Everything Counts

When blogging about art, it is always tempting to just show the good stuff – encourage the illusion that everything is easy – that it all works out – ‘look what I painted!’

self portrait

When in actual fact, some days are just a struggle and far more rubbish is produced than the good stuff. This weekend has been one of those – trying to work on a painting and having to completely scrape the paint off not once but three times. So frustrating – but in the end I just decided to do something different, a huge amount of paint onto the paper with a painting knife. I think I have only worked with a painting knife once before and it is such a different way of working to my usual. I normally work with lots of fairly thin layers of paint and glazes over and over.

I love the way that all the thick piles of paint and colour that mean very little in relation to each other close up, merge into a form when you are standing back from the picture. I have used quite small marks creating a lot of texture but when I look at the paintings here I love how the marks are really flat planes of colour that fit together to create the form. It is a technique that I plan to experiment more with and incorporate into my paintings to vary the texture of them more alongside the glazes.

self portrait

So much work gets produced that will never see the light of day outside my studio. This is very crude and now looking at the photo I see a lot areas that would need work but as a practice piece it teaches me a lot. Each piece counts towards something even if it does not feel like it at the time. A lesson in modelling form, discovering new colour combinations or applying the paint in a different way to the usual just in order to play and free myself up from expectation are all useful lessons.

self portrait

I do enjoy working on self portraits. There is something wonderful about working from life – editing and responding to what is there in real time and of course when looking for a model I am always there.

(Please remember that new blog posts will only be appearing here till the end of December – in order to keep following my blog you will need to hop on over to my new website and the http://www.gillianleesmithartist.com/blog-3/ from then on.)

x x x

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Sketchbook Sunday

The sun is shining outside although it feels cold in my studio. I am in my painting clothes just pottering away where no-one has to see me – bliss.

daily sketches

Here are a few of my sketch-a-day images from this week. So satisfying to be filling another wee book with small daily images. Faces – always faces but I don’t think I shall ever get bored. What can be more fascinating than the face?

daily sketches

I am suffering from my third crick in my neck in as many weeks. Once in the left side, twice in the right and it is bothersome indeed. I haven’t yet worked out what is causing it but perhaps I need to put the heating up in the studio as it is cold up there. Deep heat cream helps and I do love the smell even if others around me don’t (our cats avoid me after I first apply it).

daily sketches

I hope you are having/have had a lovely last weekend before the holidays. For myself I am looking forward to working Tuesday visiting my elder folks and then having almost a full week off. I feel ready for it.

(Please remember that new blog posts will only be appearing here till the end of December – in order to keep following my blog you will need to hop on over to my new website and the http://www.gillianleesmithartist.com/blog-3/ from then on.)

x x x

 

On my worktable

(Please remember that new blog posts will only be appearing here till the end of December – in order to keep following my blog you will need to hop on over to my new website and the http://www.gillianleesmithartist.com/blog-3/ from then on.)

There has not been much happening on the easel this week due to work and last minute Christmas shopping but I did manage to get a couple of painted journal pages done. Relatively quick and unfinished but it is always good to get the paints out even for a short while.

Painted journal page

I have a weekend of studio time ahead of me and then a couple more days to work right up till Christmas eve and then I will be taking a few days off to spend with hubby and family. Bliss.

Have a great weekend! x

Painted journal page

Inspiring Artists – Ana Maria Pacheco

(Please remember that new blog posts will only be appearing here till the end of December – in order to keep following my blog you will need to hop on over to my new website and the http://www.gillianleesmithartist.com/blog-3/ from then on.)

Every so often I would like to introduce you to an artist that I find incredibly inspiring – you may already know of them but perhaps not and it is always great to discover new things!

I only heard of Ana Maria Pacheco fairly recently when a tutor at a college told me about her work thinking I might like it and gosh she was right!

Born in Brazil, Ana Maria has lived in England since the 70′s. I was lucky enough to find the book Ana Maria Pacheco at the National Gallery at a second-hand book store in Alnwick a couple of months ago and I love pouring over the images.

