Fiona Parrott is a woodcut artist, based in Sussex.
I carve my portraits of plants into wood blocks and print them by hand on an 1844 Columbian Press. My limited edition, woodcut prints explore the colours, textures and sculptural qualities of plants and trees.
What is a print?
‘Printmaking’ is a term that covers a range of processes, materials and techniques. My prints are created through a process called ‘relief’ printing. I cut away the areas around the image, leaving the raised image on my woodblock. The raised areas are inked by hand and I press the block and paper together on the press to make a ‘print’.
To create colour and texture in my prints, I use several techniques: I roll colour blends using a large roller; employ handpainting; and layer colour using the process of reduction. Many of my prints are made by handpainting the woodblock and taking an impression of this painting. I find that dabbing ink onto the block creates softer lines of colour that better capture the character of my subjects – the plants and trees. Reduction involves cutting away ever more areas of the woodblock to print a succession of layers after each preceeding layer has dried. It’s all part of the enjoyment of printmaking as a craft.
If you buy a limited edition print from me, you own an original print. A handmade print created in the way I have described, is distinct from a ‘giclee print’ which is a type of inkjet print, produced digitally. I also produce greeting cards that feature reproductions of my prints.
How do I work?
Each design is the result of an inspiring encounter with an exceptional plant. As well as working from the plants in my local surroundings, I take my sketchbook and woodblocks to gardens and glasshouses to draw from life. I return to my studio to work in detail on the carvings.
I love capturing bold colours and beautiful moments: working from my memories and sketches of the way sunlight shines through translucent petals, bringing jewel-like intensity of colour to foliage and flowers; watching for seasonal growth, for the acid yellow growing tips of new leaves or the colouring of leaves in autumn. I print the way I remember the colours, which inevitably lies somewhere between imagination and reality.
As I re-print a small number of prints from each woodblock at a time, the colours in an edition vary.
News & Events
2020 Look out for Fiona’s new webstore. Ordering prints and cards will soon become much easier. Please bear with me while I bring the new ordering system online and sign up to my occasional newsletter to hear first about new work and upcoming exhibitions.
Fiona is currently Artist in Residence at Architectural Plants, Pulborough. A selection of work will be available to view when the shop re-opens in Spring 2021. Parking Available.
How do I order?
To order original prints, please contact me by email. If you would like to purchase a set of greeting cards order here. Please sign up to my newsletter if you’d like to hear about new prints and receive news of the opening of my online shop that will streamline the ordering process.