Art Matters began life as a retail outlet selling art materials and studio work. It was owned and managed for 25 years by Lizzie Perkins who has now crossed over from the demand side to the supply side and become a freelance artist and publisher.
She works in two media disciplines – watercolour painting and printmaking – and her products arise out of one or the other. The common theme throughout is wildlife, sourced from numerous field trips to safari parks and bird reserves, and she has built up an impressive folio of her own photography from which to select any number of shots to create the right composition and develop further into designs.
In watercolour these are then accurately represented to be faithful to the beauty of the subject. In screen prints an altogether different approach is needed. Printmaking is all about simplifying shapes, separating colours and creating layers – from light to dark and from distance to foreground. Each colour requires its own stencil and these are either torn – or intricately cut – out of newsprint, and the complete image is gradually hand-printed through a succession of these stencils via the mesh of a screen. Because these stencils are delicate they fall to bits eventually, but this limits the edition number to less than fifty thus making her work very exclusive!
In addition to the studio prints themselves, designs arising from the best of her work are then reproduced as blank cards, Christmas cards and notelets, and the watercolours as open-edition prints.
The artistic appeal of her images derives out of their being evocative of the innate love of nature that resides in all of us. Her experience of selling direct to the public has proved very useful and her range of art cards is proving increasingly popular with independent retailers.