Barbara Smith - Artist

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About Barbara

My artistic journey started when I did a four year degree course in art and education, specialising in screen printing and lino relief prints.I continued screen printing at Goldsmith's textile studio, then got interested in embroidery and successfully completed city and guilds in creative embroidery and design to advanced level at London College of Fashion. After many years exhibiting textile art in mixed exhibitions at London galleries I was introduced to Chinese painting at one of a few courses in the V &A museum.

I studied all styles of Chinese painting in great depth with Cia Xiaoli.At the same time I was learning and developing my English watercolour. For some years I only painted still life in watercolour, flowers were only done in Chinese free brush and later more detailed gongbi style so that I learnt Chinese composition. A three week study tour of China with Xiaoli and Wang Jianan helped me understand it more as I saw the plum blossom, the monochromatic atmospheric landscape on the western lake. We had painting classes at both Xian and Bejing central academy.

After moving to Derby I frequently went back to London learning how to draw, compose and paint detailed flower paintings on silk. Another 1-2 year in depth course taught me all about Chinese landscape. After copying Sung and Ming dynasty styles we were shown how to look at English Landscape, sketching and later painting in an Oriental style of composition and ink work with watercolour washes.

I had 3 solo exhibitions at Gallery 93 Belper rd before it closed and have had work accepted at Lecester, Derby, Derbyshire open exhibitions, I also had work in mixed art group exhibitions at Duffield gallery, The Beetroot Tree Gallery etc.

I currently hold a annual joint exhibition of watercolours at Arkwright's mill Cromford Gallery Cromford.

I have only recently come back to printing when I joined Green Door Printmaking Studio, I am doing etching and collographs for the first time and like the mixture of drawing and tonal effects.I love drawing , having done alot of life drawing and landscape sketching. I have always loved photography and like the idea of using digital imagery in my prints.

I am enjoying being part of an artistic community at Green Door Printmaking Studio and enjoy seeing what others are doing in their art work.

I use my digital painting on the i pad to develop ideas am planning to do more acrylic mixed media paintings . I'm interested in the semi abstract qualities of landscape as seen in estuaries, seascapes and waterfalls.

In my Chinese paintings I want to develop various textural techniques and free brushwork sometimes using mono-printing as a background to work on. I am using images from my Chinese paintings as a starting point for some photopolymer landscape etchings.

I love screen printing and am planning a series of A3 flower prints again using my Chinese free and fine brush flower paintings and composition drawings as a starting point. I like doing unique prints painting different colour effects onto the flowers before running the paint through the screen as well as doing a few limited editions.

I also like exploring the effects of free overprinting of a flower shape and petals to make new designs.

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