Fiona Watson is our featured artist this Wednesday. She lives on the southern Gold Coast and creates beautiful lino prints which deliver an overwhelming sense of nostalgia. Many of the works feature fibro houses, breeze blocks and caravans perched amongst simple seaside vistas. She takes the old back to a time when it was new. These aren’t just pretty pictures; they are happy memories. Fiona hand cuts and prints the works herself but was able to take some time out to answer a few questions for Collate Culture…
CC: If you were to paint a picture of your studio, describe what would it look like right now?
FW: A busy space filled with drying prints, Lino blocks, artists inks, brushes, sketches of works in process and collected objects and photos that inspire my work.
CC: What is your favourite medium to work with and why?
FW: I use a relief printmaking process called Lino printing where my design is sketched onto a special surface and the unwanted areas are removed with small carving tools. This surface is then inked up with a roller and paper is laid over the top. After hand burnishing the back a print is taken. I love the hand made marks of this medium and the contrast of black ink on white paper. I feel it also best represents the time worn nature of my subject matter. When I hand colour some of the prints they remind me of early book illustrations.
CC: How do you know when a piece of work or series is finished?
FW: Working in black and white I know the block is ready to carve and print when I have a balance of tones and textures. Some prints are fully coloured when I feel the subject allows it whilst others have more selective areas highlighted.
CC: How difficult is it to discard work that isn’t working?
FW: I think most artists will know when a composition isn’t working and would always discard or change/ alter the design. When your work flows easily you know you’re on the right track.
CC: What is the best advice you have received?
FW: Never undersell yourself. Value what you do as a unique talent.
CC: Do emotions impact on your creativity?
FW: I certainly have an emotional connection to the subjects I choose, as do my customers. My work is based on happy memories and I always describe my time spent creating my art as my ‘happy place’. I can tune out meditatively for hours on a piece.
For those of you in the area, Fiona will be holding an Intro to Lino Printing Workshop on November 14th at The Craft Parlour, Miami Marketta. Keep an eye out for her next solo exhibition at Café D’bar Gallery at Coolangatta in March 2016. Find out more about this talented lady at her site thesentimentalist