Fiona McIntyre is a painter, drawer and printmaker. Her uplifting painting Greenish Deep is currently on show as part of the group exhibition Arboretum at the Royal West of England Academy, now entering its final week. Much of her work focuses on plants, often using vivid colour and flow to depict their great vitality.
I have always had a great love of nature and spend a lot of time outdoors drawing and sketching landscapes. I am also part of the Arborealists which are a group of like minded artists inspired by trees. My passion for nature extends into a huge personal interest in the healing power of plants.
I spent a year perched on the banks of a Gloucestershire lake drawing the brook alders that feature in this painting (above). These trees fascinate me as they like to dip their roots into water which hardens them like stone. The ancients believed that the alder could imbue men with wisdom and enable powers of prophesy. I have tried to get the magical quality of these unassuming yet elegant trees into my work through the use of simplified chromatic colour and diagonal composition. I begin sketching and drawing outdoors then return to the studio to develop this material into paintings.
I build up layers of fluid oil paint; a direct spontaneous approach that injects movement into the mark making. I am most interested in the dynamics of colour and how it affects us emotionally and the poetic interplay of rhythm and counterpoint. I always listen to music while I work so this becomes an intrinsic part of the creative process.
Arboreal: The Art of Trees is such a wonderful, inspirational exhibition and one that I am delighted to be a part of. It has really brought a forest into a gallery space and each artist is expressing trees in a very unique an individual way. I’m overwhelmed at the response to the show which has been enormous. So far we have been reviewed by the Telegraph and listed twice in the Times as the exhibition critics would pay to see. I think it shows that trees are still very much at the heart of this nation.