• Jill

The Arrrrrghs and the Ahhhs of Creating Art

Well, we're still in lockdown... I think its starting to get to me now. I'm still trying to convince myself that I'm keen on yoga, but to be honest, I'm failing. I'm no bendier than I was on Day 1. Tried Pilates but I can only manage 3 minutes and my muscles start to tremble. Ah well. I'm going to stick to painting...


Over the last few weeks I've been painting an epic, huge oil painting (about 80cm x 1 metre) which took me AGES to finish. It was such a beautiful picture that I knew I had to challenge myself to paint it (fully expecting to fail at an early stage)... But I have to admit that she turned out beautifully and she's going on my wall just as soon as I can buy some wood to make a shadow frame for her when those pesky shops open again.



Above are photos of the initial stages. I go through such highs and lows during the process of creating a painting. It's almost no wonder Van Gogh cut his own ear off, but a little extreme to be honest.... When I got to the point of the first photo (sorry its a bit dark, but it reflected my mood at the time), I walked away and thought it was a complete waste of time. I was ready to hang my artists smock up on my easel and take up flower arranging. It looked terrible!!


Anyway, after eating through my fear and disappointment (mainly via a huge bag of Haribo) I came back to it and added some highlights back in and drew in her face, which made me feel a whole lot better about it. Then went on to blocking in other parts of her body and her skirt (which I was dreading and looking forward to, in equal measures). Aaaand... it looked terrible again... this made me want to eat even more sweets and so instead I went off to find sad stories to read on the internet, so I could wallow for a while....


After an hour or so, I picked my discarded paintbrushes out of the bin and carried on, in the hope that all was going to come good. After all, I enjoy the process even if the ending isn't great... It's all about the journey after all.... right??



And so it went well, I was so happy with it again... The first of these photos above shows the detail in her face and her hair, which went really well by all accounts, and then I went onto her hands and her leg, and then onto her back and the wrinkles in her top, (not as easy as they look...) and finally that beautiful skirt... That kept me busy for days... and days... (and days).. but I was so pleased with it I couldn't walk away in case I lost the ability to paint..


Anyway... she ended up like this....



It was such a long process, such a rollercoaster of emotions... but yet it was completely therapeutic (plus it kept me so busy - time just flew by).


I really hope you like the results, she is my favourite painting to date.


The original painting isn't currently available for sale but you can buy prints through my website, either A4 size (29.7 x 21cm) for £35, or A3 (double the size of A4) at £45. You can find them here

All my prints are created using a fine art printer, which prints archival ink onto fine art paper. (this means they won't fade or yellow over time). They are all individually numbered, because only a limited number will be produced, and they are all hand signed (by me, of course).


Since completing her, I decided that I ought to master skin colour and tones, as I want my next painting to be in colour, so I've been creating a few 'people portraits' for practice (try saying that with a mouthful of Creme Egg). These portraits are on my Facebook page and my Instagram page if you'd like to have a look.


Anyway, I hope you enjoyed this emotional journey through my latest painting. Please let me know if you have any questions, or ideas, or even great things to eat to calm my emotions.... I'd love to hear from you


Jill x

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© 2016 by Art by Jill Aspin   Professional Artist  Manchester, UK