Artwork Focus: Trying To Find My Artist Voice, Having My Artwork Put In The Skip & How I Was Inspired By Picasso

It is always hard to start your journey as an artist, with my journey starting in 1992. It has taken me around the world and I have exhibited at some stunning galleries, with an amazing collection of working artists and selling through my representative galleries.

Saying this, you always have to start somewhere and you ask yourself…

What do you create?

Which medium do you chose?

What subject do you paint?

Where do you start in creating work?

I wanted to share my story below, to offer insight into my own artist journey, with the help to inspire…

Though, at first, my journey was a bit haphazard in creating original art, I eventually found my feet and it came to me naturally, drawing on my life long, never ending imagination. Saying this, it was in around 1991 when I first found the 2 mediums I love to this day…

…clay and paint

Artists past and present have a crucial influence in every artists journey. My life-time adoration of Picasso began in 1992 through books and gallery visits. By drawing inspiration from Picasso’s work, it meant that I explored many ways to create my artworks for my A Level Art and Design in 1995. I found cubism fascinating (specifically Picasso’s) and the definition below explains it in detail:

When I learned about Picasso I visited the Tate Modern and saw one of his sculpture portraits or busts and I was energized:

Pablo Picasso ‘Head of a Woman (Fernande)’ (1909) At: The Tate Modern, London

I knew my next step!! I began to create a sculpture created with:

  • A wooden base
  • Chicken wire forming the main shape
  • Plaster of Paris bandages
  • Card to create hair round the face and to form the pony tail at the back
  • Acrylic paint to create form, depth and to emulate how Picasso creates a 3D effect on a 2D canvas

I tested out all manner of ideas: drawings, paintings and then I realized that there was a way forward…sculpture. For one of my course work pieces, I wanted to explore and create my own unique sculpture, which reversed how Picasso created a 3D effect on a 2D canvas.

The sculpture shown below shows my unfinished sculpture, with my apologies for the poor quality photographs!:


Above: Left = face / Right = right hand side of head with hair in a bunch


Above: Left = left hand side of the head / Right = reverse of head with the stripes swept into a pony tail

Despite my enjoyment and desire to create new ideas, my teacher disliked it so much, she told me to put it in the bin or more precisely the skip!!

I am sure you would understand it was quite heart breaking; however, before I threw it away I took photographs. This piece, shown below, is a reproduction of a self portrait: my hair brushed back into a pony tail with wisps of hair surrounding my face.

Once the piece started to take shape and I felt obliged to stop this artwork and begin another. It was in 1994 that I began to explore the ideas of playing with mediums, like I mentioned above; however, this was strongly discouraged by my teachers!!

The good news is that their influenced stopped in 1995, when I began to do what *I* wanted to do and I started to build a portrait sculpture.

I continued with this new drive and confidence, by creating what *I* wanted to do and in 1995 I created a slotted card sculpture (shown below), painted with abstract designs with acrylic paint:

Despite this confidence, some pieces I was directed to create in a certain style and medium, so some works I compromised and created something more traditional. I managed to keep some of my independence by incorporated structural support in 1 of my 3 my final exhibition artworks:

Below is an example of Picasso’s amazing work that also inspired me:

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All artworks & designs displayed are © Copyright by artist Laura H Elliott BA (Hons), Dip.

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