Jill Bryant

Moonpond by Jill Bryant

Jill Bryant Moonpond 2014, acrylic on canvas, 101.5cm x 76cm

Our featured artist this week is Western Australian talent Jill Bryant.  Her magical watercolours and mixed medium works seem to twist light and colour to take the real to the abstract.  The paintings are uniquely fluid and alive. Jill took some time out to answer some questions for Collate Culture.  Find out about her studio and check out some of her whimsical pieces as you go.

CC:  If you were to paint a picture of your Studio, describe what would it look like right now.

JB:  An organised mess! One wall draped with a very large sheet of canvas decorated in a kaleidoscope of splashes some of which have found their way to other walls! A table covered in plastic takeaway containers, varnishes and mediums, squirt bottles, jars of well worn brushes and palette knives of all shapes and sizes, the last used tubes and tubs of paint waiting to be put away and replaced with a change of colours. Little bits of this and that that may or may not be used for texture. A stingy window that is never giving me adequate natural light. A cupboard with shelves and drawers that looks somewhat organised with more paints and mediums, a serious looking spray mask, heat gun and halogen lamps that compensate for the stingy window. On another wall sits a well loved english oak antique chest of drawers housing all things to do with watercolour and printmaking. Stacked against it on one side are watercolour paintings I don’t really love that much and haven’t yet decided what to do with them and on the other side rests easels large and small. Strewn across the wooden floor is more drop sheets and black plastic for the more serious spillages. Thrown into the vista is two carpentry horse stools for resting freshly varnished paintings. That’s about it, wait no, lastly but by know means least is a cupboard housing a generously stocked (thankfully) wine rack!

The Journey by Jill Bryant

Jill Bryant The Journey – Diptych 2014, acrylic on canvas 81cm x 41cm 

CC:  What is your favourite medium to work with and why?

JB:  It would most definitely be watercolour. I am in love with it’s translucency, freshness, fluidity, unpredictability and ‘less is more’ nature of the medium. It can produce magical results if you just let it do it’s thing under delicate guidance. It’s is the most challenging medium to work with which keeps you on your toes and good planning often has to happen before you touch the paper, even if it’s abstract watercolour you’re working on.

Harbour noise 1 by Jill Bryant

Jill Bryant Harbour Noise 1 2015, acrylic on canvas, 76cm x 51cm

Harbour noise 2 by Jill Bryant

Jill Bryant Harbour Noise 2 2015, acrylic on canvas, 76cm x 51cm

CC:  How do you know when a piece of work or series is finished?

JB:  I don’t always know but often when it visually speaks to me or gives back to me. The process of creating a painting can require a lot of mental and emotional energy so when I’m no longer continually thinking about it or when I feel something in return, the more I look at it. Then I guess it’s done.

CC:  How difficult is it to discard work that isn’t working?

JB:  Sometimes it’s easy, sometimes it takes time to come to that decision. What I might consider not to be working someone else loves. This has happened a number of times where I have thought about painting over artwork I’ve finished and then someone decides to buy it. So whenever I threaten to re-do a piece my husband gives me the look. Mostly I refrain but not always.

Out of the blue by Jill Bryant

Jill Bryant Out of the Blue 2015, water colour, 57cm x 77cm

CC:  What is the best advice you have received?

JB:  Work with confidence.

CC:  do emotions drive or stifle your creativity? Do you do your best work when you are happy? sad? angry?

JB:  Both. For me anxiety stifles but sadness can drive. However being in a happy place is energising so I feel that it is the biggest motivator for me and I feel my work mostly reflects that emotion. While painting though, I often experience a range of emotions through the artistic process so it is hard to define which emotion produces the best work

Problem solving by Jill Bryant

Jill Bryant Problem Solving 2015, water colour, 41.5cm x 41.5cm

Wetwonder by Jill Bryant

Jill Bryant Wet Wonder 2015, water colour, 57cm x 77cm

Geyser by Jill Bryant

Jill Bryant Geyser 2015, water colour, 41.5cm x 41.5cm

Two lamps by Jill Bryant

Jill Bryant Two lamps 2014, acrylic on canvas, 101.5cm x 76cm

To find out more about Jill visit her website Jill Bryant.  You can also take a look at our post featuring the work of Celeste Wrona who creates stunning ink on paper creations

Fiona Watson

Mahia-2013

“Mahia” Linoprint: Fiona Watson

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.
Christmas-1969-Coloured-2014

“Christmas 1969” by Fiona Watson

Fishing-Trip-Coloured-2014

“Fishing Trip” by Fiona Watson

“Jan’s Place” by Fiona Watson

Coconuts by Fiona Watson

Coconuts by Fiona Watson

For those in the Gold Coast area, Fiona’s work can often be found exhibited at Café D’bar Gallery at Coolangatta.  Find out more about this talented lady at her site  the sentimentalist You can also purchase prints on Fiona’s online store.  Fiona Watson can also be found on facebook or instagram