How I start new paintings in the studio

starting new paintings liz ackerley art

This year I am developing a body of landscape work for exhibition at Gallery Oldham in spring 2022 and therefore how I start new paintings is foremost in my mind!   I started my explorations last year , mostly on location so I now have to get going with my studio painting!.    To ensure that I develop enough paintings, I have created a framework with targets and exploration areas for each quarter of the year.

Continue reading

What have we achieved in 2020? life, art & banana bread

lessons in life, art and banana bread

‘What have we achieved in 2020?’ I asked (out loud). To be fair, I wasn’t specific, I didn’t mention art…..

‘Well you’ve regularly made banana bread, and its improved compared to the first one (at the beginning of lockdown) when you didn’t have the right flour, back in March. But even that one wasn’t bad, and you are still making them and they are improving ‘

came the reply.

Continue reading

Art on Paper- What’s not to love?

Ar on paper-what's not to love?

I enjoy working in a variety of media and surfaces, including sketchbooks. I often combine drawing and painting (you can read one of my studio chats about this here).  In many respects, drawing is my first love!  So it is probably no surprise that I love to create art on paper!  However, over the last year or so, I have mainly created finished works on wood: cradle panel or ply.   To an extent, I had moved away from work on paper.  But in the spirit of what I call –‘All that you can’t leave behind’ I have recently returned to it.  Whilst I enjoy layering materials onto boards and the evolutionary nature of it. I also love the fresh, spontaneous works on paper. 

Continue reading

Beginnings: 5 Things to do in the preparing for new artwork development

new beginnings Liz Ackerley Art

For the last couple of weeks I have been procrastinating rather than preparing for new artwork development. There are a number of reasons why I think I’ve been hesitant. Firstly, I am doing something much bigger than I have done before in terms of the amount and variety of work. Secondly it’s a new area of work for me, (albeit with a common thread of my interest in Place). This means that there is more uncertainty of how it will evolve (although that is what makes it exciting!). Thirdly, it’s for a joint exhibition so there are insecurities about ensuring the work delivers and fits together to form a cohesive story!

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

Find Your Voice 2019: A review

CottonMill series Find your Voice 2019

Over the past 6 weeks I have taken part in a second on-line course called Find Your Voice (FYV) with Louise Fletcher. This is a follow on to the Find Your Joy (FYJ) course. You can read my review, including my results, from FYJ here. The purpose of this second course was to continue to focus on developing our own personal voices. But with an intention in mind and looking at 4 key painting principles: tone; composition; colour and mark making.

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

Collage creation 2: Materials and Media

Collage framing

In this second of 3 blogs reviewing my collage progress in 2018, I am going to discuss collage materials and media.   The first blog sharing my works from this year is here.  I am not claiming to have developed these techniques off the top of my head. Those interested in collage materials will no doubt of tried and used many of the elements I will discuss. However, all of the work I am presenting on my blogs is my own and the final results represent my own way of seeing and creating.  It’s important, once you have an understanding of techniques and your own areas of interest, to follow your own path.  There is plenty of opportunity for that with collage!

Continue reading