A few minuets with our artist Fiona Solley
Hello and thanks for being here, we welcome both you the reader and Fiona to the Sunset Gallery blog, its always nice to have you all here.
Fiona and I (Gallery Admin & Arts Manager Cherie here) are going to have a little virtual chat, hopefully you the can get to know Fiona a little more, understand her as an artist and as a Greater Port Macquarie local.
Fiona if you had to describe your art with three words what would they be?
The most favourite part of artmaking is the telling of stories of one of my favourite themes - the botanical world and my childhood memories of spending time in nature. My work combines a bold colour palette of gouache with linework illustrations to create sometimes whimsical, paintings and illustrations to reveal my wanderlust for the world around.
Do you have any artistic influences and who has been your biggest influence?
My original and biggest artistic influence began whilst at high school when I discovered Linda Jackson’s work. Her work was inspired by the Australian bush and she created fabrics of the most brilliant colours, shapes and textures, including that of the Australian eucalypts.
I can see how Linda has influenced your art, your work has a strong botanic component, tell us do you have a fav time of the day to create?
My favourite time of the day to create is early morning or evening when I’m being more disciplined. It’s when I get to think more clearly without daytime distractions.
Oh I can relate to that, early morning is a great time to have a little peaceful creativity, Fiona would you suggest someone could develop their art practice and or skills?
I know it’s a cliche but developing your art skills is by practicing and continually painting. Playing with different techniques and materials is another way I develop my skills. I also love to see how other artists work and in person workshops and online courses are another way I work on my art skills.
Thank you for that, I’m sure many will find that interesting, on a different note do you think art has an impact on society?
I definitely think art has an impact on society. There are so many ways it does this. It carves the way for new and interesting solutions. Artists are problem solvers and our strengths are coming up with solutions and presenting this in new and interesting ways.
Wow I love that, and I agree artists are great problem solvers and often in very innovative ways. If you could identify the purpose or goal of your art practice what would it be?
My purpose or goal of my work is primarily to tell a story. Whether it’s an illustration or a painting there will be a story behind it. I’m not a writer but create and weave my stories into the art I create.
I love artwork that tells a story, it helps the viewer connect to it in a deeper way. We often see many artists who do not often get out of their studios, do you have a network of other artists that you connect with and support or that support you?
I do have a network of other artists where we support each other. And thanks to social media this network is now eire reaching. It also means that I’m opened to creating connections to new creatives and introduce their work to others.
That’s awesome and I’m sure it is really valued by yourself and them also, can you tell us what motivates you to create?
My motivation to create goes back to my love of telling a story. Creating is also a good way for my stress relief and mental health. I may not always create great work at these times but there’s a sense of accomplishment that I’ve taken out my pencils or gouache and put something onto paper.
Art is a sensational tool to have in the mental health tool kit, both in the creating and the viewing, great response. Have you found that your style has changed over time?
My work has changed over time and this goes hand in hand with my development of art skills.
How has it changed?
My earlier work was less illustrative and more stylised and graphic. Then a few years ago I rediscovered my love of gouache and that’s when my work became more painterly, illustrative and textural. I also reignited my love of nature and this has become a massive influence on the development my style.
That’s really interesting and probably relatable by many artists. Lucky last question for you, what is your go to medium to use?
My most favourite of mediums is gouache. I love the creaminess of this paint and find it quite versatile in the way that I use it. Sometimes I water it right down so that it work a bit like watercolour. I use an acrylic gouache which means that each layer works independently from previous layers. It’s how I work my style from loose areas and layer up with linework using a thicker layer of gouache.
Well thank you so much Fiona for your openness and spending a few minuets with us and thank you for being one of our Summer Show artists this season, your piece is a stunning representation of what you do, we hope that a local art lover can purchase it to put n the collection.
To purchase this artwork CLICK HERE to see more of Fiona's work on Insta CLICK HERE
Till next time all, stay creative, stay kind and remember to support local art.