11 February 2018

Winter Painting 2017 - 2018

Work currently in progress on a multi panel component painting. Possibly to be shown together or separately, the new series represents a study of tertiary colour with a focus on space in and around shape in each  panel area.

2017 New Paintings: Return to Rectangle

The full 2017 series of paintings are available here

Painting No.8 2017 62 x 81cm oil on canvas

Paintings in Oriel Brondanw December 2017

Two new paintings from the 2017 series were shown in Oriel Brondanw in December part on an international selection of artists as part of Connexion 2017.

Painting No.3 2017 35 x 46cm oil on canvas

Small Sierra 2017 31 x 45cm oil on canvas

Oriel Brondanw installation first floor north side

Oriel Brondanw installation first floor north side

Oriel Brondanw installation first floor north side

Connexion Project Poster December 2017

19 October 2017

Shape of Sky

These photographs were taken from the single rear window of a small flat in central London at 20.10 hours on 24th June. Not only was the colour spectacular as a fiery sunset illuminated the buildings from this high summer unusual angle but the whole sky seemed to radiate with luminosity. These photographs required little processing and are very close to the camera's settings - the environment was totally photogenic!
Why put these rather than any other landscape? Why add them at all in fact! It is the shape of sky that interests here and moreover within the context of studio practice, I have been observing these shapes from this window on and off for the past nineteen years during those important everyday intervals when there is time to simply stand and stare. With the radiance of light, an opportunity to document the physiography of this particular vista.

Canon Powershot SX610HS

29 August 2017

Open Studio with Helfa Gelf

Open studio with Helfa Gelf features new paintings made between February and June this year. Also project drawing books For El Arreciado Sculpture Wool Symposium May 2016 and Color de la Ciutat - Palma, Mallorca with the portfolio of gouaches made on location, 2014.

18 August 2017

Four New Works: RCA 135th Summer Show and Helfa Gelf at MOSTYN 2017

Four new works on consignment, 2 Paintings and 2 Gouaches:

4.2.15 62 x 82 cm gouache

15.5.17 65 x 84 cm gouache

Central Red 37 x 49 cm oil on canvas

Sierra Nevada 33 x 48 cm oil on canvas

22 June 2017

12 Paintings: New Series: First Completed

The first completed painting of the new rectangular series of oil on canvas paintings has just been finished. The series, being made since February, marks a return to a rectangular format and support. The main reason for the use of a rectangular support was to challenge the shape format itself and test to see if the issues of pictorial image making that I have become familiar (forms constructing the perimeters) would be restrictive in the conventional rectangular picture frame format. Whilst the format has been challenging, shapes have engaged with the perimeter edges to define an integral but perhaps more unified painting. Further reflection on these no doubt to follow but results look promising and certainly different.

20 March 2017

A Note on R E - T O U R / R E - T R A C E

The film has been made as part of my contribution to the Re-take/Re-invent project. For this, I was looking at the work of Thomas Jones (1742 - 1803) and in particular, the series of small paintings he made whilst living in Naples. In December 2015, during the project time, I was able to visit Naples with International Contemporary Art Wales as part of a group exhibition in CAM Casoria Contemporary Art Museum. Whilst there, I visited the city centre, actually for one morning just before leaving, to research for the project and was able to walk across the city and visit the area around the Castel Nuovo, that features in the particular painting by Jones that I was working from. In Naples, I was struck by how familiar the city was through the eyes of Jones because of the light on walls and the washing that was hanging in the December sun to catch the warmth and how this is very much still the current character of the city as it was in Jones’ time. I live partly in London, where my family are based and was very interested to read that Lawrence Gowing (1) had a studio with others in Maple Street whilst teaching at the Slade and he thought it was the house that Jones used to live in with his family, when he lived in London. The street then, in Jones’ time, was called London Street, being renamed later in line with the furniture business on Tottenham Court Road. Part of it, directly next to the base of the BT tower does have a terrace that dates from Jones’ time. In reflecting on Jones over many years particularly since the 2002 National Gallery exhibition of his work (really a walk from Maple Street) right through to this project, my investigation required creative output and film seemed a possibility. Chance, time and place all play a part here under the construct of a project of reinterpretation. Connections and differences between two cities drawn together perhaps by noticing the transitory and temporary features of metropolitan life.  

