Elizabeth Reed Smith presents her portfolio of drawings, intricate and mesmerizing. Visit her website to see more from this talented artist.
It’s important for me to have contact with other artists. Even though their work seems to have no relevance to mine, I always find something which stimulates my mind and sparks ideas.
Although mixing with other artists, visiting galleries and museums is important to open our minds, we are essentially lonely people. We tend to work in isolation away from the clatter and chatter of normal life. No matter how educated, we are our own apprentice. I use photographs as the basis for ideas but fine line pen and ink has to be done indoors. My creative imagination doesn’t range until I am in my own studio.
Sometimes my pen seems to know where it is going and other times I have to give it a sense of direction. I ‘feel’ the flow of the tree, however imaginative.
As a child, drawing was my haven, a small corner with a pencil and pad and I was in my own space mentally and physically. Over the years my drawings became more extensive and confident, but I continue to be in the same isolated sphere.
Traveling through Asia I became familiar with the impact of negative space upon landscape drawing. This experience influenced me greatly and now, whatever my medium, I am aware of what space does for the tree I draw, and in turn what the tree I draw does for the space.
In each of my drawings I endeavor to celebrate nature within a time and space beyond the mere place of inspiration. Like artists throughout time, I invite the viewer to enter my world and, by so doing, make it their own.
Recently I have started working on acrylic and highlighting with gold leaf. This came about by a friend giving me a packet of old gold leaf. I love it’s delicacy and now use it as highlights for sea and moon. I have also used metal leaf as part of my large pen and ink drawings. These drawings are on double layered paper to give them added dimension.
Not all my subjects are mature statuesque trees. Often a simple copse or hedgerow, which has stood for many years, unnoticed, or a forgotten gateway, catches my eye. Nature in its untended form inspires me, whether it be bowed by weather or hindered by the sharing of light and space with its surroundings. In my work I seek to convey the clarity, beauty and simply majesty of the commonplace otherwise so easily taken for granted.
Whether it be woodland of my native English beech or the windswept confiders of the Pacific Northwest, I seek to blend the precision of the Victorian engraver with a contemporary appreciation of light, color and texture.
The intricacy of my drawing is achieved with a crow quill, with nib reversed for the finest of lines. Under drawing is limited and often nonexistent. Every pen stroke is final and so the picture is built, one stroke at a time.