Painting in the Spotlight: ‘Reflected Glory’

Liz Ackerley Art showing Reflected Glory Abstract mills painting

This is a new ‘painting in the spotlight’ regular feature on my Studio Chat which will enable me to share and discuss my finished paintings with you. For this first Spotlight feature I’ve chosen: ‘Reflected Glory’. This is one of the first of my Mills Series of Paintings. I started it last year, during a programme I was a participant on (Find Your Voice). I completed it this summer. It is available for sale.

Continue reading

On Reflection: taking stock and forging ‘new’ approaches

mixed media art art journal

The world has changed considerably since my last blog post a couple of weeks ago when I shared my new exhibition: About Ashton in the market hall Ashton-Under-Lyne. As we end our first week in lockdown in the U.K. every day seems to present some fresh unfamiliar challenges.  Whether around health, family, money, work-the list seems endless.  It’s easy to get overwhelmed and consumed by it.  But on reflection, taking stock and forging new approaches could be just what we need.

Continue reading

My About Ashton Exhibition has started!

About Ashton

As of today, Tuesday 17th March 2020, my About Ashton exhibition is on show in the Market Hall, Ashton-Under-Lyne!!  You can read more about the venue in a previous blog here. After a few months putting this work together, it feels like a mixture of excitement, nerves and relief!  On a  practical note, it is likely that many fewer people will get to see it in person than we originally thought. This is because of the unprecedented times we are witnessing with Corvid19.  But I want people to be able to have a good look at it and hear what it’s all about. Even if they can’t get to the market hall.

Continue reading

My commissioned illustration projects for 2019: a review

Illustration project review 2019

I’ve delivered a wide variety of exciting commissioned illustration projects throughout 2019. These include: a number of building-related commercial pieces. A wedding in Cheshire. Several key reportage (visual journalism) illustration projects and a book cover! Although I have shared some of these projects in dedicated blogs, this blog is an overview of some of these illustration projects.

Continue reading

My Reportage of Peterloo 2019: From The Crowd

Reportage Peterloo 2019 From The Crowd Liz Ackerley

Manchester Histories, in partnership with Manchester City Council, commissioned me to document From the Crowd in a series of Reportage of Peterloo 2019 illustrations. You can read more of my reportage work here. This Peterloo 2019 production is a musical theatre piece, co-produced with Walk The Plank and Brighter Sound and involving a large number of volunteers (Laurels). These volunteers then supported members of the public to deliver this impressive collaborative performance. In the words of the production’s Creative Director, Evie Manning (CommonWealth): ” From the crowd is a dialogue between 1819 and 2019. We’ll be remembering those that protested and lost their lives at Peterloo and those whose lives today are affected by different oppressions”

Continue reading

My 2019 Studio workshops

This last week I took part in the oneweek100people challenge, promoted through the Urban sketchers social media sites. The idea is that you post your people sketches on line each day and try to hit 100 in the week. This is the first year I actually completed the task and it got me thinking about the importance of continued practice, continually learning and honing skills. This is important both to improve my own art but also to be a good teacher. In two weeks time I will be starting my own series of sketchbook sketching day workshops in my studio.

Continue reading

Going Back to My Roots (Reportage in the garden)

Stillingfleet reportage Liz Ackerley

Over the last few years, I have developed an interest in capturing events and activities through drawing.  This so called reportage approach has so many outlets!  I have been commissioned to capture reportage: one-off events, weddings and festivals and series of activities to name a few.    Telling stories of places and occasions through drawing is my passion!  With a background in landscape design, I was absolutely thrilled to be asked to record a garden Masterclass in drawings recently.  This blog describes the day.   Continue reading

Persevering with People (drawing) 

People Drawing_Smithfield Market

It’s been a while since I blogged on here.  No excuses so I’ve decided to get back to it with a post about Persevering with People drawing.  In fact capturing people (in my drawings) is something that is often on my mind (perhaps more so than any other element of drawing).  This is because capturing busy places and people is a focus of some of my commissioned reportage work, including weddings and other events.    My view is that like most aspects of drawing, constant practice is required and maybe this is even more so with people!  When I don’t draw people for a while I definitely notice and find it more difficult.  The way I capture people, the materials, the type of drawing, the level of detail etc, is also a source of internal debate! Continue reading

Drawing at a wedding: Tower Bridge in London

Last weekend I attended a wedding at Tower Bridge where I was commissioned to draw the occasion. You can read more about my drawing at weddings here.  Usually, as I am based near Manchester, my weddings are in the North West.   Often my clients are very familiar with my work and drawing style and like my reportage approach!  Despite that, there is always a degree of nerves,  especially ones at such impressive venues as Tower Bridge and Dickens Inn, St Katherine’s Dock!  

