Category Archives: Working Process

Bianca Severijns, paper art, paper artist, paper,

Paper Art – Bianca Severijns – Displacement Series

Paper art – Bianca Severijns – Displacement Series

Dear friends, blogging this time about my own paper art!

Over the past year my paper art has focused on abstracting the essences of Earth skins like: Leaves Gathering & Grasslands. I am especially intrigued by the cycle point at which there is total bareness, vulnerability, decay, and disintegration; the feeling of being transient in the world, of having only a temporary presence. As source of inspiration for my paper art I am photographing nature in states of total bareness and decay.

paper art, paper artist, Bianca Severijns, Earth Skins
Grasslands & Leaves Gathering form the Earth Skins Series

My recent works in the “Displacement” series I continue to explore stages of nature and intertwine them with the human conditions like being uprooted, nesting, enmeshment and revival.

Bianca Severijns, paper artist, paper art, paper
Nesting 2 – Displacement Series

As a Dutch-Israeli artist I have uprooted myself. Uprooting is painful. It makes people very vulnerable. But uprooting is also optimistic, an opportunity for growth. Whether used as a metaphor for emigration or to describe the botanical action – uprooting is a multi-layered cyclical sequence of destruction and regeneration which I seek to investigate, blend, and reflect in my art.

Bianca Severijns, paper art, paper artist,  uprooted
Uprooted – Displacement Series

The artwork “Uprooted” I created in my beloved paper medium, using hand-torn pieces, multi layering techniques and weaving. My hand-tearing technique functions as a metaphor of being torn away from all ties and belongings. The color is monochromatic white for as white is free of any symbol, association or values – much the same as the uprooted feeling of no longer belonging to one’s native cultural and emotional soil. The layered texture and monochromatic color scheme aim to capture global, regional, local, familial and personal dimensions of uprooting on the one hand while on the other hand forming a unified holistic and humanistic theme.

Amazingly and quite artistically, the force of environmental-nature and of human-nature has the capacity to rise from this low point into a phase of renewal, bloom, and liberation.

For me as a natural follow up of uprooting is the stage of nesting. Sharing with you my latest artworks dealing with nesting while I continue to explore this intriguing theme in my paper art.

Bianca Severijns, paper art, paper artist, nesting
Nesting 1 – Displacement Series

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Bianca Severijns inspiration photos of nature

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Bianca Severijns inspiration photos of nature

Lauren Collin - blog Paperartview 5b

Paper Bas-Reliefs by Paper Sculptor Lauren Collin

Paper Bas-Reliefs by Paper Sculptor Lauren Collin

It’s incredible to see how the paper bas-reliefs by paper sculptor Lauren Collin (27 years) contain the finesse and refinement of Japanese precision. Despite her admiration for “origamiques”, referring to the minimalist Japanese culture, there is nothing Japanese about this French Paris-based artist.

Lauren Collin - blog Paperartview 1b

After her art studies and after earning a diploma in interior architecture at the Penninghen in 2011, Collin started working for design firm Gilles & Boissier. Here she discovered her love for paper in the art of model-making for her interior architectural projects, which were always executed in white.

Lauren Collin - blog Paperartview 3b

After three years at the design firm, Collin decided to become a full time artist and paper became her major mode of expression. “I wanted an evolution to design on paper in volumes” she says. Under the influence of her graphic designer mother (creativity) and dental surgeon father (precision), she began to cut paper forms with one of her father’s scalpels, achieving precise and flowing circular movements.

Lauren Collin - blog Paperartview 4b

Lauren Collin does not make use of preparatory sketches. Her inspiration comes from photos or images of nature and plants, but the various surfaces and the roughness of the grain of paper can also determine the way she works. While Collin is on the lookout for simplicity, refinement and harmony, according to her the emphasis is on the effect that light has on her sculpted paper. It’s the light that provides a notion of movement, resembling a mix of transparency and shadow. That’s why Collin mostly works in the mornings, sitting next to the window experimenting with the play of light on her beautiful bas-reliefs.

Lauren Collin - blog Paperartview 2b

A big thanks to Jean-Jacques Dutko’s gallery, which is showing all Paper Bas-Reliefs by Paper Sculptor Lauren Collin, in her first solo exhibition until May 16th on Rue Bonaparte, Paris. If you’re in the area – it’s a definite must see!

