Conversation with Annie Day

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CONVERSATION WITH THE MAKER (CWTM)Did you always envision a life as an artist?
ANNIE DAY(AD)Yes, I did and I have always worked towards it. I created jewellery for years while painting when I could. The last 20 years I have concentrated on printmaking.

CWTM What was your first experience with making art?
AD Mum gave me a pencil when I was still in a high chair to keep me quiet and I have been drawing and painting ever since
CWTM Do you have a dedicated studio?
AD Yes I have a separate studio at my house with an etching press. At present I’m painting a portrait of Liz Burch – an actress best known for her part in Flying Doctors.

CWTM Can you describe a typical day?
AD First thing in the morning I keep up with our website and Newsletters, notes and matters to do with printmaking classes, my sister Robin Ezra and I hold classes as well as doing our own work. Lately we have been busy organising a very successful international print exchange where 184 printmakers from around the world.
CWTM Would you consider your art making to be more about the process than the outcome?
AD I think it’s both, especially with printmaking knowing how to achieve the result you want is important and being clean and neat in your way of working is vital

CWTM Do you agree that a small element of uncertainty about the finished look is what makes the process of creating so enticing?
AD It’s just fabulous pulling up the edge of a print to reveal the final product – it’s never exactly as you envisaged, I say it’s addictive and, thank heavens, not illegal!!!
CWTM Any indispensable tools or equipment?
AD An etching press and good printmaking paper are essentials.

CWTM Do your pieces start with a planned course of action or are they more spontaneous?
AD I think I fall into the category of being more planned.
CWTM How do you know when to “stop” – when do you consider a piece actually finished?
AD That’s something you learn the hard way!!!
CWTM Your greatest source of inspiration is….
AD Dunno, it can be anything.

CWTM Favourite quote?
AD It’s only a work of art you are making, not a grand piano!!
CWTM When do you do your best creative thinking?
AD When I’m desperate. For example when I have an exhibition and need to get images together and make some plates, there’s nothing like being under pressure to get the creative juices flowing
CWTM What do you enjoy most about your work?
AD A sense of achievement with the teaching, it’s great to see someone learn a technique and actually begin to use it in a creative way.

CWTM Best advice you’ve ever received?
AD I don’t know the answer to this
CWTM Worst advice you’ve ever received?
AD Hard to say, there’s a lot of it about!!
CWTM Best part of your day?
AD Waking up!!
CWTM Who would be 6 people that you would invite to dinner?
AD Mozart, Artemisia Gentileschi, Toulouse Lautrec, Nancy Wake, Botticelli, Max Dupain …. Oops they’re all dead!!
CWTM What inspires your creativity?
AD I think it’s something inate and have never been able to work that out. My dad ( a photographer all his working life) used to say that I had a good eye for composition, he reckoned you couldn’t learn it and I think creativity is like that.

CWTM What are you excited about right now in the world of textile art?
AD I love seeing all the garments artists make from felt and other materials, so creative.
CWTM You’d be lost without…
AD Paper, it’s fabulous stuff
CWTM What would you do with a few extra hours each day?
AD More of the same
CWTM Your favourite luxury in life?
AD Not having to go to work 9 – 5 every day and being my own boss. I had a jewellery business through the 80s to the late 90s and it was very successful, fed the family and gave me all the freedom I needed, plus the wonderful recognition from my peers and all the retail outlets I dealt with.

CWTM Has the advancement of computers and technology impacted your work?
AD I use Photoshop every day, computers are fab, can’t imagine life without the wonderful technology we have.
CWTM What do you enjoy most about your work?
AD The results. Working with my sister. Meeting new students and getting to know them.

CWTM Is it important for us to be recognized by the art world and if so, how can we help affect that change?
AD Any help is great. Websites and Newsletters are very helpful. We have your Fibre Arts link and other people we admire on our website and on our newsletters, looking at other people’s websites is very beneficial I can see how they are managing and quite often what I can do to improve my way of working. Don’t get me started…. I think the hardest thing is to be a woman in the art world, How true, you only have to look at politics to see exactly how women are treated as secondary to men. Unfortunately even by other women. It’s an age thing too, if you are young and pretty you are more likely to do well against an older woman, sad but true.
CWTM What is next for you?
AD Robin and I will continue with printmaking workshops in Australia and Italy until we are too old to keep doing it. We love working, meeting people and having fun, it’s so good to have a sister to share these good times with.

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