the other paul smith

artist

The making of an Abstract Form

This piece was a development from my Quasi abstract heads.

The wood frame – the upright is attached with a dowel and screw to secure it.

early stage large abstract form

Building up the structure. The larger blocks will not adhere using plaster alone so I am using scrim (netting) soaked in plaster to wrap and hold the blocks.

The form is taking shape now. I am using a mix of thick sheets of expanded polystyrene packaging and large blocks that I am breaking apart.

When it is wrapped it forces the viewer to take a closer look to see what is inside – if it is without the covering it is immediately obvious. I have left a few holes into the form

Section of large abstract 3D form

The semi-translucency of the dust sheet reminded me of aged skin, which has thinned so much as to allow  you to start to see what lies beneath. Condensation formed inside the piece, on the underside of the plastic sheeting. It appeared to be alive, to be breathing. The brittle, rigid bone-like inner structure contrasts with the fluidity, yielding, Diaphanous ephemeral, fragile outer layer – easily torn.

The dust sheet also caused viewers to question – is it protecting the piece, is the piece actually finished, or is it part of the piece? I enjoyed the ambiguity of it.

The sheeting moves slightly as people walk past it. I considered these options

  • Open door – breeze. Variable dependent on weather.
  • Electric fan – more controlled. Fixed or on arc? Should the viewer decide?
  • Viewer –  the action of walking past,  invitation to blow on it? 
  • Revolving door set up next to the form?

Ideally, site the piece next to an open door so that it moves and responds to breeze – to nature. It is an organic piece so the regular breeze from a fan would be discordant and mechanical, noisy. If an open door is not practicable put a sign up to encourage viewers to walk past.

This piece is one to develop further. The honesty of it, with its use of basic materials, its ambiguity – is it finished, is the covering a protective cover, ready to be unveiled. The scale and lack of recognizable features has moved it from being a (very large) head to possibly a body or a more ambiguous form. Although I can see facial features in it – but then I know it was intended to be a head.

Large abstract form studio shot
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My first solo show - at Bath School of Art

This year I decided to go to Art School to get the benefit of ongoing feedback and development of my work. I was accepted on the BA (hons) Fine Art  course at Bath School of Art and Design. It has a great heritage – Howard Hodgkin and Gillian Ayres both taught here – and all the  current staff are practicing artists.

On my 2nd day I noticed a long blank wall in the art library so asked if I could exhibit my paintings, and a few days later they were on display. The exhibition is on from now until 12 Dec 2018 at Bath School of Art and Design, Sion Hill, Bath. For more details and to see my comments on some of the paintings search for exhibitions in Bath on artrabbit.com or click on this link  https://www.artrabbit.com/events/the-other-paul-smith-abstract-works-bath-spa-school-of-art-and-design

Zanzibar Series Untitled I 101cm x 78cm Acrylic 2018 £500

Monochrome Series Untitled I 101cm x 78cm Mixed media 2017 £500large abstract painting
Monochrome Series Untitled I 101cm x 78cm Mixed media 2017 £500

Blue Series Untitled I 70cm x 70cm Acrylic 2017 £500
Blue Series Untitled I 70cm x 70cm Acrylic 2017 £500

Blue Series Untitled III 70cm x 70cm Acrylic 2017 £600
Blue Series Untitled III 70cm x 70cm Acrylic 2017 £600

IED Helmand, War Series yellow abstract type painting 70cm x 70cm Acrylic 2017 £600
IED Helmand, War Series 70cm x 70cm Acrylic 2017 £600

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Can abstract artists draw?

I know that many people think that abstract artists can’t draw. While I often do life drawing and sculpting I very rarely draw inanimate objects as my paintings are based on emotions and intuition. Unstructured and free flowing. But I thought I’d have a go at a still life. It’s an anglepoise lamp sitting in a set of weighing scales with some flowers. An unusual composition but it suited me. I like the composition – let me know what you think.

Anglepoise lamp still life drawing
Anglepoise lamp still life drawing

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Blog


The making of an Abstract Form

The making of an Abstract Form

This piece was a development from my Quasi abstract heads. The wood frame - the upright is attached with a dowel and screw to secure it. Building up the structure. The larger blocks will not adhere using plaster alone so I am using scrim (netting) soaked in plaster to wrap...
April 21st, 2019

Manifestos are a load of rubbish

Bath Spa School of Art ran a Manifestos Workshop in Nov 2018 looking at the history and purpose of Artist Manifestos. My group were inspired by the Dadaist movement and Tom McCarthy's view that manifestos are a defunct format but nevertheless compelling - in the way that a broken bicycle...
December 7th, 2018
My first solo show – at Bath School of Art

My first solo show – at Bath School of Art

This year I decided to go to Art School to get the benefit of ongoing feedback and development of my work. I was accepted on the BA (hons) Fine Art  course at Bath School of Art and Design. It has a great heritage - Howard Hodgkin and Gillian Ayres both...
October 14th, 2018
Latest work in progress – working with a new heavy texture medium and mixed media

Latest work in progress – working with a new heavy texture medium and mixed media

I'm working on a heavily textured painting and adding newsprint to the surface before overpainting and tearing into the surface. A close-up of the work - it's not finished yet but I thought you'd like to see my creative process The texture is building up on the surface of the...
January 18th, 2018
The development of a painting

The development of a painting

I thought that you might like to see how one of my paintings develops. This is what I'm working on right now. It's not finished yet - the orange sections in particular need reworking. Its number 3 of my Black Series of abstract works. I started by covering the canvas...
October 6th, 2017
The finished version

The finished version

The painting of the anglepoise lamp was ok but for me it didn't have a lot of life or energy. So I covered it in blue paint which I let dry for a while. Then I took the painting to the sink and started washing it, scrubbing it, cutting into it...
September 26th, 2017
From drawing to painting

From drawing to painting

Once I had completed my drawing of an anglepoise lamp sitting in a set of weighing scales I was itching to make a painting from it. Again, not my usual route to a painting but I'll post the stages of the painting so you can see its evolution. These are the first 3 stages -...
September 26th, 2017
Can abstract artists draw?

Can abstract artists draw?

I know that many people think that abstract artists can't draw. While I often do life drawing and sculpting I very rarely draw inanimate objects as my paintings are based on emotions and intuition. Unstructured and free flowing. But I thought I'd have a go at a still life. It's an anglepoise lamp...
September 26th, 2017
Large abstract works

Large abstract works

I enjoy working on large canvases. They allow me to use my whole upper body to make broad gestural marks when applying the paint to the canvas. For these 2 paintings I used  household brushes rather than artists brushes as they allowed me to load a large quantity of paint...
August 7th, 2017
Small Abstract Works

Small Abstract Works

I often paint smaller works onto board rather than canvas. This  enables me to scratch deeply into the surface of the paint. Untitled on board   This is the charcoal drawing which was the basis for the painting above. Study for Untitled on board - Charcoal on paper
August 7th, 2017