For the next in our series of In The Frame we managed to get some time with local artist Fiona Carvell. Having previously worked in television as a Graphic Designer and Art Director, Fiona’s passion for teaching and drawing took over! Fiona specialises in pastel works and is currently offering a varied selection of classes and workshops at Fine House Farm. Read on to find out where her inspiration comes from’
What inspires you to paint?
Lots of things! It changes all the time.
I guess I have a very eclectic taste; I have had a bit of a thing about trees over the past year – the spaces between branches, negative space and the shapes they create, but it can be anything that I find interesting. Generally speaking I am more drawn to natural forms, landscapes, grasses etc. I have always enjoyed exploring line and texture and the patterns that re-emerge in nature time and again, in leaves, branches, grasses – they’re all linked.
My design background has also played an important part in my artwork and so I also have lots of favourite Illustrators, Typographers and Designers too. Fashion Designer Izzy Miyake had an incredible exhibition called ‘Pleats Please’ in Paris, years ago, that I went to. It was one of the most amazing experiences and to this day I remain fascinated by the relationships between line, movement and colour.
What are you working on now?
I am trying to get my Seaweed Series completed. It began with ‘Treasure of The Deep’ and ‘Washed Ashore’, which are currently both on display at The Woodhorn Museum in Washington (until May 7th) as part of their ‘OCEAN’ exhibition. I have carried on with the theme and the subsequent pieces will be going to Gallery 45 in Felton in May and also to Number Four Gallery at St.Abbs in Scotland, so I’m very, very busy!!
What’s your favourite piece of art and why? (Your own or someone else’s)
Ah, that’s a really difficult question! Does it have to be just 1?
I love pastel work by Sarah Bee, her mix of line and colour is breath taking. The French Impressionists (Monet, Degas, Cezanne etc) remain an inspiration and influence the way I use colour. I come across new things all the time, but Sarah Bee is probably my favourite at the moment. Her recent tree paintings are fabulous. I especially like ‘Lime After The February Trim’.
What’s the importance of framing? How does it change the picture?
Framing is SO important. A bad frame will make a good picture look bad. A good frame will make a good picture look amazing!
What do you look for in a picture framer?
An understanding of artwork and a good eye for detail. Sometimes I have a clear idea of what will be best to set a picture off properly and other times a second opinion really does help!
Why do you work with The Frame House?
The whole team at The Frame House are both professional and friendly. They listen carefully to what I need and I am very grateful for those times when I have had to get something framed quickly! They are supportive and deliver an excellent service. The frames are always good quality and present my artwork to a high standard, which is important for a professional artist.
For more information about Fiona and to see more examples of her work check out her website: https://fionacarvell.com