About Fiona's Music & Art
“It’s not just the music, the songwriting, the playing...it’s the whole package!
Over the past 25 years, the main focus of my creative life has been performing, writing, and exploring Blues music. Although music has been at the core of my life and livelihood for so long, I am increasingly drawn to my visual art practice as a foil and compliment to my musical life. The video here gives you one example!
As a traditional finger-style blues guitarist, vocalist, and bandleader I also perform and record with unusual one-off cigar-box guitars. My award winning albums, both acoustic and electric, are available at the CD's & Vinyl page , while a visit to www.fionaboyes.com will give you all the details of my musical life!
Most people don't know that I started out as a Graphic Designer, graduating from Swinburne University. My last job as a grapho, in the late 80s, was with the original Lonely Planet design team. I left graphics behind in pursuit of music-making, but late one night out of necessity and a very tight record label deadline, I grabbed a camera and created some images for my ‘Blues for Hard Times’ album. This sparked a renewed artistic interest for me. Although I always cared about the design of my album artwork, I now found myself deeply engaged in the graphic process, particularly the creative connections between imagery and the original Blues music I was writing and recording.
Over the years I've made many visits to Mississippi, spending time in places like Clarksdale, so rich in blues culture and where I was given the Key to the City. Many of the musicians there are also artists and vice versa. Inspired by my friend, fellow musician, and folk artist Stan Street (Hambone Gallery) and others in the area, I began making new pieces themed on the songs from ‘Professin’ the Blues’. Some of my first folk art explorations feature in the liner notes of this album, and form the basis of a collection of prints which you can see on this site.
There is a definite traditional style associated with the visual folk arts in the Deep South of the USA, particularly Mississippi and Louisiana. Although the styles of individual artists vary widely, some of the hallmarks of this Folk Art include the use of typography – titles or lyrics from Blues songs, bible verses and mottos – and often the assembling of various found objects. Common objects include ‘Mardi Gras beads’, which are often worn at parties and social gatherings; bottle caps; poker chips; dominoes, glass, and pieces of bone.
So, now painting, printmaking, mixed media and even song video collages (published on my YouTube Channel) have joined my expanding list of artistic interests!
Whether playing guitar, singing, songwriting or making visual art I continue to joyfully explore the Blues world and my own unique creative impulse.