Screenprinting Inspiration


Stencilling to create visual images dates back to representations of hands on Paleolothic cave walls.

Screen printing using silk mesh first appeared in a recognizable form in China during the Song Dynasty (960–1279 AD). It was then adapted by other Asian countries like Japan, and was furthered by creating newer methods.

Screen printing was largely introduced to Western Europe from Asia sometime in the late 18th century, but did not gain large acceptance or use in Europe until silk mesh was more available for trade from the east and a profitable outlet for the medium discovered.

Photoscreen processes started to be developed in the 1910s introducing photo-imaged stencils for commercial printing. Several printers experimenting with photo-reactive chemicals used the well-known actinic light–activated cross linking or hardening traits of potassium, sodium or ammonium chromate and dichromate chemicals with glues and gelatin compounds. Roy Beck, Charles Peter and Edward Owens studied and experimented with chromic acid salt sensitized emulsions for photo-reactive stencils. Commercial screen printing now uses sensitizers far safer and less toxic than bichromates. Currently there are large selections of pre-sensitized and “user mixed” sensitized emulsion chemicals for creating photo-reactive stencils.

A group of artists who later formed the National Serigraphic Society, including WPA artist Anthony Velonis, coined the word Serigraphy in the 1930s to differentiate the artistic application of screen printing from the industrial use of the process.”Serigraphy” is a compound word formed from Latin “sēricum” (silk) and Greek “graphein” (to write or draw).

The Printers’ National Environmental Assistance Center says “Screenprinting is arguably the most versatile of all printing processes. Since rudimentary screenprinting materials are so affordable and readily available, it has been used frequently in underground settings and subcultures, and the non-professional look of such DIY culture screenprints have become a significant cultural aesthetic seen on movie posters, record album covers, flyers, shirts, commercial fonts in advertising, in artwork and elsewhere.

1960s to present

Andy Warhol

Sister Mary Corita Kent, gained international fame for her vibrant serigraphs during the 1960s and 1970s. Her works were rainbow colored, contained words that were both political and fostered peace and love and caring.

American entrepreneur, artist and inventor Michael Vasilantone started to use, develop, and sell a rotatable multicolour garment screen printing machine in 1960.[4] Vasilantone later filed for patent[5] on his invention in 1967 granted number 3,427,964 on February 18, 1969.[5] The original machine was manufactured to print logos and team information on bowling garments but soon directed to the new fad of printing on T-shirts. The Vasilantone patent was licensed by multiple manufacturers, the resulting production and boom in printed T-shirts made this garment screen printing machine popular. Screen printing on garments currently accounts for over half of the screen printing activity in the United States.[6]

Graphic screenprinting is widely used today to create mass or large batch produced graphics, such as posters or display stands. Full colour prints can be created by printing in CMYK (cyan, magenta, yellow and black (‘key’)).

Screen printing lends itself well to printing on canvas. Andy Warhol, Arthur Okamura, Robert Rauschenberg, Roy Lichtenstein, Harry Gottlieb and many other artists have used screen printing as an expression of creativity and artistic vision.

Charles Shearer

Charles Shearer is an artist printmaker and teacher from Orkney, currently based in London. He also creates paintings and drawings of scenes inspired from his extensive travels both in the UK and overseas.

Google links to his images 

Many of his prints are single or multiplate collagraphs made from cutting, drawing and sculpting into display board. The plates are then printed using stencils and roller techniques to produce complex and multicoloured prints. This is the technique I started to explore in Assignment 5 The Dreaming.

His subjects are often ‘creative interpretations’ from his own travel sketchbooks, mostly from Wales, Ireland and his travels between London and Orkney. A key underlying theme is ‘man’s [sic] order within nature’. ‘Of particular interest are deserted buildings and the landscapes surrounding them as he describes “in a landscape stands a grand Irish ruin all in glorious decay, to contrast with a desolate and rutted land beyond the industrial estate”.

There are often fun images in his work too such as his large monoprints of King Flamingo or Night Prowl. He experiments too with texture and materials such as in Bubblewrap Joe.

In addition to making his own work he teaches printmaking at numerous art schools and runs creative print workshops. For experimental prints I produced from a workshop on ‘Cardboard Cuts’ see Collagraph techniques

For more about Charles Shearer see:

Emma Mason Arts

Exhibition at St Judes Prints

Exhibition at Southampton Solent University’s Andrews Concourse Gallery 2014- 2015.