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Jan Schoonhoven – Monochrome Paper reliefs by “PaperArtView”

Monochrome Paper Reliefs – Jan Schoonhoven

I just couldn’t resist to pay homage to Jan Schoonhoven (1914 – 1994), and not because there is a beautiful exhibition of his work in Delft, The Netherlands or because he mainly worked with paper (cardboard and papier-mâché). It is for the simple reason that I utterly adore his bare, minimalistic, timelessness, abstract reliefs!

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Schoonhoven is considered one of the most active and influential Dutch minimal artist of the late twentieth century. He is recognized for his usage of monochrome white color and serialized abstract reliefs. Born in Delft and being very much a local guy, Schoonhoven worked most of his life as a postal clerk and enjoyed the position’s daily structure. He was only able to create art during the late hours of the day and on weekends.
In 1960, Schoonhoven co-founded the avant-garde Nul-Group, the Dutch branch of the international Zero Movement, and befriended other European Zero-Group artists (like Piero Manzoni and Lucio Fontana) that sought to reduce art to a zero degree by simplifying compositions and using everyday materials. Schoonhoven’s turning point came in 1962, when he participated in and curated a Zero-Group exhibition at Amsterdam’s Stedelijk Musuem. In 1967, upon winning the second prize at the Sao Paulo Art Biennial, Schoonhoven gained international recognition and fame.

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Most of Schoonhoven’s reliefs are cardboard line sculpts in repetitive forms and strict schemes, free of any subject matter or highlights, with meaningless titles like “R71-36”. His works don’t convey emotions or political ideas, but rather attempt to reveal the beauty of the modern world without further analysis. Though Schoonhoven himself never said much about his own work, his everyday surroundings, such as the Delft pavements, rooftop tiles, stones and Dutch windows, were reflected in his art. At a closer glance, his reliefs miraculously change under different light conditions and you find that some of them are compiled from hundreds of hand-stacked labor pieces. In art circles, Schoonhoven is known as one of the most advanced artists of his generation and a great influence to fellow abstract artists of the late 60’s and 70’s.

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For my Dutch paper art-lovers, if you wish to see an overview of Jan Schoonhoven’s artworks including his sketchbooks, drawings and reliefs, there is a highly recommended exhibition until the 14th of February 2016, at the Museum Prinsenhof in Delft, The Netherlands. Enjoy!

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Paper Earth Skins – Bianca Severijns

Blog Paper Earth Skins Bianca Severijns

The various skins of earth resemble an amazing organ: new layers are born, they breathe, age, are constantly re-created and lost.

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During my visit to the desert, I was awestruck by the beauty of the marks, forms, patterns, formations and diversity of the earth’s layers. Each layer of earth embeds a story, a memory, or perhaps a scar caused by wind, water, drought, and time. I frenetically began photographing beautiful twig patterns and intriguing soil designs, knowing in the back of my head that these images might not be there tomorrow.

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A wealth of inspiration sprouted from these beautiful earth layers and engulfed me. Back in my studio, I started making paper sketches abstracting the essence of the earth’s layers and skins. As my friends know, I have been transitioning my artworks from female (feminine) subject matters to abstract monochromes. The new sketches are experimental and embossed, and I have dared to step out of 2D layering by creating reliefs, depths and heights, while simultaneous discovering new elements within my beloved paper medium.

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Driven by this new creative energy, my small visual poetics (paper sketches) became the starting point for new artworks. I am translating my recent fascination for natural textures, organic formations and soil layers into paper artworks, which will celebrate and nourish the beauty of earth.

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Just to show you how inspiring beautiful earth skins can be, take a look at the following photos by Joshua Nowicki, a St. Joseph-based photographer. While exploring the shores of Lake Michigan, he stumbled onto the following sand tower formations that were formed when blasts of winds slowly eroded layers of frozen sand. In one word: breathtaking!

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Timothy Lee paper artst a(2)

Timothy Hyunsoo Lee Paper Art

Timothy Hyunsoo Lee Paper Art

Timothy Hyunsoo Lee paper art invites viewers to experience the artist’s inner psychological state. Lee shares himself intimately. His art is a way of exploring and engaging his own history, which involves social, emotional and psychological issues.

