A Crafty Afternoon

19 Mar

 

Herb bottle 1

I work a few hours a week for a charity that supports homeless people, teaching crafts and fine art. Today I had a crafty afternoon. I try to make the craft sessions relevant to people, making practical things that they can use in their new home when they get housed. We recycled plastic drinks bottles – around 1.5 litre capacity and, with gardener’s jute twine, we made macramé herb bottles that people can hang up in their kitchens. I bought a selection of supermarket living herbs – coriander, parsley and basil. Here’s one I did as a demonstration and here it is below as a snake-like work in progress.

macrame 1

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Being the change

18 Mar

Cool en plein air drawings from Swansea-based artist Patti McJones via Being the change

Swansea Jack

17 Mar

Carl Gough performs “Swansea Jack”

Husb and I spent a lovely couple of hours at a performance of “Swansea Jack”, researched, written and performed by the talented storyteller Carl Gough. We people from Swansea are nicknamed “Jacks”, supposedly after the heroic black Labrador dog who saved many people from drowning in the 1930s. Of course, I had a quick scribble, in my little red cloth covered sketchbook. I used a ballpoint pen, I love them for quick sketches because they flow so easily.

Quick Sketch

16 Mar

Here’s a quick sketch I did at an event the other night, a talk on women’s political action across Europe, one of the International Women’s Day events.


Ban The Bedroom Tax!

14 Mar

bedroom tax

This is a monotype I made from an original drawing I did in my sketchbook at a demonstration against the “Bedroom Tax”, or Spare Room Subsidy, introduced by the government in 2012. It resulted in hardship for many people. It’s one of the artworks I’m exhibiting at Swansea’s Cinema & Co in a joint show with fellow artist Patti McJones. It’s called Revolting Women.

Revolting Women

Tent City II

12 Mar

st paul's 2

Here’s another monotype I did recently with chine collé from an original sketchbook drawing at London’s “Tent City” a few years ago, the Occupy London protest outside Saint Paul’s Cathedral. My sketchbooks are full of scribbles from life and I don’t often find a way of using them, but recently I’ve done a small series of monotypes from the more political ones. The paper is vintage from the W. H. Saunders mill; the ink is Caligo Cranfield Safewash oil-based relief ink; and the chine collé is tissue paper.

It’s one of the artworks I’m exhibiting with the artist Patti McJones at Swansea’s Cinema & Co for the rest of this month as part of the celebration of International Women’s Day.

It’s Physical!

11 Mar

Here Be Dragons small

Here Be Dragons – March 26th at 9pm on Sky Arts TV channel.

Finally, the end of all the months of work! The programmes showing over 50 commissioned artists across the UK are being aired during the week beginning March 25th and the film featuring me and my work is on Tuesday, March 26th at 9pm.

2 inking up

I was commissioned to come up with a new flag for Britain and I made sure that Wales is on this one. Please follow the links here and here to read more.

Here’s the block of MDF while I was inking it up. It’s 80 x 100 centimetres, took about 3 weeks to cut, although I couldn’t physically do more than about 3 hours a day because my hand and arm started seizing up. Many people don’t realise just how physical art is and the toll it can take on your body. When I was travelling in Pakistan a while back I visited an art school where some of the students specialised in classical miniature painting. Their lecturer told us that years ago, the artists would develop a distinctive deformation of the spine because of the way they sat and painted and eyesight problems were common. They use ergonomic chairs and daylight lamps now to stay safe and healthy.

 

Monotype With Chine Collé

10 Mar

Tent City 1

Cinema & Co, Swansea, throughout March. Exhibition – The Revolting Women Present: The Personal Is Political.

A bit of technical stuff today, here’s a monotype I did recently with chine collé from an original sketchbook drawing. I was in London a few years back and wandered over to “Tent City”, the Occupy London protest outside Saint Paul’s Cathedral. My sketchbooks are full of scribbles from life and I don’t often find a way of using them, but recently I’ve done a small series of monotypes from the more political ones. I worked on a Perspex plate, putting it over an enlarged printout of the original on a light box. I also used the light box to accurately cut the chine collé and I stuck it onto the printing paper, with a Pritt Stick, before drawing the monotype.
Tent City 1 chine colle

I used a vintage W. H. Saunders paper for the main print and pieces of Indian paper handmade from recycled saris along with some tissue that my new Doctor Marten’s boots were wrapped in for the chine collé.

setting up

It’s one of the artworks I’m exhibiting with the artist Patti McJones at Swansea’s Cinema & Co for the rest of this month. We call ourselves The Revolting Women 😀

Proud Pads Against Period Poverty

9 Mar

 

laura

Wow, what a fab evening at Cinema & Co last night, celebrating International Women’s Day in style, with art, films and lashings of home-made cake. Here’s the lovely Laura Niehorster, a Swansea designer and entrepreneur, talking about her amazing product “Proud Pads”. Laura is also a campaigner against period poverty.

proud pads

 

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Playing with poison

8 Mar

A very interesting blog from artist Patti McJones about her work in the Cyanotype technique.

 

via Playing with poison

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