I try to get along to life drawing at Swansea Print Workshop as often as I can, to get in the practice. It’s not always easy, it’s quite late in the evening and sometimes I’m so tired it’s hard to focus. This was one of those weeks. I did a couple of quick sketches to warm up but I didn’t think I was getting anywhere so I did a study of our model’s hand and then a longer study of her face. I used willow charcoal and white conte crayon into an A2 size brown paper sketchbook.
I’m on a bit of a roll with the baby Boomer sketches – here’s another. Over the years I’ve concentrated on life drawing and whole figure sketches, portraiture is fairly recent and I’ve fund that the two most difficult things to draw are spectacles and beards. And here is my latest model with both!
I’m drawing quite a lot of fellow artists as I’m working my way towards 100 sketches of 100 Baby Boomers and this is the third artist who has drawn me right back. It’s quite good fun when it happens. I know that I frown when I’m concentrating and other people sometimes have a ‘focussed face’ too. This artist tended to push her tongue under her lower lip as she drew. I used a mid-grey graphite stick into an A5 spiral bound sketchbook. Some people have asked why I don’t use photos, but the experience of sitting and having conversations with people is an important part of the process. It might result in a less accurate likeness but the drawings are more animated and, in my opinion, more alive and reflect the time we spend together.
I’m cracking on with my series of Baby Boomer 30-minute sketches at the moment and this was a very intense drawing, with both of us very quiet and focussed. We were in art college together back in the 1970s and it seems like such a little time ago, but four decades have flown by. Drawn with a mid-grey graphite into an A5 spiral bound sketchbook.
Another Baby Boomer with wild curly hair this morning and also another artist who drew me right on back. I decide what drawing materials to use when I sit down to draw. Some people are suited to drawing pens (Faber Castell Pitt) and some to graphite (I use a variety in stick form). Graphite seemed best suited to her remarkable unruly hair. I have enjoyed drawing people at The SPace on Swansea’s High Street. We only have 2 weeks left of our 12 week lease so I’m making the most of drawing people in these rather lovely surroundings.
Here’s another of my series of portrait drawings of fabulous Baby Boomers. I’m so enjoying doing these, the conversations I’ve been having are just as important as the physical act of drawing; it’s informing and consolidating my thoughts for the future development of the work. This Baby Boomer is a fellow artist and was having a conversation with yet another artist at The SPace on Swansea’s High Street where I was drawing her. This made it more difficult than usual to get an accurate likeness but I think it led to a more animated drawing. It was fun drawing her scarf and wild curly hair. I used a dark grey graphite stick into my A5 spiral bound sketchbook.
I’m making a lot of progress on the 30 minute sketches of Baby Boomers I’m working on, I’m up to 30 out of my target of 100 people born between 1946 and 1964, drawn in pen or graphite. I decide what to use to draw when I sit down with the person, some faces seem to suit the clear definition of pen, others are more suited to the slight smudginess of graphite.
Went to life drawing at Swansea Print Workshop yesterday evening and sketched a male model who goes under the name of Ben D’Busse. I started with some very quick drawings and fell into the usual trap of not fitting the figure to the page. I nearly always run over the edges.
Ben is a fab model, really thin, so thin that the drawings end up with a touch of Egon Schiele about them
It was really hard fitting the drawing on the page of my A2 size brown paper sketchbook. I used willow charcoal and chalk, with the brown paper providing a nice mid-tone. I finally just managed to squeeze him all in by the fifth drawing. There was some strong foreshortening to contend with and I took a leaf out of Egon’s book and distorted the body to fit, a lot of his work is distorted.
I’ve been involved in an artist collective, members of Swansea Print Workshop, at The SPace. We’ve had the place since mid-November and will be there for another three weeks. One of the best things about this has been the impetus for some of the artists to work together, to discuss and collaborate and we’re launching an installation tomorrow, instigated by Pip Woolf, who provided huge pieces of tissue paper for us to work on and then she’s used the results to wrap the gallery. It’s open for just a few days – there’s a discussion led by Pip followed by refreshments Friday (29th) from 5.30 to 7 pm and it’s open daily Friday, Saturday and next Wednesday, 11.30 to 5pm.
“I am currently exploring “Identity” as a subject that has arisen from my ongoing research alongside dementia, those diagnosed with it, those living with it and those who are supporting. In choosing to show my current work in progress at the Space I have had to consider how I can use the venue respectful of the other 13 members. At the same time when I first saw the SPAce it seemed to offer a potentially interesting and experimental venue to introduce my early enquiries through making.
The discussion will focus on how my studio work has developed and how showing here intersects with my interest in collaborative work.
The SPace arose as a group of printmakers saw an opportunity to promote their work as well as the fantastic facility that is Swansea Print Workshop. Many of us do not know each other so co-operative use of the SPace is a key element. The temporary pop up has been created as outreach of Swansea Print Workshop courtesy of a generous arrangement with Coastal Housing.”
The SPace continues until February 13th at 217 High Street, Swansea.