We're delighted that Fiona Duffy has agreed to be interviewed for Ponyhour's Equine Artist of The Month.
Thank you Fiona, first question please tell us about your work? What are you currently working on?
After a busy run up to Christmas completing commissions and my first exhibition in December I'm currently working on my sketchbook, learning some new techniques and using new mediums. My work is predominantly in acrylics but I am really keen to work with graphite and polychromo pencils. I have seen some fabulous work produced by other artists using this medium so before starting work for a new exhibition in the spring I am taking time to perfect my own skills.
How did you decide to become an artist?
I have always had a "need" to draw and paint. As a child I was the only horse mad member of a non horsey family. I spent hours drawing them as it allowed me to feel close to them. I was lucky enough to learn to ride on a pony belonging to my parents friend whose daughter had outgrown her but when I wasn't with her I was drawing her. When I left school I took a course in fashion and textile design and then went on to study interior design. Nowadays I love the freedom of painting in a contemporary style. Being an artist is a release and it's a pleasure to recreate people's "best friends" when working on commissions.
What's the best advise you've been given as an artist?
The best advice I have ever been given as an artist are the words from my old art teacher. He terrified me at school but his words, "draw what you see, not what you think should be there" continue to resound in my head. Initially I didn't understand what he meant but over the years, especially when drawing noses which are really a collection of tones, texture and shape, I understand and that advice has proved invaluable.
What do you do when you are not creating?
When I'm not creating I spend time with our own pony. My daughter and I share him. He's a Dartmoor hill pony whom we've had since he was four. I love these ponies. My daughter does most of the riding. They have grown up together and are making a great team. I also love to spend time walking with my family. We are surrounded by beautiful scenery and I like being outdoors.
What are your work and life goals for the future?
My life and work goals are to continue to improve and grow as an artist. One ambition I do have is to illustrate a book or magazine. I think that would be my ultimate dream. A lot of my work is impressionistic and I have a desire to produce something very detailed and realistic. I often start a piece with that in mind but then get carried away in the creative process and it takes an impressionistic turn! My work, unless a commissioned piece, is quite organic in that respect but I'm happy with that. It's great to do something I enjoy.
Where can we find your work?
You can find my website on ArtWeb: Fiona Duffy
Facebook Art Mishmosh @fionaduffyArtMishMosh