Fiona Craig Biography
Fiona has been painting and drawing since early childhood. She grew up in the Blue Mountains, west of Sydney, Australia, which is now a UNESCO World Heritage listed site. The natural environment greatly influenced Fiona’s art making, as can be seen by her landscapes and floral paintings. She is interested in depicting her personal view of and connection with the natural world, whether in nature preserves or gardens.
Academic and non-academic art and craft courses had much influence on Fiona’s early artwork, and she has developed her own style over time. Fiona was encouraged to make artworks at home by her parents, Alison Craig (a fibre artist and non-academic art teacher of children) and Allan Craig (an architect and potter). She was further encouraged by achieving art awards along the way, and by mentors and academic art teachers including Bill Salmon, Jocelyn Maughan, Phyllis Shillito and Michael Kempson.
Oil paint is usually Fiona’s medium of choice, but also loves working in pastels or watercolours. Her mixed media works usually comprise of watercolours and pastels. Fiona’s artworks are painted in a contemporary realism style, with some imaginative innovations and painterly, layered and wet-in wet brushstroke techniques.
The oil paintings are often large, depicting huge, close-up flowers. Fiona is intrigued by the history and language of flowers, which is why she called some of her series ‘Tulipomania’ and ‘Orchid Fever’. She enjoys painting the natural environment and botanical gardens, mainly in Australia and the USA. Fiona also searches florist shops for interesting and lovely flowers. Landscapes throughout distinct seasons in the Northern Hemisphere are also very inspirational, particularly the Autumn, Winter and Spring. Fiona hopes her paintings arouse an awareness and appreciation of nature in her art audience.
2013: Finalist, Fleurieu Art Prize
2009: Finalist, Flowers & Gardens Challenge, Australian Artist Magazine
2000: 1st Prize: Fairfield Art Society
1988: Highly Commended: Portia Geach Award for portrait of Colleen McCullough
1987: Highly Commended: RAS Easter Show, Sydney
1985: 1st Prize: Hawkesbury Shire Art Award
1983: 1st Prize, Blackheath Rhododendron Art Show
1972: 1st Prize: R.A.S. Easter Show, Sydney, overall prize for under 20 years of age>
1970: 1st Prize, Blackheath Rhododendron Ast Show
1972: 1st Prize: Penrith Art Show, NSW
1968: 1st Prize: AN Channel 7 Art Competition, Sydney
1966-1972: 1st Prize: ABC National Art Awards, Australia
University of Sydney & University of Southern Queensland: Bachelor of Arts (History Class 1 Honours)
East Sydney Technical College Summer Schools in arts Meadowbank TAFE
Shillito Design School
Art workshops: painting, drawing, fibre arts, batik, jewellery, pottery, print-making.
TAFE and university language courses: Spanish, Arabic.