Chuffed To Bits

22 Nov

mono 10 chine

 

I just heard today that I have had 2 artworks accepted into the Swansea Open exhibition, running from December the 3rd to January the 6th. It’s returned after a gap of about 5 years, while the Glynn Vivian Art Gallery was closed and being refurbished, and it’s great to see it back. I’m chuffed to bits as Swansea is full of talented artists and the competition is stiff.

 

mari 2

 

I submitted two monotypes of the Mari Lwyd, based on drawings I did in my sketchbook at the end of last year. The Mari Lwyd is an ancient Welsh tradition, where groups of revellers wander the streets and pubs accompanied by a life size puppet constructed around a decorated horse’s skull. It may hark back to the worship of the Celtic horse goddess, Epona.

Cube Head And Bright-eyed Aliens

21 Nov
cubehead 1

A Cubehead, based on a photograph by Kathryn Trussler

 

Husb and I went to Santa’s Parade in Swansea’s City Centre on Sunday evening. I thought the best float and costumes were the ones with @Swansea2021, our city’s bid to be UK City of Culture in 4 years time. Lots of artists made costumes to go along with the float, which was a gigantic mirrored cube on the back of a lorry, very effective. Which is why the artists became Cubeheads.

 

bright eyes

The @Swansea2021 Cube and bright-eyed aliens turn out for Santa. Photograph by Melvyn Williams.

 

I drew from a photograph by artist Kathryn Trussler into my A5 lined notebook, the Cat’s Meow Journal by Peter Pauper Press using a biro (ballpoint pen).

Punjab To Rhondda With Cake

20 Nov

Winter Woodland artist residencies Nov 2017 b

I’m doing a one-day artist residency at The Workers Gallery in Ynyshir this coming Friday so if you’re in the area, or fancy that trip up the Rhondda Valley that you’ve been promising yourself, please pop in and see me. I’ll make a cake. Maybe a Victoria Sandwich.

Victoria Sandwich

When I did a residency in Pakistan, at the Zaira Zaka Print Studio three years ago, I travelled from Rawalpindi to Lahore across the vast expanse of the Punjab through some incredible weather conditions including the most ferocious thunderstorm I have ever experienced. In the car, I did 50 very quick impressionistic drawings of the journey into a small Khadi sketchbook, and these have inspired a series of small monotypes. I have done 10 so far and I’ll be working on some more at my residency in Ynyshir.

I edited the 50 original drawings together into a short video with a soundtrack taken from the sounds around me during my month-long stay. Here it is….

Cats are back!

20 Nov

I love Nancy farmer’s drawings, and especially the cats. Well, I would, wouldn’t I?

Art by Nancy Farmer

There have been complaints from some quarters that I have not drawn enough cats lately. However I have converted what used to be my blog for mostly cat drawings (catoftheday.wordpress.com) into a site for entirely swimming drawings (waterdrawn.com). So the cats must find a new home. Here.

Cat Basket “Cat Basket”
Sarge never used to fill this basket, but now he’s got so big there is beginning to be overspill. He is cultivating a square bottom in order to fill the basket to maximum efficiency.

Atthur's Stripes, close-up “Arthur’s Stripes”
Arthur has had a busy but partialy successful morning. At great personal effort, he has stayed still in front of a warm Rayburn for long enough for his stripes to be properly documented. The only slight cloud was that the Archivist got carried away, and went on to unnecessarily document the stripes on the blanket too, and then totally lost the plot and coloured in…

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Waiting For Santa

19 Nov

waiting for santa 1

Santa arrived in Swansea this evening and Husb and I went along to watch Santa’s parade through the city centre. I love this every year. Big cities get fancy, expensive floats sponsored by big business but the thing I like best about our annual parade is that so much of it is home-made and a little bit wobbly. The dance troupes are sometimes not as choreographed as they might be and the marching bands a little off-key and the costumes definitely on the enthusiastic amateur side, but that’s the charm and fun of it all. And it makes no difference at all to the huge family crowds who turn out to watch. The kids are besides themselves with excitement.

waiting for santa 2

Of course, I had a few scribbles. Little kids are fun to draw, enormous heads, scrunched-up faces and impossibly skinny Bambi legs. I drew into my A5 lined sketchbook with a biro (ballpoint) pen. My favourite float was the huge mirrored cube that’s travelling the city to raise support for Swansea2021, our city’s bid to be the next UK City of Culture. We’re in the final four and should know the result in about 3 weeks. Fingers crossed.

 

Ooof! Hard Hands!

18 Nov

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Almost at the end of the life drawing session at Swansea Print Workshop and I spent the last few minutes drawing the model’s hand. There was some quite severe foreshortening and it was hard. Very hard. OOOOOFFFF!!!! No matter how many times I measured up, they still look weird.

I drew with a Samsung Galaxy Note 8 tablet using a free Markers app. I worked onto a black ground that I put in first.

Male Nude And Dundee Cake

17 Nov

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Here’s another drawing I did yesterday evening at life drawing at Swansea Print Workshop. I drew onto my Samsung Galaxy Note 8 tablet, which is getting a bit old now, using the free Markers app. I worked onto a black background, putting layers of faded colour with my finger and a large brush and then worked in the finer lines with the stylus and a smaller pen function. I made a Dundee cake that afternoon and took it along for the tea break. Proper old school. Most of it went and it was a big cake too. It was still a bit warm so it was squidgy and buttery. mmmmmmm 😀

Just Back

16 Nov

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Just back from life drawing at Swansea Print Workshop where I drew onto my Samsung Galaxy Note 8 tablet with a free Markers app. I did a head study to start with, filling in the background with black and working on top of it with lighter colours.

And now to bed ……

Greetings Humans

15 Nov

Sparta Puss

 

Greetings Humans. Sparta Puss here. I managed to get my paws on the furless she-ape’s pooter box while she’s washing my food bowls. And preparing my supper. And brushing excess fur from my favourite blankie. And going down the road to the hunting ground called the supermarket to hunt for my kitty biscuits. She’s a lazy mare!

Anyhoo, I was lying around on my second favourite blankie earlier and the female monkey was fiddling about with a stick with dirty stuff in it called a biro pen and she was moving it around and around on a bit of paper while staring at me. I like it when the hairless simians stare at me – it shows proper respect. Then she showed me all the bits of dirt on the paper and said it’s me! She’s an idiot.

book cover

Here I am reclining with the she-ape’s thing with paper in it. She calls it a sketchbook. It has cats over it. They don’t look as good as I do.

Wo/Man Buns

14 Nov

woman bunz

I was sitting on the bus to our local hospital to visit a relative this evening and a young man and woman sat in front of me. They were dressed in similar clothes and had identical hairstyles. Both had longer hair on top, drawn up into a bun, and shaved close to the head below. Both had pierced ears, the young woman had inserts about the size of a 10p piece while the young man’s were smaller and both had other piercings along their ears and in their noses. My late Dad would have said “Can’t tell the girls from the boys these days” but he said that back in the 1970s when I used to wear jeans, boots and a leather jacket and rode a motorbike, which he seriously disapproved of. There’s a lot of fuss about ‘gender fluidity’ lately but it isn’t really any different to our adulation in the ’70s for David Bowie and Marc Bolan, who pushed the boundaries of what was acceptable in male fashion and style. The sky didn’t fall on our heads back then and it won’t now.

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