It always starts with a seed of an idea, something that sparks my interest and a story begins.
Lately I have been drawn to trying to create a sense of time and place, a certain atmosphere. Something that will draw the viewer in and encourage them to think that they may have been there at some point in the past. These photos are from my recent visit to Calke Abbey, a national trust property that has gone to wrack and ruin over the last decades but that is in a constant process of conservation to keep it as it is rather that restoring it to its former glory. There are lots of dark corridors with peeling layers of wallpaper and paint and it has an incredible beauty and atmosphere.
Of course there always has to be a character, someone that could be me, could be you or someone you know or have read about or have imagined.
I never tire of drawing and painting faces. They are a combination of self portraits, images of friends, from inspiration but also from my own imagination.
With this painting I wanted to create a real sense of light and shade so took lots of self portraits with the light the way I wanted and sketched from those.
The image started to come together in my large moleskine sketchbook that I use for painting in (someday I will do a slideshow of all the pages). Here I can work big, with no expectation, just enjoying the texture of the page and the feeling of the paint.
I prepared a lot more for this painting that I ever have before as I wanted to paint big (well bigger than my usual at 60 x 80 cms) and wanted to get the scale and perspective just right so I worked on yet another drawing and played with light and shadow too. Then time to start painting – but that is for another post!
Posted in Artwork, Inspiration, Journal pages, on my easel, original artwork, Paintings, Progress of a painting, work in progress | Tagged art, artist, drawing, gillian lee smith, history, ideas, inspiration, moleskine, painting, work in progress | Leave a Comment »
I have had various incarnations of an online shop over the last few years and although I have Seek and Adore for my sculptures (more on those in an upcoming post) I had not quite found anything that suited my prints and small original paintings since I closed my etsy shop a while ago. But finally! I have rediscovered the simplicity and practicality of big cartel so in the last week or so I have been gradually adding some small original paintings, favourite older prints and of course newer prints to my brand new shop.
As a wee welcome and introduction I am offering a welcome discount of 20% off any purchase until 31st May 2013 – just add use the code WELCOME20 to the box when confirming your purchases on the shopping cart page. Click on the photo above to be taken straight to the store.
Posted in original artwork, Shop update | Tagged art shop, big cartel, giclee prints, gillian lee smith | Leave a Comment »
Folks seem to find my progress of a paintings posts interesting so thought I would show you the progress of this painting that I just finished today.
I started this painting months ago and reached a certain stage with it where I knew I wasn’t happy but just could not progress with it any further at the time. So it has been propped up in my studio all of that time, taunting me, trying to get me to decide whether to trash or rework it.
I put it behind my mirror and forgot about it for a while (as in the fourth image above). But yesterday I rediscovered her and thought I would see if she was worth rescuing and on many occasions in the past 2 days I wondered why I was bothering.
I liked her, then ruined her, many times over. But I think she is finished and I am so glad I returned to see her completed.
And so it goes with my working process and I am trying to learn to trust myself, to persist, to push through the mess, to excavate what lies beneath and to pause and just look. Sometimes unexpected things happen. I painted the windmill and the poppies appeared last but I then liked the relation between the windmill and the idea of seeds being strewn by the winds and beauty appearing here there and everywhere.
Speaking of things strewn to the four winds – this is the state of my studio when I am immersed in painting. However my organisation has been much helped by my recent purchase of the Ikea trolley that so many artists have been mentioning – I highly recommend it!
This will be one of the paintings I show at The Art Market in Holmfirth at the end of June.
Posted in Artwork, on my easel, original artwork, Paintings, Progress of a painting, work in progress | Tagged art, artist, Artwork, gillian lee smith, painting, studio | 1 Comment »
I have been asked a few times about the colours that I use in my work so thought I would attempt a wee video to explain my palette and some of the colour mixes that I use.
Please excuse my shaky voice, all the urrmmms and errrs and over use of the word ‘beautiful’.
I hope you enjoy it and that it is of some interest to you.
Incidentally all this novice video making is slowly building up to a rather large and exciting project that I am currently working on which won’t be revealed for a while but all in good time!
x x x
Posted in on my worktable | Tagged acrylics, art video, artists paints, paint colours, paint palette, the artists palette | Leave a Comment »
The weeks fly by and I pootle along oblivious. Just working away as usual in my own wee world.
I have a few projects on the go at the moment and am changing some of my work habits and plans – part of which is continuing to make the best of my studio time, continuing to persevere with oil painting, making plans for future work and keeping painting the days away when I can and learning as I go along… always learning.
Above is another amateur video of a journal page in progress. (Learning… always learning)
x x x
Posted in Artwork, Journal pages, Mixed Media, on my worktable, sketchbook pages, work in progress | Tagged journal pages, mixed media, moleskine, work in progress | 1 Comment »
Before Christmas I purchased a long awaited video camera with to begin recording some of my works and progress. This is the first video I made back in January and have only just been able to start learning how to edit etc. I have alot to learn and a long way to go!!
But here it is – click here to be taken to the video and remember I am very much a beginner!
Posted in Artwork, Mixed Media, My studio, on my worktable, sketchbook pages | Tagged art, artist, Artwork, creative journal, drawing, gillian lee smith, Journalling, mixed media, moleskine, sketchbook | 1 Comment »
There is something so freeing about painting in a journal or sketchbook…letting go of the pressure that this painting must be good enough to exhibit or sell. It is just for me. There are no expectations. I can take my time or work quickly and intuitively. It might inspire future work, or it might remain hidden, only to be seen on those occassions when I flick through those thick, rumpled pages. But sometimes it is also nice to share it and show another side of my work. But always with that melancholy nature and the attempt at creating atmosphere and emotion
I admit to an addiction. Moleskines… with their perfectly black covers and the paper inside that in the sketchbooks is smooth and takes pencil so well… or the watercolour books that take any amount of paint and water and mixed media and are so forgiving of the layers and layers that you can keep applying.
Another studio day today and I can’t wait to get started!
x x x
Posted in Artwork, Mixed Media, on my worktable, original artwork, sketchbook pages | Tagged art, artist, Artwork, creative journal, drawing, gillian lee smith, ideas, inspiration, journal, Journalling, mixed media, moleskine, painting, sketchbook | 2 Comments »