Continue reading

From Chorlton To The City: Illustration techniques

Chorlton exhibition

Since January of this year I’ve been working on a little exhibition of my work called: From Chorlton To The City.  The exhibition is at The World Peace Cafe, The Kadampa Meditation Centre, Chorlton.  The preview is on Friday 4 th May 5-8 pm.  In this second part of a two-part discussion about the work (you can read the first part here), I’ll explain the illustration techniques I’ve used.  There are 3 different types of images in the exhibition: Colour-first sketches; Ink-first maps and Collages. Each approach requires specific techniques.

Continue reading

What Next?

I can’t believe that we are already into February and My last blog was over a month ago!  To be fair I have moved and it does take a while to settle and organise.   Excuses aside it’s good to be back!  As this is my first blog of the year I thought I’d share my plans for 2018.  I’m really looking forward to the challenges of some new approaches: The ‘What Next’?  My commissioned reportage work including several weddings (London and the North West) will also continue to be a focus of my time this year.   I am also always on the look out for new reportage projects.  Here are some additional things to keep me busy!: Continue reading

Salford I’m going to miss you: Sketching Salford

Salford Claremont Road Sketch

Last week,after 11 years living at Irlam’O’Th’ Heights , SaIford M6, and several of them spent sketching Salford, I fled for the hills. (Mossley to be precise!) Actually, it took a number of trips, over several days and there was little in the way of fleeing!  This post shares a small selection of my illustrations of Salford completed over the last few years ( I wasn’t sketching regularly when I first arrived).  They range from the streets immediately surrounding where I lived to the well known public locations that Salford has to offer like Salford Quays.  There are stories associated with many of them and I will mention a few as I go.

The starting place-The streets around where I lived

It was whilst walking my greyhound down Sumner Road in Irlams ‘O’Th’Heights that I had this need to be able to draw my surroundings more effectively!  As a trained designer, I was frustrated with my drawing abilities and decided I needed to draw much more regularly (and better!).  From that day, I just made a start, then I joined Manchester Urban Sketchers.  The rest, as they say, is history.

Local scenes Salford LizsScribbles

Salford precinct LizsScribbles

Salford sketches LizsScribbles

Sketching Salford: Museum and Art Gallery

For the last couple of years I have been a member of Salford Art Club that meets and exhibits at the Salford Art Gallery.  Coincidentally, as of 9th December 2017 there is a Manchester and Salford Urban Sketching Exhibition at the Art Gallery.  Like a number of other urban sketchers, I have several pieces in the exhibition.

salford Museum and Art Gallery LizsScribbles

Sketching Salford: in Monton

I often went to Monton to sketch.  It has an interesting high Street and the Bridgewater canal runs nearby.  I was also invited to capture the Bridgewater Weekender day held on Worsley Green.

Monton Sketches LizsScribbles

Reportage illustration in Salford LizsScribbles

Sketching Salford: those well known places and famous buildings

There are numerous amazing buildings and well known areas in Salford, including:Salford Quays, Media City and Salford Lads Club.    The very first sketch I had printed and sold was of the Lowry. War Horse was running a the Lowry and one of the lead actors saw my sketch of the venue, including the WarHorse trailer.  He was keen to buy a copy, which we did.  We also auctioned a copy, signed by all the warhorse actors, for charity.

Salford Quays LizsScribbles

LizsScribbles_OrdsallhallWedding

Sketching Salford before I left

Although the weeks before and during the move were hectic, I managed to create these last black and white sketches. They include the local streets and some views/buildings (like my local garage) that I had always had in mind to sketch, but hadn’t!  I have only recently created black and white sketches as a matter of course.  Now that I have the Duke Confucius 551 fude, I am enjoying the simplicity and clarity of these simple drawings.

Salford LizsScribbles

Salford LizsScribbles

Salford, I’m going to miss you.  Because you won’t be on my doorstep, I will not be sketching you regularly.  But I will be back.  Onwards and Upwards, quite literally as I am in the Hills now in Mossley, Tameside.  I will be posting my local sketches and those further afield as usual so please stay tuned for more of my sketching adventures.  Wishing you all a very peaceful and healthy 2018.  Thank you all so much for all your support and comments in the last year and here’s to a fabulous 2018 for us all!