Magical landscapes – spotlight on painter Fiona Morrison
Today painter Fiona Morrison is in the spotlight – you can see more of Fiona’s paintings at www.fmorrison.co.uk
Being a painter
Please give us a few words of introduction about yourself
I am a painter. I paint mainly simplified landscapes, which I have been told have a spiritual/magical feel. I paint on traditionally prepared gesso boards in oil. I live in East Sussex with my partner, four children, one crazy dog, two kittens, and eight goldfish.
When did you decide to pursue painting as a career?
I have always painted on and off since I finished my degree. Now, since my children are that much older, with the first off to university, I am trying to spend much more of my time painting.
What training did you have?
I have both an MA (fine art) and a BA (hons) degree in Fine Art from the University of Newcastle Upon Tyne.
What has been the high point of your career so far?
I won a travel award which enabled me to travel around South America for three months, painting.
Also, any time somebody wants to purchase a painting is pretty special!
What’s your favourite quote?
‘and those who were seen dancing were thought to be crazy by those who couldn’t hear the music’ F Nietzsche
Who is your favourite artist?
Very difficult to choose one! At this moment I am revisiting Paul Klee – I love his work. His paintings looks so simple but there is so much thought behind each one.
What are you aiming for?
I want to continue to be inspired to paint, and hopefully to make some money from it along the way!
How will you get there?
Is anything holding you back?
I think we are all distracted by things happening around us, unfortunately for me painting is usually the first thing to suffer. The dog always needs walking and the dinner always needs cooking. I feel I need to be much more disciplined with my painting time, and actually see it as ‘going to work’
You and painting
What feelings or reactions do you hope to arouse in people who view your work? Are you ever surprised by reactions that you get?
I would like people looking at my landscapes to be reminded of places, times, moments that have been special to them. This is why I often use universal symbols such as the moon, stars, etc to which we can all relate.
From start to finish, how long does it take for you to create your work?
It depends. The preparation of the gesso on boards is a fairly lengthy process in itself – and that’s before any painting! I also often return to paintings many weeks later suddenly knowing what needs to be done to ‘finish’ them.
What music do you like to listen to when you work?
I love all types of music, but I never tire of Van Morrison because I’m a sucker for nostalgia. And I’m afraid I always listen to the Archers – does that count?
What are you working on next? Any future plans or projects in the pipeline that we should look out for?
I am trying to promote my art more and looking for other galleries/ venues further afield to show my work. I would also love to complete my long held ambition to illustrate a children’s story.
Being inspired by painting
Who (living or dead) inspires you? and why?
My partner and children are always encouraging and positive about my painting, and inspire me to continue. My children are always excited to see my latest work which i find really touching!
What feelings, subjects or concepts inspire you as a painter?
I love travelling, experiencing new landscapes, but also revisiting familiar places and always seeing something new. Poetry, books, often inspire me – authors such as Garcia Marquez, for amazing magical realism. Oh, and Spanish poet Garcia Lorca.
What is your favourite work that you’ve produced so far and why?
Probably ‘Moondance’ – ironically one of the very few of my paintings with figures. I painted it not long after the birth of my daughter and I hope it conveys the joy I felt. I have never had the heart to sell it despite being asked many times. (there is a print available!) It was also the painting my son chose when I let all 4 of my children choose a piece of my work for themselves, so hopefully it will always be in the family!
a painter’s advice
For those thinking about turning a passion for painting into a career, could you give any advice?
Just keep painting. Develop a thick skin – some people can be very critical sometimes! Most of all enjoy it!!
Any tips on how to get your work seen and get the commissions coming in?
Research galleries and find those where you think your work will fit in well. Take part in any local ‘open studios’ in your area. Create an online presence – although I haven’t been the best at that so far….!