If you love seeing women’s creative spaces and artworks (like I do!) then you’re going to enjoy my Open Studios series featuring the working studios of five talented painters and printmakers from Western Australia’s South West.
I was very fortunate to visit Margaret River Region Open Studios in May, along with my arty friends. It’s the biggest art event of its kind in Australia, an annual festival that invites the public, over two weeks, into the studios of visual artists throughout the region.
It was my first time to Open Studios and it was so, so satisfying. I felt my creativity awaken in me, especially since I am planning to open my own studio later this year. Thanks go to artists Fi Wilkie, Emily Jackson, Jenny Sanderson, Molly Coy and Lauren Wilhelm for the magic!
The Open Studios series begins with artist Fi Wilkie, an acrylic painter, workshop facilitator and board member of Margaret River Region Open Studios.
Fi Wilkie’s studio is named Toot Studio. The property, Toot Farm, backs on to an old rail line. Toot. Toot. Its location at 7 Wilkes Road is a three-minute drive south from the township of Margaret River.
Upon arrival, we were greeted by her furry companion, Milo (very Zen-like) and a few chickens. Toot Studio adjoins Fi’s gallery (right); these are separate from her home which is nearby (left).
Toot Studio is a dreamy rural set up with views of sky and pasture, kangaroos and cows. If you like, you can stay at Toot Farm throughout the year (2 guests). Toot Farm Accommodation
Toot Studio is an old, converted farm workshop. That is, it’s a big open space with lots of interesting things to look at. Fi creates her masterpieces here and teaches epic classes and workshops.
Fi paints with acrylic which is an excellent medium for layering (no cracking). Magic abounds in Fi’s creative spaces. Like her art, the more you look the more you see!
This little nook is Fi’s imagination table, where she works on her designs. Drawings, pictures, and photos are stuck up on a wall for inspiration.
Fi is a master colourist, her abstract style is flat yet intricate; multi-layered, highly patterned, and emotive – energising.
There is a fabulous interplay of colour, shape, line in her paintings and prints. The effective use of white in the background of some of her pieces allows for intense movement and vibrancy.
Since she was a child, Fi has always loved the Australian bush and so her paintings delight with the spirit of untamed nature. Native birds and fauna feature largely.
Fi sells her original art and reproductions – canvases, prints, cards, cushions, and scarves- from her gallery and website. Come visit and play! Fi Wilkie’s Website | Art Portfolio | Facebook | Instagram