I Cried

17 Aug
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My monotype based on an original life drawing of my model, a young Welsh soldier

Swansea, September 21st to 30th 2018.

I’ve been involved in the expansive art project Nawr Yr Arwr / Now The Hero for some time and it’s all coming to a head in Swansea at the end of September. It’s part of a whole load of specially commissioned art projects from “14-18 NOW WW1 Centenary Art Commissions“, a nationwide programme of innovative and thought-provoking art events that commemorate – not celebrate- World War One.

Some of the highlights for me have been Cummins and Piper’s amazing gigantic installation of “Weeping Poppies” -I saw it at the Tower of London- and Jeremy Deller’s “We’re Here Because We’re Here“, commemorating those who died in the Battle of the Somme. I stopped in my tracks in the centre of Swansea as a group of VERY young men in WW1 uniform walked silently by. I cried. My grandfather was just 14 years old when he enlisted. He lied about his age.

 

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Image credit: ‘we’re here because we’re here’ conceived and created by Jeremy Deller in collaboration with Rufus Norris, photo by Eoin Carey

I have been working with a life model, a young soldier, for 10 years and our working relationship – and the work I have produced – are a part of Nawr Yr Arwr / Now The Hero. You can see a short film of us below. As well as the film, many of the drawings and original prints I have made over the last decade will be exhibited at Swansea Print Workshop and Volcano – I’ll write a bit more about this over the next couple of weeks.

 

“Nawr Yr Awr \ Now The Hero is an immersive theatrical experience that will take the audience on an extraordinary journey through three intertwining narratives of war; from Celtic history, the First World War, and today’s conflicts. Drawing on an epic poem, some rejected paintings, and an intimate portrait of a Swansea soldier serving today,  Marc Rees’ bold production brings the stories of war to life, but counterpoints the tragic telling with hope.”

nya

 

 

 

 

A Fleeting Moment

16 Aug

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Our facial expressions are generally made up of continuous movements and a photograph captures just one fleeting moment amongst many. So when you base a drawing on a photograph, the image might look a bit odd, or not like the person normally looks. I’m pushing this by taking photos of people with their heads thrown back, up their noses, but this one has a great big laugh to draw as well.

I d took the digital photo on my phone and then I drew from it, using a Samsung Galaxy Note 8 using a free Markers app. I laid down a beige ground and worked on top. I mislaid the stylus half way through and had to continue with my fingers, which made it quite spotty.

Cockle Shells And A Labyrinth

15 Aug

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Thirty one years ago I was working on a local environmental programme, The Rosehill Quarry Project, a community-led scheme to clear and renovate an old quarry near the city centre and turn it into a nature reserve and leisure area for local people. One of the things we did was to work with Welsh prehistorian, Dewi Bowen, to cut a Cretan labyrinth into the turf and line it with cockle shells, a local resource from the Gower Peninsula cockle industry. Over the years, people have gathered to maintain the labyrinth and there was a work group just a week or so ago.

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The labyrinth after last week’s renovation. Photograph by Martin Slucutt.

 

I did the drawing above onto newspaper with pastels, charcoal and chalk, from the first viewing point on the path up to Pantycelyn Road.

 

 

14 Aug

A lovely foraging / cookery / women’s history blog https://gathervictoria.com/2018/08/13/dianas-apple-pear-cake-w-queen-anne-lace-fit-for-a-goddess/

A Group Together

13 Aug

 

I ran a two-day teaching session in full-colour monotype at Swansea Print Workshop this weekend. I enjoy working with other artists who want to learn a new technique, they’re so motivated and they don’t baulk at cleaning up. Although everyone was doing the same process, there is a huge diversity of style and content.

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Different Techniques

12 Aug

Rose

Sometimes I like to take images through into different techniques. I’ve recently been doing digital drawings from digital photographs I took up people’s noses and from one of those drawings I’ve done a monotype over this weekend.

So, from a digital photograph to a digital drawing to a full-colour monotype. What next? Shall I try a painting? Or a woodcut? Hmmmmm….

For more information on how to do this particular technique, please see the Techie Stuff section of my blog here.

 

 

Smiley Lips

11 Aug

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It’s getting hard to find new titles for my “Up Yer Nose” series of digital drawings. This is my eighth volunteer who was snapped at the opening of an art exhibition a couple of weeks ago. My style is evolving; the first I did was much more like a conventional drawing but they’ve quickly developed into multi-layered digital paintings, and so much less messy than using real paint, which I don’t have much patience with.

 

A Big Ginger Pollock

10 Aug

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Back to the ‘up-yer-nose’ digital drawings and here’s someone with a great big ginger beard. Magnificent. The chickens are part of the wallpaper. They don’t live on his head. I drew onto my Samsung Galaxy Note 8 with a free Markers app, laying on a beige ground to start with then building up layers of colour and texture with a stylus and my finger, the stylus gives a much firmer, more defined line. I did a lot of the texture in his beard with my left hand (I’m right handed) which gave much more wobbly, quirky lines, a bit like a Jackson Pollock. Sparta Puss was rubbing her face against my right hand because she wanted to be smoothed. So what can you do?

 

 

 

The Birthday Girl

8 Aug

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This evening we celebrated the birthday of a young relative. It was lovely. She volunteered to pose for one of my ‘up-your-nose’ digital drawings. Times like this remind me that, once basic needs are covered, the most important things in life are family and friends. Not fancy schmancy houses or luxury cars, but the people you care for and who care for you. The other thing I realised this evening is how pink so many of my family are. All shades of pink. Like Barbie.

Husb made her a chocolate cake.

chelseas cake

 

 

 

To Stand And Stare…..

7 Aug

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I’m having fun doing digital drawings of people with their heads thrown back; today a sunny little one, another ginger, who was gazing at clouds. Ah, I remember doing that when I was little. It brings to mind the poem “Leisure” by Welsh poet W. H. Davies …..

 

What is this life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.
No time to stand beneath the boughs
And stare as long as sheep or cows.
No time to see, when woods we pass,
Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass.
No time to see, in broad daylight,
Streams full of stars, like skies at night.
No time to turn at Beauty’s glance,
And watch her feet, how they can dance.
No time to wait till her mouth can
Enrich that smile her eyes began.
A poor life this if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.

 

 

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