Meet the Artist: Barbara Taylor-Harris

In the first of our “Meet the Artist” series we find more out about artist Barbara Taylor-Harris.

I trained originally as a sculptor in the days when parents said, ” Art, get a proper job”. So I did but maintained contact with art in primary education in a variety of roles. When I was working full time I only had time to make things formyself. I taught children and teachers, ran a primary school, inspected schools and ran my own contacting business and management consultancy before I turned to becoming a professional artist and now 3d pen specialist. The skills and experience I developed in my working life helps with the business side of being an artist and art work because I learnt and used a wide variety of techniques and  disciplines.

When I retired early after cancer I didn’t have room to sculpt so took up painting. I soon tired of flat surfaces and began an adventure with mixed media and latterly 3d pen. I love impressionist and expressionist artists. My work is characterised by colour, light, high texture, movement and energy. I enjoy all forms of sculpture and use soapstone and now plastic filament. As a mixed media artist I use all mediums. While I mostly produce mixed media work I also occasionally challenge myself to do a classic painting to keep my figurative painting skills fresh. I also do life classes from time to time again to refresh my drawing skills. Before 3d pen came along I use all sorts of natural and manufactured materials to give texture an depth to my work.  The 3d pen  wax a great advance for me because it’s so controllable and versatile and is a key part of my current painting techniques. It was a pleasure to join The Eye project and the Strong and Fragile theme leapt out at me, as although my art work look delicate they are strong enough to be touched.

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I have a studio at my home which is great as I can work whenever I want. I now work full time on art work or related business projects. Things and places I see inspire me and I love to travel and take photographs. I always have more ideas in my sketch books than I have time to make! In my mixed media work I take a theme and change it usually every 6 months. In my 3d pen work I specialise in making realistic trees and have a collection called Everlasting Bonsais. On display at Welland Vale Garden Centre, outside Uppingham.

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As a naturally creative person I need to be actively making or designing and I love using different materials. Exhibiting regularly with groups and running two solo exhibitions each year means I have a regular turnover of work and like to keep pushing forward and breaking boundaries. I sell all my work direct to the public from group exhibitions and solo exhibitions at Victoria Hall Gallery, in Oakham. I also do commissions. My last theme has been taking a 2d painting and making a matching 3d sculptures See more of this over on my Pinterest site. My latest work is 3d pen meets……. this involves using 3d pen with a variety of other materials such as polymer clay and supports such as perspex and aluminium.

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The 3d pen industry is relatively new and 3d pens are an interesting part of it. They use the same printing nozzles and plastic filaments but the pen is controlled by hand. This enables an artist to create thing that are too complex and detailed to be reproduced by computer controlled machinery. The 3d pen is limited only by technique, skill and imagination. I want to see it accepted as another tool and material for fine artists and for the 3d industry to recognise its creative potential. Much of the 3d pen work is focussed on one off Stencils. I believe stencils can be used to teach skills and promote creative exploration.

 

This has developed into another strand to my creative work as I have developed a brand BBarbarartist. Under my brand I produce Creative Stencils to fire imagination and promote creativity and plan to produce other products.  I do onsite 3d pen creations, teach 3d pen and sell complete starter pen packs. Currently I am working with national and international 3d pen firms.The most important thing for any artist is to believe in themselves and have the determination and courage to follow through.

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