Telling Stories

29 Jul storytelling July 2016

storytelling July 2016

Husb and I are just back from storytelling night at Tapestri, a regular event with a different mix of performers each month. It’s in a old courtroom that’s been renovated and used now for art and culture, although they’ve kept the raised boxes for the judge and defendant and there are some very comfortable jurors chairs too. There are always lots of interesting faces to draw and these elder women were sitting, rapt, in front of a vast modern stained glass window. I usually have my sketchbook on me so I had a quick scribble while I listened to West Wales teller, Nick Brunger and his riveting Gothic tales.

 

I have been travelling across South Wales with Rhondda-born archaeologist Dewi Bowen and Swansea film maker Melvyn Williams, hunting the wild megalith, accompanied by my portable drawing board, portfolio of Fabriano paper and a bag full of assorted artist’s materials.  Dewi is researching his latest book on Neolithic monuments and Melvyn is making a documentary film of our literary and artistic adventures.

If you want to know more about my solo show in The Worker’s Gallery in the Rhondda Valley in September, please click here.

And if you want to see some of my other artwork, please click on the image below.

Quoit

 

A Light Bite

28 Jul Biting an aluminium plate in copper sulphate solution

I had another afternoon at Swansea Print Workshop today and carried on with my aluminium etching plates. On Tuesday I filed and degreased three plates, did a ‘coffee bite’ drawing on each, rolled a soft ground over them and ‘cured’ them in an oven. They had to be left for a day or two to harden.

cured

The ‘cured’ plates ready for developing in warm water

So this afternoon I developed the images by washing the plates in warm water. The black ground lifted off the plate where I had drawn with coffee.

washed

Washing the cured plate: the coffee lifts off revealing the drawing.

Once I dried the plates, I had to seal the backs to protect them when I put them into the etching mordant, a copper sulphate solution. I used overlapping strips of parcel tape.

backing

Protecting the back of the plate with parcel tape.

Then I put each plate in turn into a tray of copper sulphate solution which ‘bit’ the aluminium, causing tiny little holes to appear on the exposed areas of the plate which will give a very pale grey when the plate is printed. It also gives a good keyed surface for applying spit bite with brushes later.

dipped

Biting an aluminium plate in copper sulphate solution

The plates were in for less than a minute because I only needed a very light bite at this stage. You can tell that the mordant is working because the surface bubbles and effervesces and deposits a thick brownish sludge on the plate.

effervescing

The effervescing plate covered with a brown sludge

And then it’s all washed and dried, ready for the next stage, applying the spit bite.

ready to bite

 

 

I have been travelling across South Wales with Rhondda-born archaeologist Dewi Bowen and Swansea film maker Melvyn Williams, hunting the wild megalith, accompanied by my portable drawing board, portfolio of Fabriano paper and a bag full of assorted artist’s materials.  Dewi is researching his latest book on Neolithic monuments and Melvyn is making a documentary film of our literary and artistic adventures.

If you want to know more about my solo show in The Worker’s Gallery in the Rhondda Valley in September, please click here.

And if you want to see some of my other artwork, please click on the image below.

Quoit

 

Fake, Flush And Fanning!

27 Jul The Beacon Light by J M W Turner

Today, Husb and I had a jaunt up to Cardiff, or The ‘Diff as it’s known around here, to the National Museum to take part in Sky Arts new television series “Fake! The Great Masterpiece Challenge.” I sent off an email to apply back at the beginning of the month and thought no more about it until I had a phone call about a week later and a lengthy telephone interview and next thing I was selected for filming with a companion of my choice, so I chose Husb of course.

The Beacon Light by J M W Turner

The Beacon Light by J M W Turner

 

It was very humid today and I had a hot flush just before we started, but after some intensive fanning by Husb I cooled down. We spent two hours being filmed, we had to visit 9 paintings by two famous landscape artists, JMW Turner and Richard Wilson and try and work out which had been replaced by a fake. It was REALLY difficult. Would the fake be obvious, in other words a bad forgery, or would it be too well done to be able to tell? We think we found the right one, but we don’t know yet. We have another day of filming in a couple of weeks and if we have guessed the right one, we might go through to the final. Fingers crossed.