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Lee (1990) is a Korean-born, New York-raised, Brooklyn-based artist that graduated from Wesleyan University with a degree in Neuroscience and Behavior, Drawing and Biology. Although fulfilling his dream of becoming a full-time artist, his science background is strongly incorporated within his creative process, mimicking the scientific method of observation, research, experiment, analysis and repeat.

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Timothy Hyunsoo Lee paper art themes deal with struggles arising from his dual Korean-American identity, as well as his anxiety and obsessive-compulsive disorders. In his words, “Though never to see as a problem but as a different state of mind.”

The magic of Lee’s works lay in his ability to create repetitive, delicate gouache painted self-portraits (or parts) on paper and then brilliantly fold, crumble and cut them into paper sculptures and installations. Faces and eyes also feature prominently in his works.

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Some of his works are beautiful detailed self-portraits with tiny “cell” cutouts that remind viewers of honeycombs whose intricate, organic patterns reach the paper’s outer borders. Lee’s “Eyes” installations include many water colored paintings of his eyes in various shades that are then crumbled and folded, staring at its viewers, giving them a slightly bizarre, somewhat creepy feeling. All of Lee’s artworks depict his obsessive and labor intensive abilities, while also embracing his suffering and struggled in an amazing, captivating way. I applaud him for being a brilliant artist!

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Timothy Hyunsoo Lee has been featured in several solo exhibitions worldwide and is represented by Sabrina Amrani Gallery in Madrid, Spain. I am yearning to see lots and lots more of him!

Bianca Severijns detial 1 embriodery in paper art

Embroidery in Paper Art by PaperArtView

Embroidery in Paper Art

In recent years, there has been a movement towards handcraft in the art and design world. We harbor a desire to reacquaint ourselves with workmanship and traditional labor intensive techniques. As a result, a new generation of artists is using hand stitch embroidery techniques to create entire artworks, some combining it with different mediums.

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Nicholas Hlobo Embroidery in Paper Art detail

Stitching can be a form of criticism against the instant gratification of our fast moving world. It can also be viewed as a metaphor for social cohesion and togetherness. Or it can simply be used for its intimate character. As an artist, I am happy with the revival of embroidery and the beauty of the rawness of the stitch.

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Nicholas Hlobo Embroidery in Paper Art detail

That is why it was pure joy to encounter South African artist Nicholas Hlobo at the Tate Modern. While looking at his works, I experienced a sense of excitement and enlightenment, for Hlobo plays with the contrast of femininity and masculinity in both his sculptures and paper artworks. Hlobo uses stitching and weaving, which are traditionally undertaken by women in South Africa, on masculine materials such as rubber car tires or sharp cut paper. In his works, he attempts to create conversations with the viewer that explore complex social issues of gender, race and ethnicity.

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Nicholas Hlobo Embroidery in Paper Art detail

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Nicholas Hlobo Embroidery in Paper Art detail “Macaleni Iintozomlambo”

The “baseball” stitch is a repetitive signature in many of Hlobo’s artworks and sculptures. It is both powerful and decorative. His stitching technique and 3D use of paper in his tactile, intricate artwork titled “Macaleni Iintozomlambo” is truly a source of inspiration for me!

Bianca Severijns embroidery on paer art detail 1
Bianca Severijns Embroidery in Paper Art detail

For me, paper is still the medium I am most happy to express myself. The manual and handcrafted execution in my paper art is essential to my work. The labor intensive requirement to shred and tear different forms of paper comes close to the hand labor of stitching and embroidery. That is why for me it felt natural to start experimenting with stitching on paper.

Bianca Severijns Embroidery in
Bianca Severijns Embroidery in Paper Art detail

In my two most recent paper artworks, I have implemented hand stitching directly to the canvas or on the shredded pieces of paper. New insights have arisen by exploring and combining stitching. The visual poetry of my new works are emphasized by the way my work is layered. There is something interesting to discover from far away as well as from up close. It is so exciting to keep on exploring embroidery in paper art!

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Bianca Severijns Paper Sketches

Bianca Severijns – Paper Sketches

In many ways, writing about one’s art is like demystifying the process of art making. Although I am passionate about writing blogs about other paper artists, it is kind of hard for me to reveal my own art process. It would totally freak me out to imagine myself in a transparent studio exposing my art-making to passing-byers, like those restaurants where diners can see straight into the kitchen. Not that I have anything to hide, but for me the working process of art is like a private voyage of discovery and an experiment with the self.

