1) Who are you and what do you do?
Hi, my name is Fiona van Baardwijk and I am an artist and tutor.
2) What is your process?
I take photos of the natural world, crop them ( almost always into a square format) and try to recreate what I see, I don’t aim for a particular effect but I try to achieve balance in colour, tone and composition particularly. See photo below.
Whether in oil or pastel, I begin with a contour drawing and introducing tone, then block in colour and finally add texture and detail.
3) If you walked into a shop/gallery and saw your work for the first time as a customer, how would you describe it?
I have had various reactions to my work, depending on whether it is one of my more colourful ones, I have produced some metre square canvasses of flowers in the past and they can be quite overwhelming at close quarters, some of my other tree pieces have provoked a sense of calm. I’m happy if I can convey a sense of peace or joy.
4) Did you have a ‘non-creative’ life/career before doing what you do now and how did it compare?
My last paid job was as a Hearing Aid Audiologist in the private sector, I liked working with people but being able to draw, paint and talk about art all the time has been like breathing in for the first time in a long time.
5) Apart from your hands, what is you favourite tool or material to work with?
I like to work with soft pastels and have some wonderful Unison colours but I also love oil paint and it’s rich sheen. If there was one material I couldn’t live without, it would be charcoal, as it’s so versatile.
6) What visually inspires you?
I find lots of things visually inspiring and get particularly excited by a juxtaposition of colour or texture e.g. Moss on a smooth pebble, rust on metal. I love the process of growth and decay and a lot of my work is about trying to capture transience in the natural world.
8) What’s your favourite joke or limerick? Feel free to make up your own!
I’m sorry I’m hopeless at jokes but I do love a quote, one of my favourites is “Never, never, never give up!” from Winston Churchill.