ARTIST STATEMENT

Growing up on the East Coast of Scotland, with a keen interest in history, storytelling and my own family heritage, I create drawings and paintings to explore connections with the people who have come before me and the land that inspires me. The places in my paintings are reminiscent of things I have seen and are often an abstracted essence of areas that inspire and are partly imagined.

I have found a deep connection with the place where I live and work. The edge between land and sea is particularly inspiring and there are themes that resonate deeply. The way the weather has shaped the land, the ebb and flow of the tide, the wildness and unpredictability of nature or the mark of humanity on the landscape for good or bad. The colours and textures of a place can be a starting point for creating work that is truly a story of humanity’s unique connection with our surroundings. One that can be explored in an intuitive way and echo our own unique nature as much as the nature and landscape that I see.

I love the details that we see in a landscape. Particularly where houses and villages and harbours are rooted in and belong to the surrounding hills and coastline. Built in such a way that they appear to have always been there. Structures and shapes that mark the edges between land and sea. There is a sense of history, perhaps a melancholic way of reminding us of what has long since passed, what we have lost in many ways.

Layers of muted colours and textured paint are built up in the same way that memories are accumulated over our lifetime and from the generations before. A history, half remembered, stories told and adapted over time. I often feel that rather than painting or drawing on a surface, I am excavating an image, a person or a place, revealing something that has been there for a long, long time. My process is one of applying layers and scraping or erasing away, leaving remnants that are built up and removed over and over until the final image appears.

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Contact Me

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To learn more about my online courses, please visit my Art School website at www.gillianleesmithartschool.com.

INSTAGRAM

Making the most of a sunny day in-between the rainy ones for a day out with Mark to one of our favourite places. Always going back to simple pencil in my sketchbooks. Out for breakfast, fresh air and trees and some sketching. A perfect day.
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#Cragside #GatheringTheLandscape #WoodlandSketching #blackwingpencil #mokeskinesketchbook
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I am delighted to share my first guest appearance on a podcast. We had a really enjoyable conversation about creative mentoring which is a part of my practice that I don't often talk about other than with the artists I mentor! Thank you so much to @ruthsingertextiles for inviting me You can find all the info in the link in Ruth's bio. And if you are interested in mentoring with me, DM me for more information.
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It's the end of the current series of Making Meaning podcast today! In this episode, I am talking to Gillian Lee Smith @gillianleesmithartist, a Scottish painter based in Northumberland. Gillian and I first met as members of a designer-makers group in the English midlands but we reconnected over Zoom during the pandemic and have had some wonderful conversations about our practices, our mentoring work and our creative ideas. In this podcast we focus on mentoring and talk about how both supporting others and being supported ourselves helps our practice. We talk about the zigzag journey of creative practice and how reflection and talking things through with others really helps to clarify things, to open new doors and to inspire. It's a really lovely reflective conversation to end the series with. I hope you enjoy it! #ruthsingertextiles #ruthsinger #makingmeaning #makingmeaningpodcast #textileartist #artiststalking #artistpodcast #ukpodcasts #gillianleesmith #gillianleesmithartist
Reposted from @ruthsingertextiles
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Autumn has arrived as if it came in overnight. First day of the season in the studio where a hat and a scarf so big it half covers my face are required. So it felt right to get back to some abandoned woodland pieces. Gosh it feels good just to be moving buttery paint around. Autumn and winter are usually my most productive months in the studio in spite of the cold. It feels like a fresh start after being in the doldrums for longer than I care to admit. ...

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