Monthly Archives: April 2014

A dirty little number in my messy style

Preparatory study from my sketchbook

Preparatory study from my sketchbook – collage and ink

This dirty little number in my messy style from the messy-style sketchbook was today’s #arteachday post. This one is a probing round the Tidelines project, particularly Shingle Street, though there are also elements of Cuckmere haven I am exploring in it. More to come!

I hope I am a little nearer to being able to produce decent images of my larger work after my experiments today. Then I can start to get some galleries on this site.

Different to the #Letter365 work today

The Blessed and the Meek - Ink drawing by David Smith

The Blessed and the Meek
Ink drawing on handmade watercolour paper 559mm x 381mm

I promised to put up some #arteachday pieces today that were different to the #Letter365 work I did today. The one above I have been playing around with for ages: I just needed the time and space to let it settle into what it needed to be. I realised that I couldn’t let it fall into any casual or habitual solutions and that although it fits in to my “field” drawings and also has echoes in my Tidelines work it actually has some deep roots into some personal atavistic issues and, I am realising, my old interest in alchemy and alchemical drawings. Anyway, I am now very happy with it after its long gestation. I just need to get some better photographs of it!

Nulla in mundo pax sincera - collage by David Smith

Nulla in mundo pax sincera
Photographic elements on Kadhi paper 300mm x213mm

The second #arteachday piece is a collage made out of my photographs and an altered image from the newspapers of Russian warplanes amaased near to the border with Ukraine. There is a slight whiff of mushroom clouds and shockwaves.

Disappointed with my work today

Image from the Themerson exhibition with distorted reflections of me

Personal Reflections on Themerson 2

My #Letter365 piece turned out really well and I was happy that it has elements I want to explore more in other pieces, but then I had a really flat period when nothing seemed to work at all. I decided to attempt a large mixed media piece on paper which is going OK, but the light has been so poor today that I am unable to get any decent images that do it justice. All this in turn, coupled with the weather has made me most disconsolate. It can be pretty tough to see any good things when my black dog visits. So I have put up an image from yesterday at the Library of Birmingham as my #arteachday piece as it pretty much describes how i am today – blurred, indistinct, distorted and part hidden.

New Library of Birmingham inspirational

Shadows in the new Library of Birmingham

Shadows in the new Library of Birmingham

I’ve been out and about in Birmingham today and not had time for any art apart from my #Letter365 piece, but I went to the new Library and took some more “Personal Reflections” photos featuring the dots on the windows and this one of the shadows of the dots.

Apart from the visually arresting architecture, interesting spaces and good design the new Library was packed with people enjoying using the facilities in a respectful and cooperative way – and I stress the word “enjoying”! Mostly the people were young students working together in groups or couples as well as private study, probably more than 70% non-white ethnicity, and there were lots of smiles and as sense of comradeship and shared endeavour. It felt like a library should feel – alive. So while there may be other local issues about the way the library budget has been spent in Birmingham, the building itself seems to me to be a huge success.

I also managed to catch a nice exhibition on the work of Stefan and Franciszka Themerson, avant-guard filmakers in pre-war Poland, and another quick look round the Library of Cultures exhibition (I think it was called) which has some fantastic images and artifacts, printed materials and photographic archives. Both shows were at the Library.

A Personal Reflection on the Themerson exhibition

A Personal Reflection on the Themerson exhibition

At the Museum and Art Gallery I poped in to see the Grayson Perry tapestries. Which were entertaining and in part visually rich and interesting. I’m unsure how much the good feeling and story in the TV programmes coloured my judgement about them. Would I have liked them less or more had I come to them fresh? I was a bit rushed too so probably took them a bit for granted which I may not have done had I not seen the programmes.

A small dark collage

Small Words - collage by David Smith

Small Words
Collage – photographic elements on Khadi paper 152mm x 220mm

Today’s #arteachday piece is a little repetitive collage featuring our bees again!

An old photo I stumbled across

Marks made in sand by wind and grass

Marks made in sand by wind and grass

As I have been so busy with other things my #arteachday post was this old photograph which I am fairly certain I took on a beach at or near Aberdyfi (Aberdovey).

I never stood a chance

Drawing experiment: ink on handmade paper

Drawing experiment (detail)
Ink on handmade paper

A busy day today where it was clear form the start that I wouldn’t get much time in the studio to actuall create anything, but I did some important work selecting pieces and delivering them to the framers in preparation for Dorset Art Weeks. I also spent a long time at the opticians where I had an eye test (all healthy and only the tiniest of changes in one eye) and got my favorite specs fixed (I sat on them!). They also adjusted my other specs that I got elsewhere and advised me on lenses for some studio specs. Absolutely excellent service from the team at Robert Frith in Yeovil helping to keep a visual artists equipment in top condition!

The piece illustrated is my #arteachday piece, a detail of some drawing experiments on watercolour and printmaking paper that i was fiddling about with this evening.

A struggling day today!

Bothered - collage by David Smith

Photographic elements and ink on Khadi paper 154mm x 215mm

Collage from David Smith's sketchbook

Collage experiment from my sketchbook
Photographic elements and ink on paper 170mm x 130mm approx

Things don’t always go smoothly and as I have been on a roll recently it’s only to be expected that I’m due a challenging day. I recorded on the #Letter365 post how my first attempt for today’s piece had not a single redeeming feature! And later how my other work tumbled after it while the new #Letter365 came out OK.

Well this piece above evolved before all that, before the day went downhill a bit. I didn’t realise that its title and my state of being coincided until someone pointed it out! The piece right is a little experiment in the same vein in one of my sketchbooks.

It was inevitable that bees would feature in this evening’s work

Collage by David Smith

Industry (detail)
Collage – paper and photographic elements 381mm x 559mm

Having spent the afternoon working with our bees I didn’t get to start any artwork until the early evening. I did my #Letter365 piece before dinner then went back to the studio for a while and created a collage on Somerset paper from some prints of a photo I took of some of our bees. I’m quite liking this grid of repetitive forms and textures done with glossy photo paper sanded and scratched back. It echoes my obsession with the repetitive patterns in nature, particularly wave-sculpted sand ripples.

Haunting me

West Bay harbour, low tide on a grey, winter day

West Bay harbour: low tide on a grey, winter day

I have been busy today visiting some of the artists at St Michael’s Studios who have opened up for the weekend and then going to one of our out apiaries to check on some of our bees. So just incase I run out of time what with #Letter365 and stuff I need to do for Dorset Art Weeks, I thought I would put this image up. It has been haunting me for a while, begging me to do something with it every time i stumble across it.