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That said, there is one thing about my working process I am willing to share: my paper art journal. At the beginning of this year, I began collecting my paper sketches which normally would have ended up in the bin. I consider this art-journal as a playground for possible new beginnings. It offers an opportunity for inspirational new try-outs of paper shredding techniques. I can play around freely and even throw sewing, folding, painting, embroidery and cutting into the mix.

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The paper sketches collected in my journal can be awkward, even ugly, but also wildly beautiful. They all honor the process. Some are layered paper surfaces that draw the eye inwards and beg to be touched, while others reflect my interest in patterns and rhythms. Though my artworks depict recognizable subjects, somehow my paper sketches stay abstract and don’t connect to the real world. One thing’s for sure: with these sketches, the emphasis is on my intuitive search and experimentation.

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As an artist, I feel privileged to be a part of the magic that comes with creating extraordinary things. When I started to devote more of myself to art, I came to the understanding that art equals freedom. Freedom in experimenting with (my own) techniques and exploring the depth of paper. That’s why I see my paper sketches as a fantastic tool for enriching my art! Sharing them with you, in some odd way, feels like revealing part of my working process without sitting in a transparent studio.

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Images of Bianca Severijns Paper Sketches

Etamar Beglikter - PaperArtView blog

Etamar Beglikter’s Paper Artworks

Tel-Aviv based multi-disciplinary artist Etamar Beglikter has me both intrigued and perplexed. It is the cultural, social and ecological layers that are portrayed in his artworks that have me asking so many questions.

Beglikter uses a range of multi-mediums like clay, plaster, tar and iron to create his art. I am particularly drawn to his paper art pieces, such as “44 Butterflies”, “Tribute to Menashe Kadishman” and his series “Cartoon Encyclopedia”.

Etamar Beglikter - PaperArtView Bianca Severijns

During his art studies (2003 to 2010), this Master Degree graduate of the Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design started using paper and transforming it into art objects for the first time. He took volumes of the Israeli Encyclopedia Hebraica, whose publication was one of the most significant cultural projects undertaken during the first years of Israeli statehood, and created “Garbage Pail” and “Broom” (In Hebrew “Matata” deliberately spelled wrong). These artworks were emotionally shocking to viewers and difficult to accept, as encyclopedias were considered “sacred” books of knowledge and wisdom. Beglikter admits that the impact of those artworks in 2007 has since softened considerably, due to the ushering of the Google and Wikipedia information era.

Part of Beglikter’s art influence comes from the theories of Dr. Baruch Blich, a lecturer at Bezalel who discusses themes such as visual languages, high culture vs marginal culture and mass media. Within his series “Cartoon Encyclopedia”, Beglikter manually cuts out Encyclopedias into icons of comic figures such as Mickey Mouse and Popeye. These artworks toy with the communication of high culture (intellectuals, elite thinkers) versus the phenomena of icon communication: a visual language that oddly enough is understood globally without the aid of the written word.

Etamar Beglikter - Paper ArtView by Bianca Severijns

“Tribute to Menashe Kadishman” is an impressive installation composed of hundreds of cut out faces, which are also composed of encyclopedia volumes based on the artwork of Kadishman’s “Shalekhet or Fallen Leaves”, which is part of the permanent exhibition at the Jewish Museum in Berlin. With this installation, Beglikter not only wants to honor one of Israeli’s first and finest art masters, but also wishes to connect old Israeli art culture with the new.

Etamar Beglikter - PaperArtview by Bianca Severijns

Etamar Beglikter - PaperArtView by Bianca Severijns

After our conversation, Beglikter leaves me with a humble and modest impression. The truth is that this young contemporary artist is highly appreciated in his homeland. Recently the Knesset (Israeli Government building) and Yad Vashem (center and museum of Holocaust History) both bought his works. Etamar Beglikter’s paper art objects are currently displayed in two museums: Paper Biennale Tel-Aviv at the Eretz Israel Museum until March 2014 and the Janco DaDa Museum in Ein Hod. Now that is nothing to be modest about! I’m pretty excited to follow all upcoming projects of this amazing artist.

