I engage in printmaking, papercutting, and photography. As an artist, I explore my personal life in terms of my feelings, thoughts, and actions 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. I am responsible for my entire creative process from initial visual concept to final execution of printing. My art is inspired by physical elements of nature 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.
As an artist-in-residence, I make en plein air landscape sketches of surrounding areas. I transfer these landscape drawings into papercutting. I complete an entire series of papercutting from scenes of nearby cities, towns, mountains, and rivers. I also make tunnel books of local scenery. My art technique includes cutting black paper with an
x-acto knife. Recently, I engage in street photography. I often take candid and random photographs in public areas of chance encounters with objects, plants, animals, and people. Often I have an emotional connection to the scene from past experiences and collective memories.
© 2019 Dr. Gillian J. Furniss
Moonlight, Screen Print
Cyprus Grove, Noxubee NWR, Papercutting