 

 

I have been travelling across South Wales with Rhondda-born archaeologist Dewi Bowen and Swansea film maker Melvyn Williams, hunting the wild megalith, accompanied by my portable drawing board, portfolio of Fabriano paper and a bag full of assorted artist’s materials.  Dewi is researching his latest book on Neolithic monuments and Melvyn is making a documentary film of our literary and artistic adventures.

If you want to know more about my solo show in The Worker’s Gallery in the Rhondda Valley in September, please click here.

And if you want to see some of my other artwork, please click on the image below.

Quoit

The Thrill Of Tools

26 Jul Filing a chamfered edge

 

A lot of my art practice is preparing stuff, using tools and chemicals and getting equipment ready way before I move onto the creative bit. I’ve always loved tools and woodwork and metalwork. I was one of that generation that went to a single sex school and these subjects were not available so imagine the thrill I had when I went to art college and immersed myself in fully equipped workshops.

I spent this afternoon at Swansea Print Workshop, preparing some aluminium plates for coffee bite etching. There’s a layer of plastic film on one side, protecting the soft surface and the first job is to file the edges to get a nice chamfered edge. Then the rough filed edge has to be smoothed with a scraper and finished with a burnisher. The scraper / burnisher above is by Intaglio Printmaker Ltd in London. Finally, I peeled the plastic backing off and carefully degreased the plates with a cloth dipped in soy sauce and powdered chalk, rinsing it off with hot running water. I dried them on a hotplate ready for the coffee bite process. But that’s for another day……

 

I have been travelling across South Wales with Rhondda-born archaeologist Dewi Bowen and Swansea film maker Melvyn Williams, hunting the wild megalith, accompanied by my portable drawing board, portfolio of Fabriano paper and a bag full of assorted artist’s materials.  Dewi is researching his latest book on Neolithic monuments and Melvyn is making a documentary film of our literary and artistic adventures.

If you want to know more about my solo show in The Worker’s Gallery in the Rhondda Valley in September, please click here.

And if you want to see some of my other artwork, please click on the image below.

Quoit

Coffee And Spit Bite

25 Jul

I’m going to be at Swansea Print Workshop tomorrow and I’ll be preparing some aluminium plates ready for some coffee bite etching, using some of my drawings of Neolithic stone monuments for inspiration. Here’s a blog I did a while back about this technique, which was invented by Andrew Baldwin of Aberystwyth University, an expert in non-toxic etching……

More geeky printmaking stuff from last weekend’s B.I.G. Etching course with Andrew Baldwin at Swansea Print Workshop. The aluminium plate was degreased with whiting and soy sauce to get it re…

Source: Coffee And Spit Bite

 

I have been travelling across South Wales with Rhondda-born archaeologist Dewi Bowen and Swansea film maker Melvyn Williams, hunting the wild megalith, accompanied by my portable drawing board, portfolio of Fabriano paper and a bag full of assorted artist’s materials.  Dewi is researching his latest book on Neolithic monuments and Melvyn is making a documentary film of our literary and artistic adventures.

If you want to know more about my solo show in The Worker’s Gallery in the Rhondda Valley in September, please click here.

And if you want to see some of my other artwork, please click on the image below.

Quoit

Stiff And Awkward

24 Jul socks sandals

Had lots of things to do today so I didn’t get round to doing a drawing until late. I chose a figure from a series of photos I took on the beach earlier in the week on Swansea Beach when it was sunny and sketched it with a Faber Castell Pitt drawing pen. I’m not a fan of drawing from photos because my drawings seem stiff and stilted. Drawing from life tends to be more lively and dynamic. I guess it may be that I should give myself more practice drawing from photos and allow myself the same freedom as when I draw from life.

socks sandals

I have been travelling across South Wales with Rhondda-born archaeologist Dewi Bowen and Swansea film maker Melvyn Williams, hunting the wild megalith, accompanied by my portable drawing board, portfolio of Fabriano paper and a bag full of assorted artist’s materials.  Dewi is researching his latest book on Neolithic monuments and Melvyn is making a documentary film of our literary and artistic adventures.

If you want to know more about my solo show in The Worker’s Gallery in the Rhondda Valley in September, please click here.