Etamar Beglikter - PaperArtView by Bianca Severijns

Image courtesy of Etamar Beglikter’s paper artworks: Leonid Padrul, © Eretz Israel Museum, Tel Aviv

Zarina Hashmi by PaperArtView

Zarina Hashmi Paper Artist – PaperArtView

I feel true admiration for the 76 year old Indian-born New York based paper artist Zarina Hashmi, who prefers to be referred to simply by her first name. Paper has been Zarina’s primary medium both as a surface to print or draw on as well as a material to sewn, sculpture, cast or perforate. This striking graceful lady had a turbulent life in which she created amazing paper works and still does!

Zarina Hashmi by PaperArtView
right “Shadow House I”, 2006 cut Nepalese paper

Despite her nearly 50-year career as an artist, Zarina only had wide visibility the last recent years. In 2011 she was one of the five artists representing India in its’ first-ever entry at the Venice Biennale. In 2012 the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, presented “Zarina: paper like skin”, featuring 60 works dating from 1961 to the present. Many of these works were publicly shown for the first time. The exhibition travelled to the Guggenheim Museum, New York to finish in the Art Institute of Chicago 2013.

Zarina Hashmi by PaperArtView
Paper pulp cast

Her lifelong love for paper started when in 1959 Zarina had to live her life abroad caused by the political tension between Pakistan and India. She relocated herself in various major cities from Bangkok, Bonn, Paris, and Tokyo, to end up in New York. Paper became her transportable medium, readily available, wherever her travels took her. She learned various printmaking – and papermaking techniques unique to each country, and incorporate them into her art pieces.

Though never attended any art school, Zarina confesses that not being a product of art school gave her tremendous freedom: being able to break rules and push the boundaries in both paper – and printmaking.

Zarina’s early works deal with the reoccurring theme “home”. The poetic titles for her art series like “ Home Is a Foreign Place”, “House with Four Walls” or “ Shadow House I” suggesting a sense of longing to her childhood home. In the series of art works “Letters from Home” 2004, Zarina used woodblock prints and metal cut prints in which she layers different papers and weaves Urdu calligraphy texts using elements of houses and roadmaps to symbolize the layers of life lived in different cultures and countries.

Zarina Hashmi by PaperArtView
“Letters from Home”, 2004

Zarina Hashmi by PaperArtView

Zarina - PaperartView by Bianca Severijns
“Blinding Lights”, 2010

Zarina’s most recent works are a journey into herself and reveal a new found spirituality, like “Blinding Lights” 2010, in which the artist used strips of 22 karat golden leafs and created a collage of small squares. Though her works are very abstract, using strong linear elements and straight lines I feel strongly connected to it because of its minimalism and profound use of paper!

Zarina Hashmi by PaperArtView

Zarina Hashmi paper artist

NNathalie Boutte - paperartview

Nathalie Boutté’s Paper Art – Paper Art View

The thriving world of paper art and all the rich and diverse creative art works that paper artists create across the globe are truly exciting and amaze me daily! As a paper artist, I feel connected with those who use paper as their premium medium and work intensely with this material in an obsessive and devoted fashion. Nathalie Boutté is definitely an artist with this kind of devotion to paper, for her art pieces are created by hundreds and thousands of paper cut strips.

Nathalie Boutte - PaperArtView

Nathalie Boutté is a talented, self taught, French based artist that has been playing with paper from origami, pop-ups till kirigami since childhood. There is no day that goes by without her handling paper. In order to create her exquisite paper art pieces, Boutté begins by densely layering long narrow strips of paper into a feather-like texture.

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The exposed tips of each strip acts as pixels, forming the larger image. From up close it may be difficult to depict her design, but once stepping backwards you are amazed by the incredible image it reveals.

Nathalie Boutte - PaperArtView

Her choice of paper varies from recycled paper, book pages, gold sheets and translucent tracing paper, sometimes worked on with Indian ink. Boutté’s subject matters are mostly people and portraits (African). During the past year, many of her art pieces have featured white, grey and black shades, while some of her former works were adorned with colors. When I look at her work, I get this incredible urge to stroke and pet them, probably as a result of the soft and fragile feel they eradiate.

Nathalie Boutté’s paper art will be displayed in two upcoming (paper)group exhibitions in France and Switzerland, at the beginning of the New Year:

“Le papier dans tous ses états” in Galerie “A l’Ecu de France at Viroflay, France, running from January 9th to February 9th 2014

And Artgenève, Salon international d’art, Palexpo Switzerland, from January 30th to February 2nd 2014.

If you are living nearby, you are a lucky person to be able to attend these exhibitions! Envy you!