Gillian J. Furniss

Lotus Flowers, No. 4, silkscreen print

About the Artist

As an artist, I explore my personal life in terms of my feelings, thoughts, and experiences in the larger context of our global community. My extended family instilled in me the desire to celebrate life though the arts and the natural sciences. I gained skills to further develop my art practice mostly in collaborate settings where informal learning is encouraged. I studied art history, graphic design, fine art and art education. I consider travel a source of inspiration for my artwork.

I have been a printmaker since 2003, mostly serigraphy but also some etching, lithography, collagraphy, and woodcut. My art process is inspired by physical elements of nature I experienced first-hand during outdoor exploration. Often I had an immediate emotional response to life events I later decided to investigate in the art studio. My artistic themes include the inevitability of change of the universe and the interconnectedness of all things. My subject matter includes thistles blowing in the wind, birds singing, moonlight reflecting on water, lotus flowers blooming, and fish swimming.

Originally trained as a graphic designer, I combine the aesthetics of printmaking with the visual communication skills of commercial art. I illustrate my visual narratives by depicting objects in a flat stylized manner. I work a complex composition through to find a more minimalist approach to determine a simple quality. Rather than having a preconceived idea of composition, I begin the printing process open to the opportunity of being inspired and so take risks of the moment, solving problems by altering and transforming composition to find deeper meaning in a more fluid, playful manner. The result is the revelation of the inner essence of a visual concept.

I also engage in drawing, papercutting, and photography. At The League Residency at Vyt, I made en plain air landscape sketches of surrounding areas. I transferred these landscape drawings into papercutting. I completed an entire series of papercutting from scenes of nearby cities, towns, mountains, and rivers. I work often using an x-acto knife and black paper.