PHABRIK Magazine

Pretty Young Things

By Danielle Fuechtmann

March 2015

An artist’s exploration of youth + beauty

Beauty and fashion can feel like a fleeting thing, escaping from the grasp of your fingers as you try to catch on. Artist Fiona Maclean has been exploring this feeling, offering her interpretation of youth and sexuality in her vibrant paintings. A life long artist, Maclean was originally from New Zealand and is now based in Australia.

Maclean describes her art as an attempt to capture something intangible, using the canvas and paint to immortalize the image and keep it young forever. Influenced by music, the persona of the subject, or even her own sentiments, her art is dynamic and focuses the viewer on an emotional experience.

Looking back, moving forward

Growing up, she loved creating art and had a great fondness for books and images, using drawing as a doorway to a dimension of imagination and otherworldliness. This element of fantasy is still alive in her art today, but now accompanies her technical accomplishments gained from her studies at art school.

Maclean pursued an artistic career early, painting large-scale paintings of famous people in her parents’ living room as a teenager. She transitioned from living room portraiture to honing her skills as a fashion illustrator, contacting magazines and working for free, getting featured in local fashion magazines. Maclean received recognition from several international fashion illustration publications including Great Big Book of Fashion Illustration and Cutting Edge Fashion Illustration. She decided to concentrate more on painting and fine art and started attending the Parsons School of Art (The New School) in New York City in 2005. Though her studies were interrupted by a family tragedy and her art career put on hold for a couple years, she completed two Artist Residencies in Painting and Illustration at the New York’s School of Visual Arts in 2010, thus allowing her to take a new direction in her career.

In the last few years, Maclean has been catching the attention of the art community with her paintings, helping her gain more recognition as an artist. Currently, she is combining her artistic explorations with her travels, producing such work as her Barcelona-inspired La Chica de El Born series. Next, Maclean plans to pursue some new ideas for projects, reintroduce fashion illustration and experimenting more with large-scale paintings and illustrations. She hopes to combine her artwork with collaborations with the fashion houses and music industry that provide so much inspiration to her.

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