traditional basket-making techniques to create these tiny, (and presumably very fiddly!) woven vessels. Her work is an artful, sensitive meditation on a craft that was once absolutely critical to everyday life and commerce. Check out her website here.

Melodie Stacey

Melodie’s work focuses largely on portraits of female figures, curious landscapes, and scenes reminiscent of folk and fairytales. Her landscapes in particular are both strange and familiar, sitting somewhere between the imagined and the real. See more of Melodie’s work here.

Mirtle Makes

3D illustration. Mirtle appeared in my 2020 article 10 Contemporary Embroidery Artists – I had to feature her again! Mirtle’s tiny, sensitive companions are made in small, carefully curated batches. Follow on Instagram for news about shop updates – works sell out fast!

Luiza Holub

Luiza is another familiar face – I featured her Christmas cards in one of my 2020 holiday gift guides. Her prints are perfectly executed – masterfully composed whilst also conveying all the quirks and foibles of the printing process. Visit her shop here.

Clover Robin

Clover’s collages, or ‘snips’ are created by colouring, cutting, and layering tiny pieces of paper. Works are jaunty, detailed, and highly illustrative. A selection of eco-friendly cards and prints are available here. Originals sell in seconds, so make sure you keep an eye on shop updates!

Kasasagi Design

Delicate paper sculptures inspired by scientific illustrations and museum displays. Kate’s life-like pieces are made using a variety of techniques including carving, wire-work, and embroidery. Visit Kate’s shop here; selected works are also available at Made by Hand Online.

Andrew Graves

Andrew’s painting have a taxonomy of their own, allusively describing anything from landscape and botanical forms to soft furnishings and still lifes. The shapes and colours are always insistently familiar, made strange only by abstraction. www.andrewjgraves.com

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10 Contemporary Printmakers

Printmaking takes many different forms, with screen printing, etching, and relief printing (lino, wood block) among the most familiar techniques. This article showcases 10 contemporary artists working across printmaking today, each bringing something unique to the press. Follow the embedded links to learn more about each printmaker, their process, and their work.

Laura Boswell

Laura works exclusively with linocut and traditional Japanese woodblock printing. Both technically and visually complex, her landscapes display subtleties in colour and detail that showcase the sensitivity and versatility of printmaking. Check out Laura’s podcast here.

Lou Tonkin

Lou’s work is full of movement, her style perfectly capturing the small-scale, rustling energy of hedgerows and undisturbed gardens. Small birds sit poised amidst naturalistically crowded foliage, ready to disappear between one glance and the next.

Frea Buckler

Frea is a multidisciplinary artist working across sculpture, installation, and printmaking. Her screen prints utilise a highly distilled palette—indigo, cyan, magenta, peach, yellow—that electrifies their angular compositions. Frea’s work is available through Smithson Gallery.

Molly Lemon

Molly takes almost all of her inspiration from the natural world. Delicately observed and beautifully executed, her woodblock prints are infused with her passion for environmentalism (all her packaging is plastic-free) and her interest in mental health.

Lisa Stubbs

Lisa pairs the vintage domestic-industrial graphics on used tins and containers (Colman’s Mustard; Bird’s Baking Power; Lyle’s Golden Syrup) with sprays of everyday flowers. Her screen prints are expertly layered and often finished with coloured pencil.

Joseph Kalionzes

Joseph’s style is fantastically distinctive – his prints have a sort of sculptural quality, relaying not only a printed image, but a compelling impression of the block-cutting process itself. Joseph’s ‘inverted’ mark-making is highly charismatic: fluid, intuitive, and strikingly unique.

Renee Fly

A prolific pattern-maker, Renee uses single carved sections of lino to create bold repeating patterns, demonstrating the graphic might and utilitarian thrill of print-making with practised ease. Renee’s instagram feed serves as a fantastic gallery of works past and present.

Kerry Pagdin

Kerry’s work hones in on subjects with strong graphic potential. Examples of interesting natural architecture—feathers, pinecones, animal skulls, the exaggerated profile of a greyhound—are skilfully recreated in perfectly observed yet decidedly stylised lino prints.

Sean Thornhill

Finely-tuned screen prints inspired by Bauhaus and mid-century design. Sean’s compositions are beautifully balanced, combining an expertly curated selection of discrete yet interrelated shapes with an elegantly limited palette. Click here to view available works.

Kat Flint

Kat’s affinity for storytelling is clearly evident in her work; prints are rich in narrative detail—motifs, compositional flourishes—that give them a profoundly illustrative quality. Bold, sensitive, and allusive, each of Kat’s prints has the compressed quality of a poem.

Images used with the artists’ permission.

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Coming soon: embroidery, ceramics, printmakers part 2, and places to shop small this Christmas!

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