Scientific Stars Of Wales

19 Sep

Ser Cymru

 

I spent a day in Cardiff with colleagues from the FIRE Lab. We had a stand at the Sêr Cymru celebration, all about the scientific research projects in universities across Wales funded by the Sêr Cymru research and development programme. It was fascinating to hear about how much high level technological research is going on in this little country of ours. As the team’s artist-in-residence, I did a printmaking demo on our stall, using a vinyl block I had cut based on a drawing I did of a stream bed up in the Brecon Beacons a couple of months ago when I was on a field trip.

 

The Grey Mare

18 Sep

Horsehead 2

 

Here’s another view of the horse skull I drew yesterday evening at the little Zoology Museum at Swansea University’s Wallace Building. The Mari Lwyd (Grey Mare) tradition in South Wales centres around a horse skull, which is made into a lifesize puppet and decorated with flowers, bells and ribbons. It’s paraded around on the night of Hen Galan – the Old New Year – as part of a ritual that goes back thousands of years to the ancient Celtic horse goddess Epona, also know as Rhiannon in Wales.

 

 

Drawing A Horse’s Head

17 Sep

Horsehead 1

I spent a great hour or so down at the Zoology Museum in The Wallace Building on the Swansea University Singleton campus this evening. A drawing group meets there twice a month to make the most of the specimens tucked away. I fancied studying a horse’s skull, to tie in with my previous work with the Mari Lwyd. It was nice to draw a still one that wasn’t carousing all over the place. I used a biro pen in the continuous line method with a wash of home-made walnut ink into a small, A6, sketchbook.

 

 

Old School OHP

16 Sep

acetates 1

 

I’ve been posting about the field trips I went on recently with colleagues from Swansea University’s FIRE Lab, walking the path of the River Tawe and making cyanotypes along the way. Mostly we made photograms – photographic prints made directly from found objects placed on the paper. But we also took some time out to draw onto Over Head Projector (OHP) acetates with various drawing materials to make transparencies to expose back at Swansea Print Workshop‘s Ultraviolet Unit. Younger readers might not know what an Overhead Projector is. It’s proper old school. These days we’d use a Powerpoint presentation, a laptop and a projector. Back in the day, we drew or printed our material onto an OHP acetate and it was projected onto a screen from an Over Head Projector.

The picture shows the transparencies on the UV Unit, ready to be exposed.

 

 

 

Musing On Cubism

15 Sep

Gateshead 2

I visited Gateshead earlier this week for a couple of days and did a bit of scribbling from the bank of the River Tyne. Here’s the Millenium Bridge with the skyline of Newcastle behind it. I’ve been reading Volume 2 of Hockney, The Biography by Simon Sykes and really got into the section about his experiments with Cubism. He points out that as the eye moves across the subject, the act of drawing focuses on each thing in turn, bringing it into prominence and that’s what Cubism tries to capture. As I did a continuous line sketch, I noticed that different areas loomed larger as I drew them so I went with it. Interesting, I might try doing this in a bit more of a structured way.

Scribbling Chooks

14 Sep

chooks 4

 

I drew some chickens this morning. Husb and I were collecting farmyard manure from a smallholding where there are a lot of beloved animals including these chubby chooks, cats, dogs, a pig and a llama.  I used the continuous line drawing technique because the chickens were quite lively; it was early this morning and they wanted their breakfast! Continuous line is a fast method and I like the dynamism of the sketches.

 

 

The manure’s down the allotment now – it’ll be a winter mulch for the raised beds.

 

 

A Skyline In Continuous Line

13 Sep

Gateshead 3

 

Here’s a quick drawing I did in Gateshead the other day. Gateshead is a town built on the southern bank of the River Tyne opposite the city of Newcastle; they’re connected by seven bridges. I’m standing on the Gateshead side scribbling the Newcastle skyline. It’s a great higgledy piggledy skyline, with lots of different centuries jumbled together.

I used the continuous line technique to draw it as I thought it suited the higgledy-piggledy-ness of the scene. It’s a drawing method where your pencil or pen never leaves the page. I find it’s the best method of getting the proportions and perspective in complex scenes reasonably okay.

 

Back With Some Scribbles

12 Sep

Gateshead 1

Just back from Gateshead – it’s a long way! Still, it’s nice travelling by train. Met a very nice octogenarian from Australia and chatted all the way to Bristol. This is the first sketch I did of Sage Gateshead arts centre. I’ll say a bit more about my trip tomorrow. I just want to drink tea and chill out for now. Good night. Nos da 🙂

 

 

While I’m Away …..

11 Sep

sketch 4

 

Here’s a couple of ‘blind contour’ sketches I did recently on a field trip to Craig-y-Nos with colleagues from the FIRE Lab. I did the sketches without looking at the paper and without taking my conté crayon off the paper. Forces me to focus on what’s absolutely essential and gives the linework a lot of life and dynamism.

 

The FIRE Laboratory

I am currently artist in residence with The Fire Laboratory  at Swansea University and have been going on field trips with scientific colleagues along the course of The River Tawe.

While I’m Away….

10 Sep

sketch 3

 

Another of my quick sketches from my field trip with FIRE Lab colleagues a couple of weeks ago. I like doing these very quick sketchbook studies, they’re dynamic because I have to work so fast.

 

The FIRE Laboratory

I am currently artist in residence with The Fire Laboratory  at Swansea University and have been going on field trips with scientific colleagues along the course of The River Tawe.

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