Fiona Smith is a printmaker based in Hampshire. She trained at Lancaster St Martins College and after graduating taught Art in secondary schools for a number of years before becoming a full time printmaker. She now exhibits, sells her prints and runs courses teaching printmaking to adults. Her main mediums are copper sulphate etching, drypoint and collagraph.
I graduated with a BA(Hons) in Art and Design in 1997. After moving around with the Army, living in Surrey, Wiltshire, Oxfordshire, Yorkshire and Northern Ireland I have now settled back in Hampshire where I grew up.
My inspiration comes from the natural landscape, plants and wildlife. I live by the coastline of Chichester harbour. It is an area of inlets, creeks and tidal flats and coastal grasslands which provide a haven for wildlife, particularly birds. It is relatively wild and unspoilt and has been an area of outstanding beauty since 1964. I find all aspects of this environment an inspiration for my work. The way the light settles on the water, the changing colours of the mudflats at low tide and the activities of both man and wildlife within the landscape.
I collect information using sketchbooks and photographs. I then use these as a starting point for my prints. I mostly work with a non-toxic form of etching. I use copper sulphate solution to etch into aluminium. I build up layers of resists and draw into the plates using drypoint needles. Timed submersions into the etching solutions create lines and tones. These plates are then inked up and fed through a printing press to give the final image. I am working on using methods of applying coloured ink in a painterly fashion called ‘À la poupée’.