(1.) Gowing, Lawrence. The Originality of Thomas Jones. 1985 Thames and Hudson

R E - T O U R / R E - T R A C E

12 March 2017

New Series: Return to Rectangle

New series of paintings under way in the studio. These are 18 small to mid-sized canvases and mark a return to the rectangular form. Utilising old stretchers (mainly) and canvas off cuts from previous large canvases, these new works are a return to the confrontation of the conventional edge of support and how this will or will not contribute, influence, dictate the content of the paintings. I am using photographs of architectural spaces to start these works and the palette is exploring a more tertiary hue range at this early stage of production.

Deep yellow almost a dark yellow

24 November 2016

iJADE Conference 2016: DRAWING University of Chester

Engaging Studio Practice for Learning: New Art from Past Art Re-take/Re-invent Paper at iJADE NSEAD conference on Drawing. 18 and 19 November 2016.
Big Naples Painting at Re take Reinvent Main Exhibition Oriel Ynys Môn

Andrew Smith | Bangor University, UK

Re-take/Re-invent is a group exhibition project at Fine Art, Bangor University, looking at the art collection of the National Museum Wales as a start point for an exploration of studio practice. The paper will examine the role of drawing in the investigation and development of new ideas from the works chosen. Fifteen artists have taken part in the project with different approaches to drawing being at the forefront of several portfolios. As a result, strategies for thinking through drawing have been exposed that might not have been at the forefront of the artist’s usual practice.

18 September 2016

A Note on the Films for RE-TAKE / RE-INVENT

RE-TAKE/RE-INVENT was to include interviews with each of the participating artists. I was thinking that the best way to do this was to visit each studio and have a conversation and see what was being made first hand. Alternatively, a correspondence document type question and answer was also an option being the easiest and most cost effective way; although this was always to be the last option.

I have always enjoyed artists films and have been inspired by many during my career. They were very much a way into practice when in the 80s and 90s visual arts programmes occasionally surfaced in the listings. I remember the series on the St Ives artists with interviews with William Scott amongst others. The South Bank Show was always one to watch whenever an artist was featured. The programme on Patrick Heron was one of my favourite VHS tapes and I watched it many times; his approach to painting at that time seemed so invigorating and advanced.

I also remembered when growing up watching Face to Face with Jeremy Isaacs ( I was a little too young for the earlier version).  I liked the close encounter and at times rigorous questioning; they seemed to reveal other things about the people being interviewed who one knew through their work, literature, film and art. With television, we could actually see these people talking; it seemed amazing to have this accessibility. However, with the interviews there was something else, something about being in the place just to respond to questions in a focused and challenging way that seems so revealing.

For Retake Reinvent I decided to visit each studio, and record the interview rather than take notes (I have done this before).  The next step was resolved to make a film of each interview. I had not done this before so the whole process of filming would be a new challenge. Each film is exclusively documentary in nature but I wanted there to be a feel of the visit evident in the captured conversations around the work being made. In the event each 15 to 25 minute film is simply a record of studio practice at this time September 2015 to April 2016.

As I started making these I realised that they would probably be one of the most significant parts of the evidence of studio practice in terms of historical record for the project and possibly highly popular being available through online channels. As a spontaneous gesture the films stand as an exploratory and improvised action. They work because everyone engaged with the process so enthusiastically.

The final compendium film of nearly 50 minutes, to be shown at the exhibitions works very well as the overview of all of the project work in progress.

The individual interview films can be found at the project blog.

The final compendium film will only be available to view at the exhibitions.