Linda Jane Smith

PhanTom Of The Opera by Linda Jane Smith
The Backroom by Linda Jane Smith
Lunch Alfresco by Linda Jane Smith
Toms At The Tate by Linda Jane Smith
It's For You by Linda Jane Smith
The Stag Party by Linda Jane Smith
Catisfaction by Linda Jane Smith
Boudoir Bedlam by Linda Jane Smith
Top Cat by Linda Jane Smith
Phantom Of The Opera by Linda Jane Smith
Quiet Please by Linda Jane Smith
Chocolaterie by Linda Jane Smith
In The Sink by Linda Jane Smith
All Tied Up by Linda Jane Smith
Concentration and actually getting down to business can sometimes be taxing for us all, as distractions are often plentiful. If you’re a creative soul you’re not necessarily known for/blessed with your logistical approach to things per se, so the process of starting something is far more challenging than perhaps finishing it. One such artist who readily admits to not exactly getting stuck into the nitty gritty straight away is critically acclaimed and hugely popular contemporary animal humourist exponent, Linda Jane Smith.

Tip-toeing her way around the subject, Smith volunteers the following; “I don’t know what Beatrix Potter did, but I feed the birds and clear out the back bedroom. What is it about delaying the start of work?” Precisely. Smith concedes that most of the other artists and writers that she knows share the same common attention-kick-starting issues. In her case, Smith only really gets around to sitting down and committing something to her blank canvas once she’s put paid to all the jobs around the house. And then there must be a caffeine accompaniment steaming away at hand and Radio 4 locked in on the old wireless.

When she is finally ensconced behind her easel (or whatever else passes for this in her studio), Smith still isn’t exactly blinkered to timely distractions, describing how next door’s cat usually pops in to see her which provides her with the perfect window to go and tend to the weeding in the garden that she noticed earlier. Whatever happened to good old fashioned will power eh folks. Having said that, and although you have to discipline yourself as an artist at some point, you don’t always need to be regimented and you can arrange your day accordingly when you’re that far removed from the typical 9 – 5 routine. Smith admits that; “If I go out I tend to work later in the evening to make up for lost time. I have files of magazine cuttings for reference, but if I need something special I’ll take a trip to the library”.

Once Smith has settled on the concept for her next painting, so the research starts. Which typically means rooting through her stock of reference material and useful focal points. Smith has long collated a plethora of materials she can draw on whenever she so chooses to, included amongst which are magazine cuttings on interior design, antiques, architecture, fabrics, et al. Smith fully immerses herself in this stage of the creative processand talks at length about wiling away hours in libraries sourcing information for future illustrative projects too. As well as keeping her trusty sketchbook to hand, Smith nowadays won’t be seen dead without her equally erstwhile camera, which she uses to take pictures of rusty iron gates, paintwork flaking doors, decaying red pillar boxes, etc when she’s outing and abouting. Naturally, acknowledging the inescapable fact that cats are very much her life, Smith does take plenty of photos of them too, however concedes that so used to staring at them and the way in which they move, she rarely requires visual reference points when painting them; and recalls much from her photographic feline memory.

Once Smith has nailed the concept for her next composition in her sketchbook, she’ll cut the watercolour paper to size and begin to draw up what will become the finished graphic article using fine pencil lines to achieve this. In Smith’s own words the popular contemporary artist adds; “I always start painting the background first, then slowly work forward till only the cats and mice are left”. She then decides on which colours would best compliment the tonal effects of that background, and deploys her Designer Gouache at this point. Citing the versatile and expansive breadth of applicative techniques that the material affords her, Smith first discovered the joys of gouache during her art school days, and has never looked back. Due to its water-based paint construct, it can be thinned down to create a watery wash, or conversely bulked up to a certain degree to ape the rich, dense tones of traditional oils. Shedding further light on her design process, Smith continues by offering us this insight; “If I’m painting the fabric on a cushion I put on a wash of colour then build up the tone and shape with tiny dots of colour to create form. It’s the same for cats; only their fur is painted in small flecks exactly as it would grow”.

Born in 1962 in the West Midlands, Smith was thoroughly engrossed by art in all of its forms as a youngster, and would spend every spare moment drawing somethingorother. And when she wasn’t creating the likeness of somethingorother, she’d be busy entering as many local and regional art competitions as she could. In the end Smith followed her dream and in 1980 won a place on the Graphic Design course offered by Birmingham’s Bournville College of Art, which furnished her with the further attributes and mind-set required to become a future professional artist. It wasn’t long after graduating from there that Smith first wed her two passions in life, painting and cats to a serious extent; albeit with healthy and regular doses of humour.

In 1986 Smith secured a grant from the Government funded Enterprise Allowance Scheme, which enabled her to build up a selection of work to show publishers. Exhibitions and art gallery showcasings soon followed, as did collaborations with fine art publishers which gave Smith the platform and shop window her stunning compositions demanded and today her limited edition prints have become immensely popular on both sides of the Atlantic and are considered extremely collectable. Smith continues to work from her home studio and continues to draw inspiration for the humorous cat paintings from her own cat and neighbourhood moggies.

View All Art Works By Linda Jane Smith