Life-size sculptures carved out of wood with human teeth, dark and expressive prints , artists books and beautifully rich paintings make up her body of work. I have yet to see a piece in real life but the images are everything I love about art. Full of meaning, symbolism and emotion with a strong narrative based on mythical and religious themes. The work intrigues me, even makes me feel slightly uncomfortable – a sense of mystery that keeps me going back to look again. I was interested to read that instead of brushes Pacheco uses a pad of cloth to apply the paint in order to retain the smoothness on the wood panels.

You can read more about Ana Maria Pacheco

here … here … and here

and see more images here on Pinterest.

Enjoy!

x x x

On my worktable

(Please remember that new blog posts will only be appearing here till the end of December – in order to keep following my blog you will need to hop on over to my new website and the http://www.gillianleesmithartist.com/blog-3/ from then on.)

I worked just a brief couple of hours in the studio today as we spent most of the day in town amongst the chaos doing a few bits of Christmas shopping. Gosh was I glad to be back home and in my painting clothes working in my journal pages.

On my work table

I treated myself to a couple of photo albums as I have piles and piles of 6 x 4 inch photographs that I have taken on various days out for research. I can never find the exact photo I want when I am looking for it so they are all now beautifully organised and ready to inspire me in their new home.

I love putting figures into these backgrounds that have inspired me and think I may work these into some larger pieces.

The artists must-have - a scarf!

Incidentally I have always been fascinated by the fact that the great artists always seemed to wear scarves. I thought it was in order to look more ‘creative’ when actually, as I have discovered it is because in the colder weather when you are standing at the easel your neck gets mighty bloomin cold!

(Excuse the terrible photo in my filthy studio mirror)

xxx

Sketchbook Sunday

 

( Please remember that new blog posts will only be appearing here till the end of December – in order to keep following my blog you will need to hop on over to my new website and the http://www.gillianleesmithartist.com/blog-3/ from then on.)

 

2013-12-15 00.02.24

Hello to you on this gloomy, grey, rainy Sunday. I am ensconced in the studio working in my journal and on a couple of paintings and I am quite happy to be here.

The internet is soooo slow – I think everyone must be doing their online last minute Christmas shopping. We are off into town tomorrow to begin ours. (oops).

Sketchbook Sunday

So just a very quick post of some of the sketches I have been working on in the last week. Remember a sketch a day keeps artists block at bay!!

Sunday sketches

Incidentally I love working in these small sketchbooks. I can take them anywhere and always just work in pencil  as I don’t even have to think about what to take when I am out and about. A book and pencil and I am good to go. I always use the same pencil too – a mechanical Staedtler – I have tried many others but these are my favourite for sure.

Sketchbook Sunday

Enjoy the remainder of your weekend.

x x x

And the print goes to …

(Mmm so trying to post to two different blogs is proving a little irregular – this was a post from Saturday!! Please remember that new blog posts will only be appearing here till the end of December – in order to keep following my blog you will need to hop on over to my new website and the http://www.gillianleesmithartist.com/blog-3/ from then on.)

prize print

I just wanted to thank everyone so much for all the lovely comments and feedback on my brand new website this week since I launched it on Monday. After working so hard on something it is very gratifying to know it all works well and is clear and functional and shows off my work in the best way possible.

So as promised, a name was drawn today (not from a hat. but from a bag) by my lovely husband. And the print goes to Jacinta Costelloe!! Huge apologies for spelling your name wrong on the bit of paper – your name was drawn from 48 others and I am delighted to be able to send you the print. I will contact you for details.

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So what now? Well as always – more time in the studio of course and Christmas is only just around the corner. I am working hard on writing and developing the upcoming e-course and that will be launched in the New Year and will be commencing on 7th August 2014 so please keep your eye out for that. If you would like to be on the mailing list for information then you can sign up here on the web page. I am also busy planning in person classes for next year. So I have plenty go be getting on with as well as working towards the solo show. Next year is a very exciting and full year for me.

print prize

Thanks also for all the comments and feedback here on the blog. After such a long time floundering in the world of blogging I have finally found my mojo and discovered I actually have quite a lot to talk about and hopefully you find at least some of it interesting.

Till the next post!

xxx