Blog menu

Meet The Maker: Fiona Black

Meet The Maker: Fiona Black

My name is Fiona Black and I am an artist, folk musician, writer, history geek and lover of stories. Home for me is the Highland village of Evanton, just north of Inverness on the shore of the Cromarty Firth. I am happy to have returned to live and create in the Highlands, and I am constantly inspired by the landscape, history and culture of the area.

I've been very lucky to be able to travel the world playing the accordion with my Folk band, The Outside Track; I always came home from tours inspired by different places I'd been and art I'd seen, as well as wee books full of sketches and doodles. 

Describe your printmaking process.

My printing process is pretty haphazard really; I sketch away on ideas for prints, sometimes in sketchbooks, often on scraps of paper found in my handbag. When I get an idea on a train or between pages of writing and music notation, I'll doodle wee ideas that eventually make it onto my printing desk. I love experimenting with many printmaking forms, but my main addictions are lino printing and wood engraving.

Why printmaking?

I am a very, very indecisive person; so I never found I ever finished any painting, drawing, or sculpture I worked on. It was only really when I decided to try a few wee lino prints about five years ago that I discovered (to my delight), that printmaking set me free a little.

Of course, I still am indecisive and spend days adding colours or layers or different textures. But the majority of my prints are pretty bold, black and white lino prints. I love that once you've carved a line, it is a decision made. There is only so much you can carve out until you really just have to leave it or start again.

How and where did you learn to print?

I am self-taught in all current forms of print. To work things out, I rely on books, experimenting or places like Handprinted. Over the years, I have slowly collected a range of tools and materials; last year, I found a second-hand German printing press that enabled me to work on bigger prints up to A3 size, which is great fun.

Where do you work?

 I work in a wee room in my house, a perfect wee studio with a window from where I can see out to the Cromarty Firth and the Black Isle beyond.

What have you made that you are most proud of?

 My prints are varied, but together they really are me. I've worked on lots inspired by folk music and have worked on prints for a few album covers. I have a series of Scottish and Irish landscapes from places I've lived that are close to my heart, some referencing some of the folklore I love. I have a series of book readers in various places. Being a total book lover/addict myself, they are such joy to work on. I am also continuing to work on a growing collection of prints inspired by Scottish Women from history. I have a whole notebook of my list which has reached well over 200! 

Where can we see your work? Where do you sell?

I've been lucky to be part of some fun and interesting exhibitions and have my own website and Etsy store where I sell primarily. I have happily had lots of lovely commissions, mostly through interactions with nice people on Instagram, where I share bits of my creative life.

What will we be seeing from you next?

 I'm looking forward to more messy desk experimenting. I've been trying out more wood engraving for some tiny detailed wee print ideas and I have endless ideas I want to work on this year. I'd love to work more on my Scottish women and maybe share them and their stories with other people too. 

Do you have any advice for other printmakers and creatives?

My only real advice for other printmakers and creatives is to experiment, try things out, make mistakes and enjoy the whole process. 

Back to blog