The Oscar Speech

24 Sep yr-helfa

Gayle Rogers introduces (from left) Dewi Bowen, Rose Davies and Melvyn Williams

Wow! What an evening. It was the last night of my solo show, ‘Yr Helfa / The Hunt’, in the lovely Workers Gallery in Ynyshir and I joined my collaborators, prehistorian Dewi Bowen and filmmaker Melvyn Williams for an ‘in conversation’. Melvyn showed excerpts of the film he’s working on (he’s been following Dewi and me with a camera for 8 months now) and then engaged us in conversation about what we’ve been doing. No problem getting us to talk, we’re both chopsy.


Some of the many drawings I’ve done en plein air following the Trail of The Boar, Y Twrch Trwyth

This has been my first solo show and it’s been both nerve-wracking and exhilarating. I’m so grateful to Gayle Rogers and Chris Williams, who run The Workers, for giving me the chance to exhibit and being so supportive; to Melvyn and Dewi who have been great to work with (the collaboration continues); to all the people who have come along to the exhibition and the two events I held; to the artlovers who bought my work; and to those who have given me so much support on social media – thanks everyone😀

Crikey – it’s like an Oscar speech, isn’t it?

That’s it for now, the exhibition is over and I’m collecting the work on Monday but I’m looking for another venue for the show so watch this space ……..

And here are the short films that Melvyn showed last night, one featuring Dewi and one of me.




Great Spaces, Great Faces

22 Sep davies-c


I feel like I’m charging ahead in my quest to draw 100 Baby Boomers, with seventy two completed and another 5 booked in for my last day at the Creative Bubble artspace next week. In October, I’m going to be drawing from the lovely Galerie Simpson. It’s been great drawing in different creative spaces around Swansea, the venues have been so generous letting me use their spaces.

Creative Bubble was set up by University of Wales Trinity Saint David (UWTSD) and Swansea BID to get some creative stuff happening in Swansea’s City Centre. It’s based in an empty shop at 13 Cradock Street – students, graduates & friends use it to try out their ideas.

Galerie Simpson, started life as a publishing label founded by artist Jane Simpson, producing limited edition artworks made in close consultation with internationally renowned artists. Opening an office in her home town of Swansea, this organically grew into an artist led – non profit gallery; Galerie Simpson swansea, is a salon style melting pot of a space, with a diverse range of shows and events.

I’ve also drawn Boomers at The SPace, a temporary outreach arm of Swansea Print Workshop, and Swansea Museum, which Dylan Thomas described as the museum that belongs in a museum. Great spaces to draw great faces.


Please drop by on the last evening of my solo show at The Workers Gallery for tea and art, cake and conversation. The exhibition ends on the 24th, so not much longer to see it.



Seventy ‘Victims’ So Far

21 Sep seacombe-c


And now I’ve reached seventy Baby Boomers!!!! Only 30 to go to reach my target. This is now looking to be achievable, but only with the generosity of the Boomers who’ve agreed to sit for me. It’s not easy, sitting still and quiet for up to thirty minutes while some nutjob artist stares at you. It can be unnerving and you don’t know what the scribbler is going to present you with – it’ll be the artist’s vision and might not look anything like what you see in the mirror every day. So I’m very grateful to my victims….and those to come.


Please drop by on the last evening of my solo show at The Workers Gallery for tea and art, cake and conversation. The exhibition ends on the 24th, so not much longer to see it.



Sixty Nine

20 Sep barnes-j


Here is number sixty nine of my Baby Boomer drawings. I feel like I’m on the home run in my quest to draw one hundred Baby Boomers by the end of this year. The conversations I’m having are inspiring the next phase of the project – I’m not just going to leave it at a hundred portrait sketches – plans are afoot!


Please drop by on the last evening of my solo show at The Workers Gallery for tea and art, cake and conversation.



A Pleasant Surprise

19 Sep hankins-j


This is Baby Boomer number 68. I’ve been getting through these 30-minute sketches quickly this month at the Creative Bubble Artspace. I have been looking through the first of this series, started about 18 months ago, and they’re much tighter, more structured and detailed, using fine nib drawing pens into an A5 sketch book. I changed over to graphite and an A4 format a few months back and it has freed up my style enormously. A lot of the marks I am making now are intuitive, automatic and not planned, thought out or considered. These recent drawings are so much more expressionistic and expressive than the early ones. They’re not automatic drawings in the Surrealist sense, but for at least part of the process I have suspended my focus and concentration and something else takes over. It then becomes a surprise when I look at the drawing a few hours later and see the  marks I have made; it’s generally a pleasant surprise. That’s good.


Please drop by on the last evening of my solo show at The Workers Gallery for tea and art, cake and conversation.




On The Back

18 Sep williams-g


I’m having a very productive period drawing Baby Boomers this month and if I keep on at this rate, I’ll finish by my target, of 100 sketches, by the end of the year. I love the conversations I have with my sitters and I write the main points that come up on the back of each drawing. It’s building into a collection of thoughts and opinions as well as sketches. They are all fine faces with life written into every nuance.


Please drop by on the last evening of my solo show at The Workers Gallery for tea and art, cake and conversation….mud-megaliths

Strength / Cryfder

17 Sep lawson-i


Drawing Baby Boomer portraits has been such a good experience, I’ve learned so much, developed my skills and techniques, pushed my materials, and gained a greater understanding of how different faces are. I know that sounds like stating the obvious, but even people who have a similar stamp, even people who are related, when you look at them closely are really quite different. This Baby Boomer has such a strong face, so emphatic, radiating strength.


Smiley Face

16 Sep evans-s


I’ve now drawn two thirds of my 100 Baby Boomers and one thing I’ve noticed is that most people’s ‘resting’ face is quite serious but a couple of people have had really smiley resting faces, keeping their smiles effortlessly for a half hour without their expressions becoming fixed and false. Genuine smiley faces.




Same And Different

15 Sep miles-board-f


Here’s another Baby Boomer – I am so enjoying drawing my generation at Creative Bubble Artspace. So many fabulous faces, so many interesting stories to tell. The conversation I have with my sitters is just as important as the portrait sketch; I have my own thoughts and views on what it means to be a Baby Boomer but other people’s experiences are sometimes similar, sometimes so very different.


Please come and visit my solo show at The Workers Gallery and you’re very welcome to come along to an ‘in conversation’ event right at the very end – there will be cake!mud-megaliths


14 Sep treseder-p


And another Baby Boomer victim of my insatiable sketchbook. They generally seem quite laid back about it.

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