Maggi Hambling


Hambling, M. (1993). Towards Laughter. Sunderland, UK, Northern Centre for Contemporary Art.
Hambling, M. (1998). maggi & henrietta.
Hambling, M. (2006). Maggi Hambling the Works and Conversations with Andrew Lambirth. London, Unicorn Press Ltd.
Hambling, M. (2009). The Sea. Salford Quays, The Lowry Press.
Hambling, M. (2009). You Are the Sea. Great Britain, Lux Books.
Hambling, M. (2015). War, Requiem and Aftermath. London, Unicorn Press Ltd.
Ramkalawon, J. (2016). Maggi Hambling Touch: works on paper. London, Lund Humphries and British Museum.

Video interviews and rough notes

Her works

Maggi Hambling website

My first introduction to Maggi Hambling was through an exhibition at the National Gallery in 2009? and her portrait drawings

Maggi Hambling is probably currently most well known for her wave and Walls of Water paintings shown at the National Gallery. These include a series of monotypes first shown at Malborough Fine Art (see the exhibition), then the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge and the National Gallery.

More recently her work has been more political with the exhibitions, dealing with topics like global warming, migration and war:


Cornelia Parker

Cornelia Ann Parker OBE, RA (born 1956) is an English sculptor and installation artist. Her work covers sculpture, photography, performance. Her work is often in collaboration with institutions dealing with political as well as psychological themes.

Her ‘violent acts’,  the light textures cast by many of her sculptures and use of found objects were an inspiration for Project 5.2 Arcadia Recycled

Videos and interviews

“Beauty is too easy,” says the 56-year-old British artist Cornelia Parker. “Often in my work I take beautiful objects and do extreme things to them, so that they are overlaid with something a bit more sinister and violent.” She laughs. “I’m sure an analyst could have a field day on me.”

Cornelia Parker Tate

‘My work is all about the potential of materials ­– even when it looks like they’ve lost all possibilities.

From: ’ 

Printing with light and glass:

General Election

Objects of obsession


David Dernie

David Dernie is a Cambridge-based architect and artist.

His exhibition ‘Heat’ shown as part of Cambridge Open Studios in July 2018 was a series of abstract collaged paintings ‘exploring built and natural landscapes in a warming world’.

Paintings below shown with permission from the artist.

The overlaying of abstract shapes, textures and washes inspired my work for Project 5.2 Arcadia Recycled and point to further directions I could pursue using print, collage and paint techniques.

Rose Wylie

Rose Wylie (b. 1934) is a British artist known for her very large playful drawings and paintings on unprimed canvas dealing with her memories of childhood and war.

I first came across Rose Wylie from the TV Imagine Programme July 2018. My approach in Project 5.1 Grand Arcade: Memories Revisited was influenced by:

  • her ideas on the interlinked nature of memory and reality whereby memories are never fixed but reinterpreted in the light of current experience
  • way of continuing to work and chip away at the same piece, sticking and overlaying elements as a process of exploration of ideas
  • very playful aesthetic that increases the impact of her  witty and sophisticated observation of life and its visual representation.

Video Interviews on her art

In the following videos she talks about her memories of childhood and war and how these influenced her art. Her main artistic input was produced after the age of 70. She was always taught not to rub out her drawings and now works and reworks her painting. A key influence on her work was Dada.


About ‘Woof Woof Quack Quack exhibition

Radio interview about the nature of experience and memory


Serpentine Galleries exhibitions: Rose Wylie Quack Quack

 ‘I want to be known for my paintings – not because I’m old’ Skye Sherwin, The Guardian November 2017

Royal Academy

David Zwirner gallery

Frida Kahlo

Ill paint myself because I am so often alone, because I am the subject I know best.

Frida Kahlo portraits Google

Tate Modern exhibition 2005

Feel My Pain by Natasha Walters

Victoria and Albert Museum exhibition 2018 video



Frida Kahlo de Rivera ( 1907 – July 13, 1954) was a Mexican artist.  She used a naïve folk art style to explore questions of identity, postcolonialism, gender, class, and race in Mexican society.

Her paintings often had strong autobiographical elements and mixed realism with fantasy. She was disabled by polio as a child. Then at age eighteen a traffic accident caused lifelong pain and medical problems. It was during her recovery that she decided to leave her earlier ambitions to study medicine and become an artist.

In 1927, she joined the Mexican Communist Party. Here she met the  muralist Diego Rivera and they married in 1928. The relationship was volatile and included a year-long divorce; both had extramarital affairs.  Throughout her life Kahlo was mainly known as Rivera’s wife. From the 1930s Kahlo’s always fragile health began to decline. She had her first and only solo exhibition in Mexico in 1953, shortly before her death in 1954 at the age of 47.

In the late 1970s her work was rediscovered by art historians and political activists. Kahlo’s work has been celebrated by feminists for what is seen as its uncompromising depiction of the female experience and form. By the early 1990s, she had become not only a recognized figure in art history and the Feminism movement, but also an icon for Chicanos and the LGBTQ movement.