Beyond Boundaries with Frankie Watt-ElphinstoneApril 7, 2021
Vancouver-based printmaking, painting and mixed media collage artist Frankie Watt-Elphinstone’s piece, ‘Red Shoes’, was awarded an honourable mention in ‘Painting on The Edge 2020’. Her work has been published by Taschen Books and exhibited with the Royal Society of Portrait Painters in London.
Getting to a place where you’re comfortable with being uncomfortable means stepping outside yourself
We all like to stay in our comfort zones, and when something shakes that comfort zone, we tend to revert to what we know, who we think we are, and what we’re safe with. Getting to a place where you’re comfortable with being uncomfortable means stepping outside yourself, being able to take criticism and advice, even though you might not agree with it.
It’s important to be seen in a curated show and assessed by a jury with knowledge about the art world. It gives you recognition, it gives you validation for what you’re doing, and seeing your work up in a gallery with other pieces that have been brought together in the same context gives you a sense of where you fit in the contemporary art world. It’s really beneficial. You don’t tend to get that depth of thought just showing to family and friends. People you know will say everything you do is wonderful (whether they’re honest or not), but being in a curated show really sharpens you up!
“Rejection is part of the process. It’s important to be comfortable with it.”
Rejection is part of the process. It’s important to be comfortable with it. When you have a call for entry, you have to ask yourself, ‘Does my work fit with this? Is it relevant?’ If they’re seeking landscapes and you’re submitting portraits, then you’re not paying attention to what they want. However, at the end of the day, if you feel you’ve fulfilled the brief and it’s rejected, then move on, find another show and don’t take it personally. It could just be that they’ve had hundreds of entries and your work didn’t fit with the ones that were chosen.
“Self challenge is definitely a big part of what I do (…) Because being an artist is a constantly evolving process – there’s never an end point.
Self challenge is definitely a big part of what I do and I’m probably more critical of myself than other people are of me. I’m learning all the time. I don’t feel I ever do a piece and think, ‘Wow, this can’t be improved’. I’m always going back into what I do, asking myself, ‘How can I develop these ideas? What is this about? Is there something I need to know here?’ Because being an artist is a constantly evolving process – there’s never an end point.
For more info visit…
Frankie’s website: www.wattelphinstone.com
Follow her instagram: @wattelphinstone
Watch and Listen to Frankie’s Full Interview in the Opus Visual Podcast
Listen to the new podcast featuring conversations with three FCA artists and past winners of the FCA On The Edge Exhibition on how going beyond boundaries helps them grow and the value they find in entering juried exhibitions. Check out… Watch Visual Podcast