{ Perthshire Open Studios } Annette Forsyth, venue 89, The bothy in the garden

Next up in the Perthshire Open Studios, Green Route-erers series is Annette Forsyth, venue 89, The bothy in the garden.

Annette's photographs are all so varied and stunning, an extra incentive (as if you needed it!) to visit venue 89!

-Please give a brief bio of your business.  What is your background? How did you begin as an artist? 

My photography business has essentially grown out of a love of nature. Born in Germany, I became interested in photography when I was at university, studying Biology and Geography to become a teacher. I bought my first film SLR and taught myself the basics of photography.
The field-trips really inspired me and filled me with the urge to capture the beautiful moments around me. In those days I took mainly slides and probably bored my friends rigid with long slide shows. I took a year out of uni to work as an assistant teacher in Scotland, where I became infatuated both with the Scottish landscape and my husband. Back in Germany I finished my studies and started work as a teacher. During that time photography was an important hobby for me. When our two kids arrived, many of my interests took a back seat for a few years. I stopped working as a teacher and we built up a walking business, which is still our main business. In 2000 we moved to Scotland. When my kids were a bit older my love of photography was rekindled and at the start of 2011 it had got to the point that I decided to take the plunge and become a nature photographer.

Thankfully I got a lot of encouragement from friends and family. Things have developed very quickly and I now sell my images in several shops and I have been to a good number of craft fairs. Several of my images have appeared in magazines, including a couple of front covers in the Scottish Mountaineer.  All this is very exciting and I am very much looking forward to growing my fledgling business. 

-Have you taken part in Perthshire Open Studios before?
This is my second time taking part in Open Studios and I am really looking forward to it! 
Last year was just the right time for me to go for the Open Studios. I teamed up with my friends Katy Galbraith, Anna Olson and Christine Forsyth and exhibited in the Bothy in the Garden. Doing it together with friends was a lot less daunting and worked very well in terms of footfall, manning the space, filling it with work, providing a bit of variety and just generally proved to be a lot of fun.  I loved meeting all the people who came to visit last year and getting their feedback about my work. It was a big effort, but it was great to see it all come together and to have so much of my work on display.

Needless to say we have teamed up again this year.
Another aspect of the Open Studios I really enjoy is meeting and connecting with so many other artists. I find it utterly inspiring to see so many people following their passion.

-What artwork will you be displaying over the week? 

I will have my images for sale as hand-made greeting cards and mounted prints in various sizes. There will also be some framed prints for sale. In terms of new work and subject matter I had an incredibly cold and windy, but very productive trip to Assynt in March and I will be exhibiting some of those images. Another good trip took me to Harris in May. It was still cold there and spring was biding its time, but fortunately there was some good light. Apart from that I have a lot of new macro and close-up work. Well and then there are also a lot of Puffin and seabird images from previous trips to Lunga.  

-Explain your creative process. What journey do you take from idea to final product?

 I am very lucky as our walking business takes me to many beautiful and remote corners of Scotland and I get the chance to spend a lot of time outdoors.  My work can be roughly split into landscape, macro and wildlife images and I have a different approach to all three.
My macro work is probably my most planned. I have a big garden and avidly watch what is coming into bloom.


When the light is right I am out there taking images, rather than weeding as I most definitely should. I take most of my macro work over spring and summer, whereas for the rest of the year my landscape work has the upper hand.
My landscape images are a bit of a mixture. Sometimes I go out with specific images and locations in mind, sometimes the light prompts me out and sometimes, especially when climbing new Munros I take my camera and tripod not knowing what to expect, just seizing the moment.

When it comes to my wildlife images I am more of an opportunist and I admittedly don’t sit for hours waiting for a certain animal to appear. I take my hat off to those who do!  I enjoy taking images of insects and birds and any encounter with wild mammals makes my day.


-What or who are you most inspired by?

My inspiration mostly comes from nature itself and both the biologist and the geographer in me are always vying for attention. I am fascinated by minute detail, patterns, shapes and by how beautiful light can transform a simple flower or view into something truly extraordinary that takes my breath away. The challenge as a photographer is to capture that moment in a way that can evoke a similar emotional response in the viewer – not an easy thing to achieve.
Looking at the work of other unknown and famous photographers has also been a great inspiration and gives me a lot to aspire to.
- What are your contact details, website address and any other links you would like included.

In an ideal world there would be a blog, but I am not quite there yet 

All images are copyright of Annette Forsyth, 2013.

A huge thank you to Annette for her patience, she sent her interview to me THREE weeks ago and I've only now, finally, managed to get it on here!


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