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Diana Smith

I am a semi abstract mixed media artist creating colourful, intuitive, layered paintings. I work in acrylics, watercolour and inks and often add collage to create extra layers of texture and pattern.

My work is mainly inspired by the two landscapes I love - around where I live in Cumbria and the Outer Hebrides which we have been visiting for over 30 years. Occasionally my attention is caught by a colourful flower arrangement or some favourite household items and I find myself drawn to starting a floral or still life painting. Whatever I paint it is important to me to feel a strong connection with my subject matter.

 

Every new painting is an exciting new adventure which I approach with energy and daring! When working in acrylics I start with an intuitive approach building up layers to create a sense of depth, texture and history. Mark making is an important part of the process and I use a variety of tools and other media to produce interesting and varied marks. My acrylic paintings can take weeks or even months complete. When working in watercolour I do extensive experimental work often based on sketches before working quickly and spontaneously on the final pieces. I sometimes incorporate collage in both acrylic and watercolour paintings using found papers ( old newspapers, book pages, tissue paper etc) and also hand printed papers. My favourite method of printing collage papers is using a gelli plate. Sometimes the collage papers are almost completely hidden by subsequent layers, other times they form an important part of the structure of the painting. I usually work on a series of at least 3 paintings at a time gradually resolving them or abandoning them if I feel they are not working.

 

I have been living in Penrith for 12 years but have had strong family connections with the area since childhood. I started painting in watercolour about 10 years ago and was awarded a distinction in the London Art College Diploma in Watercolour. I then started to explore acrylics and mixed media which I found suited my energetic, spontaneous approach. I have exhibited successfully at Penrith Art Club and Watermillock Painting Group and am an active member of the Penrith and North Lakes U3A Sketching Group.

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