Saturday, June 1, 2013

June 2013 Interview with Artist/Photographer, Fennel Blythe

Chaos and Order I, Ink, Salt, Water. 27" x 40" Blythe

1.Who are you and what do you do, and what is your background?
I was born in north Alabama and grew up on a beautiful farm.  I spent my childhood days riding horses, chopping cotton, looking for arrowheads, and working in the garden.  It was a really incredible way to grow up.  The farm has many acres of row crops, of course, but it is also interspersed with many wooded areas.  I spent many hours in those woods as well and this is where I developed the deep sense of love and fascination that I have with nature.  I ended up with a Master’s degree in biology later on and worked in various areas of science as a result.  I also traveled and lived all over the country in a constant quest for adventure.   I have also traveled to a few other countries and lived in Fiji while serving in the Peace Corps.  I have, however, ended up back on the farm.  I work there three days a week and spend the rest of my time at my home on Lookout Mountain in Georgia.  I still seek adventure and am always pushing myself to do and master new things.  My current passion, aside from art, is stand up paddle boarding.  I crave time on the water and as I paddle I continuously take in new stimuli that fuel my imagination for new work.

Untitled, 22"x30" Blythe
2.What's integral to your art and or art career?
Nature is the center of my world and is the most important aspect in my creative expression.

3.What themes do you pursue and what medium do you use.
My work is non-representational or abstract but always has nature as an underlying theme.  I allow the energy that surrounds and permeates us to drive the imagery that I create on paper.  I have developed a method of using ink and salt and water to produce these images.  I also paint in oil but have found the ink, salt, water method to be most conducive to the type of expression I wish to portray in two dimensions.  For me, it is fast and changes quickly.  The salt also has a fascinating and mysterious effect on the ink through pattern, color, and crystallization.  The imagery that is produced is not a literal interpretation of nature but rather something that speaks to the viewer on an individual basis.  Each person tends to see something different in it that relates to that person’s particular life experience.  This aspect of my work brings me a lot of satisfaction and joy.
Mesa Penistaja Badlands, New Mexico 
f/5.6, 1/800, ISO 100, 24mm focal length

4.What makes you angry, what makes you happy?
I have been working a lot on not letting anything make me angry so I will say that nothing makes me angry.  Many things make me happy from the simplest note in a bird’s call to the dramatic impact of a sunset.  As for most artists I think, visual stimuli tend to affect me deeply.  The exquisite complexity and beauty that I see in all natural patterns, forms, and energy tend to make me very happy.  My paddle board also makes me very happy as do the wonderful friends and family that I am so blessed to have in my life.

5.Who and what inspire you in your work and or in your life in general?
Nature is the greatest inspiration in my work and life.  However, I am also inspired by a wide range of artistic expression, from the ancient pyramids of Egypt and ruins throughout Central and South America to the abstract work of modern artists such as Picasso and Miro.

6.What superpower would you want?
Teleportation.  I love to travel and am constantly craving new and fascinating stimuli that affect all of my senses.

7.What is your favorite artists and or other person?
Picasso, Joan Miro, and Roberto Matta are some of my favorite modern painters.  Andy Goldsworthy’s ephemeral natural art also deeply affects and inspires me.

8.What advice would you give to other artists.
Develop your own unique expression and style.  Graciously accept constructive criticism and develop this ability within yourself.  Focus exclusively on your expression and do not try and make art that you feel will fit in, be accepted, and sell.  It is a wondrous thing to sell your art but this, to me, should be something that comes naturally.  A pure expression that never sells is much more desirable to me than one that was created to please other people’s ideas of art and beauty.  Purity in art is what I am striving for and it is what I most admire in other artists’ work.  

9.Contact details if any?

I can be contacted by email at, through my website,, or through my Facebook page, Fennel Blythe, Artist.  

No comments:

Post a Comment