And if you want to see some of my other artwork, please click on the image below.

Quoit

 

Continuous Line (Female Nude)

23 Jul Mari 3b

Here’s the last of the 3 drawings I did during the life drawing session at Swansea Print Workshop this week. I blocked in some rough highlights in chalk and then did a continuous line drawing with a stick of carbon into my A2 size brown paper sketchbook. It’s a technique I really like, it’s good practice and I like the effect, it’s dynamic.

 

I have been travelling across South Wales with Rhondda-born archaeologist Dewi Bowen and Swansea film maker Melvyn Williams, hunting the wild megalith, accompanied by my portable drawing board, portfolio of Fabriano paper and a bag full of assorted artist’s materials.  Dewi is researching his latest book on Neolithic monuments and Melvyn is making a documentary film of our literary and artistic adventures.

If you want to know more about my solo show in The Worker’s Gallery in the Rhondda Valley in September, please click here.

And if you want to see some of my other artwork, please click on the image below.

Quoit

 

Life Drawing – Female Nude

22 Jul Mari 2b

Here’s another drawing I did during this week’s life drawing session at Swansea Print Workshop. Our model sat for a one-hour pose and I decided to do several drawings instead of one. This was my warm-up drawing, about 10 minutes.

I started with a piece of willow charcoal to put in an outline then blocked in some highlights with chalk. I finished with carbon to give me a strong black line, working into my A2 brown paper sketchbook.

 

I have been travelling across South Wales with Rhondda-born archaeologist Dewi Bowen and Swansea film maker Melvyn Williams, hunting the wild megalith, accompanied by my portable drawing board, portfolio of Fabriano paper and a bag full of assorted artist’s materials.  Dewi is researching his latest book on Neolithic monuments and Melvyn is making a documentary film of our literary and artistic adventures.

If you want to know more about my solo show in The Worker’s Gallery in the Rhondda Valley in September, please click here.

And if you want to see some of my other artwork, please click on the image below.

Quoit

Strong Strong Strong

21 Jul Mari July 1c

Just back from life drawing at Swansea Print Workshop, working with an older woman model who is one of my favourites. She is a strong woman with strong features and a strong body, inspiring to draw. I did one portrait study, working with charcoal and chalk into my A2 brown paper sketchbook. I used my fingers to draw as well, smudging the charcoal to make the lines bolder.

 

I have been travelling across South Wales with Rhondda-born archaeologist Dewi Bowen and Swansea film maker Melvyn Williams, hunting the wild megalith, accompanied by my portable drawing board, portfolio of Fabriano paper and a bag full of assorted artist’s materials.  Dewi is researching his latest book on Neolithic monuments and Melvyn is making a documentary film of our literary and artistic adventures.

If you want to know more about my solo show in The Worker’s Gallery in the Rhondda Valley in September, please click here.

And if you want to see some of my other artwork, please click on the image below.

Quoit

 

Slicing And Dicing

20 Jul

Postcard 1a

I’m slicing and dicing my ancestral stones!

I’ve put my drawings of Neolithic monuments into Adobe Photoshop and I’m designing some merchandise for my solo show at The Worker’s Gallery in September. I’ll have original drawings, lino prints and etchings for the exhibition but not everyone can afford original art – or may not have room for it – so I want to offer a range of reproductions. I don’t just want to slavishly copy the originals though. I may choose one or two to be reproduced onto canvas or heavyweight art paper, but I also want to play with the drawings I’ve made and create some new digital imagery with them so they can be printed as postcards or magnets or greetings cards. I’ve not used Photoshop for design before, I normally use it for storing photos and cataloguing my work so this is new for me and I’m having fun seeing what it can do.

I have been travelling across South Wales with Rhondda-born archaeologist Dewi Bowen and Swansea film maker Melvyn Williams, hunting the wild megalith, accompanied by my portable drawing board, portfolio of Fabriano paper and a bag full of assorted artist’s materials.  Dewi is researching his latest book on Neolithic monuments and Melvyn is making a documentary film of our literary and artistic adventures.

If you want to know more about my solo show in The Worker’s Gallery in the Rhondda Valley in September, please click here.

And if you want to see some of my other artwork, please click on the image below.

Quoit

 

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