Digital Nausea

27 Nov

nov 2


Here’s another study from last night’s life drawing session at Swansea Print Workshop. I have spent a lot of time using my Galaxy Samsung Note 8 tablet with a free Markers app at life drawing. It’s been my main drawing tool for a couple of years, but recently I got sick of it. I quite literally started to feel nauseous at the thought of doing any more drawing with it. I think it’s because I have to spend so much time on the computer anyway that I really needed a break. I dug out an A3 Daler Rowney sketchbook and some charcoal and graphite blocks and started to scribble away, feeling the drawing materials rubbing across the paper. So different to digital drawing, so real and responsive.

Feeling It

26 Nov

nov 1

Just back from life drawing at Swansea Print Workshop. I started with a piece of charcoal but I wasn’t in a charcoal mood tonight and it didn’t feel right on the paper (Daler Rowney A3 sketch pad). So I switched to a lump of graphite and scribbled away. If felt better, it just felt right somehow. That’s something I don’t get when I do digital drawings, the feel of the drawing material dragging across the paper, the way it feels different depending on whether you use the point or the flat side. I experience art as a very physical thing; how materials feel, how they smell, how they sound – yes the sound of different drawing materials against different papers. It’s a sensory experience. In the spirit of “waste not, want not” I drew over the unsuccessful earlier drawings.

People and Printmaking

25 Nov

Last night I was at the launch of People and Printmaking, a special collaborative artists’ book celebrating 15 years of Swansea Print Workshop. I’m really pleased that my work is featured in this beautiful anniversary publication.

People and printmaking book cover

Printed in full colour, in Welsh and English, it contains 60 pages with full page illustrations. As well as examples of artwork, all the artists have given an insight into their process and what printmaking means to them.

Mine below is called “Post Modern Post Industrial Post Man”. It’s a three colour separation monotype. I love the vast range and depth of colours of the techniques. You can see a detailed explanation of the process on my Techie Stuff page here.

post modern post industrial post man

If you want to buy a copy of this book and help raise funds for Swansea Print Workshop it is available to purchase at £9.95 plus p&p. Please email your order to

The SPace

24 Nov

The SPace is Swansea’s newest artspace, a collaboration between Swansea Print Workshop and Coastal Housing Group.


Finishing painting the walls

The SPace is a group of artists / printmakers from Swansea Print Workshop who are taking over Unit 6 at 217 High Street for 3 months to showcase their artwork, to develop new work and to invite the public in to meet and talk with artists doing what it is that artists do.

The SPace will be open to the public 11.30 – 5.00 Wednesday to Saturday until mid-February.

The SPace will also be doing events / happenings / collaborations outside these times so ….. watch this SPace

The SPace collective is…. Hannah Frederika Lawson, Patricia McKenna Jones, Leanne Vaughan Phillips, Rose Davies, Sylvie Evans, Lynne Bebb, Peter Spriggs, Thomas Jerome Newton, Kara Seaman, Claudia Mollzahn, Alison Porter, Carol Lawrence, Pip Woolf, Vicki James.

Scribbling Iceland

23 Nov

volcano 1

I spent a few days in Iceland recently and although I took a sketchbook and some pastels with me, it was too cold to draw. Even just 30 seconds or so without my gloves and my fingers stopped working. So now I’m back home and back in the swing of all the arty shenanigans going on in Swansea at the moment, I’ve taken a look at the photos I took and I’m catching up with some drawing.


I took this Daler Rowney Ebony sketchbook with me and also a set of Daler Rowney artist quality soft pastels. The black paper lends itself to the climate and volcanic landscape of a wintry Iceland and is a good starting point. I used the pastels mainly in strong diagonal strokes, occasionally rubbing the surface with my fingers, again diagonally.

Artists’ Book on Show

22 Nov

ooohh look at this :)

Source: Artists’ Book on Show

Pulling The Columbian

22 Nov


I had a very busy Sunday pulling some woodcut prints down at Swansea Print Workshop. I used the beautiful old Columbian press, an antique dating from the 1850s, when Queen Victoria was on the British throne. How many prints have been pulled off this press? How many hands have pulled the lever?

It’s not only lovely to use, but also lovely to look at, with beautiful cast iron decoration, brass inlays and large, smooth wooden handles. Invented by American George Clymer around 1813, it took over from the Stanhope Press and allowed a whole newspaper page to be printed in one pull. It didn’t sell well in the USA so Clymer moved to Britain a few years later and established a very successful business manufacturing and supplying the Columbians across Britain and Europe. Many of them, like this one, have a bald eagle as a counterweight.


Here’s a video of it in action:

A friend who is an antique furniture expert went into raptures about the patina on the wooden handle and said to never ever clean and polish it. That sort of patina is only acquired with age and enhances the value of the piece.

Shared from WordPress

20 Nov

If you haven’t seen this cartoon blog before,  please check it out. Hilarious.  Well I think so anyway,  but I am a bit weird 😁

Breakfast of Champions –

Three Male Nudes

19 Nov

alan 1


Just back from life drawing at Swansea Print Workshop. It’s late now and I’m tired. I did three versions of the same pose in an hour. The first, a straightforward scribbly line with a Faber Castell Pitt drawing pen, size F, into a Daler Rowney A3 cartridge sketchpad.


alan 3

Then I did another line drawing and worked into it with Winsor & Newton artist quality half pan watercolours. I used very stiff sable brushes with a choppy style.

alan 2

And finally, in the last few minutes, I tried drawing directly with brushes, water and water colour.

And now, goodnight :D

The Dawn Road From Reykjavik

18 Nov

goodbye 3

The last few photos from my recent trip to Iceland, the road back to Keflavik airport at sunrise. It’s so far north that the dawn is about 9.30 am which is very civilised.

goodbye 2

Once we were out of the city there were little isolated farms or homesteads dotted across the lava landscape.

goodbye 1

The movement of the bus gave a nice smudgy effect in the foreground.

Keflavik airport is really nice, one of the best I’ve been in, super architecture, unhurried ambience, lovely food and it was a fairly short hop back to Bristol …….. and torrential rain.


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