My name is Fiona Messer and I am an artist. I was born in 1966 in Ayr, Scotland, the eldest of three children. My Parents, James G. Messer and Ruth Messer, both instilled in me a love of wilderness and all things creative as they themselves were and are both very creative. My brother, Murdo and my sister Kate are also extremely talented involved in projects that range from woodcarving and tole painting to saving birds and fighting fires.
My father, who passed away when he was 54, was a well-known and respected watercolour painter, who did just about everything else as well. My mum, who lives with her crazy cats, one even crazier dog and my sister, is also very talented and right now expends her energies making quilts…lots and lots of quilts.
Growing up in places like Glasgow, Scotland, and then at the age of ten emigrating to northern Newfoundland had a huge impact on me and to this day no matter where I go I am heavily influenced by living in a place so wild and untouched that it's sometimes hard to believe it really exists. I developed a great sense of love and respect early on for the wild places of the earth, from my father who was an avid outdoors' man and mountaineer. I think that this has taught me a certain level of awareness for what happens around me, and a certain ability to see the things that sometimes get ignored by others as they go about their daily life.
Like so many artists and writers I have done a huge variety of jobs ranging from being a waitress (not a very good one) to being a fully qualified veterinary animal health technologist. I've sold shoes, worked in a camera/photography shop, worked for a large catering firm as both line cook and catering waitress (this time much better) and more unusual, worked on tall ships and smaller sail boats as a cook, as a tour guide, and a deck hand, and discovered that while I love the sea and boats and all that goes along with it, it was not the life I wanted to lead. Once again I found myself looking at options and in 1999, thanks to some serious support from friends I went back to school.
My life as an artist has taken many twists and turns and after graduating at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design in 2001 I finally felt that I could actually call myself the "A" word even though I've done nothing but inject art into my life ever since I could breath. I have been drawing since before I could walk and writing not long after I could read. I wrote my first novella at the age of 13 and continue my love affair with words to this day. At the art college I studied primarily Photography and a variety of other subjects, my favourites of which were book arts and wood and metal. Every woman should learn to arc weld!
Now, as an artist, with a Bachelor of Fine Arts and a Bachelor of Art History, I combine my love of history, medieval studies, books and book making with my love of medieval calligraphy and illumination as well as my love of photography. I end up making books with photos and books styled after medieval books of hours and the list goes on…
I also paint with acrylics and combine modern technology with traditional artistic mediums such as canvas painting with computer bits as well as paint with watercolors. I collaborate with German writer Elmar Vogt on a variety of projects including some comic style projects.
I think of life as a rambling journey and it's taken me on some fascinating places so far. For while I lived in North Germany near Hamburg and in 2005 I moved to Switzerland into the Canton of Ticino with my very talented husband, Marcus. Since October 2008 we are back in Germany.