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Judith hits back one more time

16 Jul

A fascinating blog by Swansea-based artist Patti McKenna-Jones following her creative process for her latest woodcut

 

via Judith hits back one more time

Scribbles From the Bath Carny

15 Jul

Bath Carny 1

Husb and I went to Bath this weekend to visit friends and go to the Carnival. I like a good carnival. When I was a nipper, there used to be loads of carnivals in working class areas, with floats and what we called “Jazz Bands” who didn’t really do jazz but tunes on jingly things and kazoos. There would be baton twirlers too. I think that Elfin Safety might have done for them.

I did some contour drawings with a pencil into my A6 sketchbook – it was pretty fast moving at times and good practice. Originally, carnivals happened just before the Christian period of Lent and the word means “to remove meat”, which refers to the 40 days of abstinence that followed.

 

 

Snipe In The Dark Manner

14 Jul

Snipe 4

This is the last of the drawings I recently did at Swansea Museum as part of a day with Edinburgh artist and printmaker Kelly Stewart, organised by Swansea Print Workshop. I did loads of drawings of the Snipe and this is done in the manier noir technique on prepared paper (please click here if you want to find out more about manier noir).

Snipe 6

I did loads of drawings – here are a few. It was great spending a whole day locked away in a room in a museum drawing. Like I’d died and gone to heaven.

 

 

Another Blind Contour Drawing

13 Jul

Snipe 2

Here’s another blind contour drawing I did, of a snipe, at Swansea Museum last week. It’s a very useful exercise, it forces you to stop being precious about what you’re drawing, to loosen up and to concentrate on closely observing your subject, instead of watching the paper.

 

 

Snipe Silhouette

12 Jul

 

Snipe 3

So now I’m getting a bit obsessed with Snipe, a funny little bird with impossibly skinny legs and beak, for wading and probing at the water’s edge, beautifully designed for its environment. In these drawings I focused on the silhouette to try and establish the overall shape of the bird, using my own home-made walnut ink. Thinking ahead, I can see one, or both, of these being cut into a block of lino or vinyl for printing – maybe a reduction print?

I was down at Swansea Museum, working with a group of artists from Swansea Print Workshop and scientists from the FIRE Laboratory. It was so interesting getting that interaction and input, finding out about the birds habits and habitats fleshed out their personalities and helped with developing an artistic interpretation of the little beasties.

Snipe 5

 

 

Blobbiness Abounds

11 Jul

Snipe 1

I thought I loved the bittern when I first saw it – and I did – but then I started drawing a snipe and that was it, bye-bye bittern. I’m so fickle. This gorgeous bird is one of Swansea Museum’s taxidermy collection.  I did this drawing with a reed pen and my home-made walnut ink. Reed pens are amongst the oldest drawing tools and work really well with the ink. It’s not possible to get a fine controlled line with them, but I like the blobbiness and I think it suits the snipe.

 

 

Blind Contour Bittern

10 Jul

blind contour

 

I did some blind contour drawings of the crazy stuffed bittern I was drawing recently at Swansea Museum. It was one of the taxidermy specimens from the museum stores and we were lucky to have been able to get to draw them. It’s good to go back to some basic drawing exercises now and again, good practice.

 

 

A Greenfinch In Stages

9 Jul

 

greenfinch 1

Here’s a little greenfinch I drew recently, a stuffed one, very old and fragile. I took photos of the different stages of development using conté crayons into my A4 spiral bound brown paper sketchbook. I used the white first, then sanguine and finally black.

 

 

I spent a day drawing with a group of artists at Swansea Museum, organised by Swansea Print Workshop and the Edinburgh-based artist Kelly Stewart.

 

 

 

A welcoming gift

9 Jul

I’m reblogging this from Lois Elsdon’s blog because it’s about Welsh cakes – and who doesn’t want to know about Welsh cakes?

Lois Elsden

I was lucky enough recently to go away with a group of friends to a lovely place where we just wrote, and talked, and thought and imagined, and write, and wandered, and mulled and wrote, and drifted, and bought books, and wrote…

We stayed in a beautiful very old farm which was inspiring in itself, it exuded peace and calm which left minds open and receptive to ideas and with no distractions, apart from glorious views, which were a focus for pondering and thinking before settling back to what we were writing.

There were fresh flowers on the windowsills, some wild and freshly gathered from the sunny banks outside, and a plate of freshly made bakestones, otherwise known as Welsh cakes . They were so delicious they disappeared very rapidly… if I’d thought about it properly, I should have bought some flour and currants when we dropped down to the…

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Bitterns And Stripes

8 Jul

Bittern 1

I think I’m falling for those crazy bitterns. I couldn’t take my eyes of them at a recent drawing day at Swansea Museum, they’re awesome…..

Bittern 2

I used my Issabey brushes and my home-made walnut ink into a Khadi sketchbook, using the double spread. I focussed on the shape of the group, doing a sort of negative silhouette and using those thick stripes to enhance the composition.

 

 

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