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'i Paint my own places Best'

 

..a great quote from

John Constable

 

ABOUT

HELLO, I'M LUCIA, AND I PAINT THE YORKSHIRE DALES IN THE GORGEOUS MEDIUM OF SOFT PASTELS...

       

The Dales offer me inspiration on a plate; how lucky I am to live here. The moors and valleys have a timelessness, a hugeness, a reassuring solidity. Time spent walking here seems to rebalance and rejuvenate; it is the only place I know where I can be simultaneously soothed and uplifted.

I try to find the essence of a place, choosing light and shadow and pinning down that feeling of being there; simplifying a composition to its best and sharing the joy of this wonderful land. And although the result is a static painting, I work carefully so that my compositions include hard and soft edges of colour, which helps suggest movement in a scene: a feeling that the wind is blowing, the clouds and shadows are about to move, and the view holds our gaze as we wait for the scene to entertain us.

In this crazy, busy, complicated, often exhausting world, the Dales and the Moors are a place to be, a place to look, a place to breathe. I hope to share a taste of this, available to view in a painting on a wall.

 
 

TECHNIQUES

 
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I often draw my inspiration from the lofty Yorkshire Moors and the stunning Yorkshire skies - usually on a ramble with family and friends. They have learnt to be patient when I suddenly see something that I need to capture, either with my sketch pad or the camera!

Soft pastels are my key medium; I savour their vibrancy and immediacy. I start by carefully planning my composition, pinning down my vision, rythmn and colour pallette for the painting. I choose quality mount board or heavy watercolour paper, and once the composition has been sketched to size, I cover the entire surface with an under-painting coat of acrylic or watercolour, which broadly defines the painting and gets rid of the distracting whiteness! This is then primed to improve the grip and grit of the surface.

I build up the soft pastel in layers – with some blending, some crisp edges, some textured areas, some areas heavy with pure pastel vibrancy. This gritty surface is not kind on my fingers, so the process has an oscillating rhythm and cannot be rushed! I am therefore not prolific... but this allows me more time to go walking... a superb balance of inspiration and creation.

 
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EXHIBITIONS and my ydnp project

Next date:   Ilkley Arts' ARTS WEEKEND    NELL BANK Denton Rd Ilkley       SAT 6th / SUN 7th OCTOBER

My newest originals, limited prints, mini-prints and postcards will be available, and I'll be on hand to have a chat too! Do pop along to say hello - there's an Insect Sculpture Trail and you can find out who lives in my different landscapes...

I have a new project on the go!  It is going to take a few years, but the journey is what it is all about. I hope to intrigue you as I attempt to EXPLORE AND RESPOND TO ALL THE NAMED DALES IN THE YORKSHIRE DALES NATIONAL PARK. A little challenging both for my walking boots and my soft pastels! But I think it's going to be eye-opening.

The YDNP rangers tell me that there are 45 named dales...or maybe 49....other lists tell me 54! Most are tributaries to the main 'BIG 5', Wensleydale, Swaledale, Airedale, Wharfedale and Nidderdale. Just like these 5, each will undoubtedly have its unique character; this summer I've started with 4 different tributaries and they are startling different!

Pictured above: the barren, mined moorside at Arkengarthdale (off Wensleydale), depicted in 'RECOVERY'; the wild bleak upper contours of Widdale (also off Wensleydale), in 'PRESS PAUSE'; the secret quiet timelessness of Waldendale (also off Wensleydale), in 'WALDENTIME'; and the current one on my easel: the deserted dale of Dibbdale (off Wharfedale), previously inhabited by folk mining its treasures, and now only populated by trees. Working title: 'GREEN GOLD'. All will be on display in October at the ARTS WEEKEND.

 

...for further news follow me on Facebook 'LUCIA SMITH ARTIST'; or pop into WEAVERBIRD WORKSHOP in Ilkley to see my limited edition collection of fine art prints.

 

COMMISSIONS

I am happy to work with you!

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Whether you require a single picture, or several; the capturing of a special view, or a colourful piece for a particular wall...

A PRIVATE COMMISSION gives you a very special picture, which is totally personal and unique.

Whatever your requirements, I would enjoy discussing the possibilities with you. You may be unsure of the starting point - I would be delighted to mull over your thoughts with you and help define the project.

A recent private commission gave me the chance to explore an area I was less familiar with: the moors around Grimwith Reservoir (see right). Here I was given free rein with colour and shape, but the client asked for certain shorelines to be visible, and for the piece to convey a certain mood.

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'Lucia kept us informed of progress - starting from early photographs for us to agree the best view, to receiving regular updates on the painting's progress... the result is a superb reflection of what we requested, ultimately the whole experience, and the picture itself, surpassed our expectations'

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Another commission was inspired when clients saw my 'Pen-y-ghent Speaks' picture. Together, we created 'Pen-y-ghent Awakens' (see right); matching composition, size and colour requirements so that it fit perfectly with their home: 'I was thrilled by the finished result, which was even more spectacular than I had envisaged in my mind's eye. Lucia's ability to realise her client's idea is immaculate - she retained my utter confidence throughout the creative process.'

 
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I WILL BE DELIGHTED TO HEAR FROM YOU AND WILL GET BACK TO YOU AS SOON AS I CAN:

EMAIL:     luci@luciasmith.co.uk

PHONE:     01943 603368 / 07833 257540

or you can FOLLOW or CONTACT me on FACEBOOK