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 my passion for the colours, textures and sculptural qualities of plants and trees. For me, growing, gardening and printmaking go hand in hand.
What is a print?
‘Printmaking’ is a term that covers a range of processes, materials and techniques. The type of printmaking I do is called woodcut ‘relief’ printing. I cut away the areas around the image, leaving the image on my woodblock ‘in relief’. I use a variety of different tools to carve the wood. The raised areas are inked by hand and I press the block and paper together on the press to make a ‘print’.
In order to create different layers of colour and texture on the paper, I use several techniques. I handpaint the woodblock much as you would a painting and then take an impression of this painting. Handpainting the block prior to printing creates softer lines of colour that better capture the character of my subjects – the plants and trees. For the next print I must ink or paint the block again.
I also use multiple blocks or the process of reduction (cutting away ever more areas of the image) to print different distinct layers of colour on the paper. I use colour blends created using a large roller, handpainting, and layering of colour interchangeably and together in one print. The resulting prints are the outcome of lengthy processes – but it’s all part of the enjoyment of printmaking as a craft.
If you buy a 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.
How do I work?
Each design is the result of an inspiring encounter with an exceptional plant, garden or green space. 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, and can be re-worked to new effect or to complement a specific interior.
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, where a selection of work is available to view. Parking Available.
How do I order?
To order original prints and greeting cards, please contact me by email. Please bear with me while I create an online shop that will streamline the process.