Archive | June, 2012

Doodlemum And Dancers In The Storm

30 Jun

My pal and fellow Swansea artist Angie Stevens, who draws the fantastic Doodlemum blog has been in the news, in the papers and on the TV this week as her wonderful blog has gone stratospheric. Here’s a link to her lovely family and some of the artwork that is finally getting the recognition it deserves. Well done Angie :).

Today was the Swansea Plinth’s last day and there was a fantastic dance group of young people breakdancing. They are so lively and moved incredibly fast so it was a real challenge to draw them. But I did my best.I’ve posted some more on Facebook, you can visit if you want 🙂 The heavens opened and it POURED down halfway through their routine but they carried right on with great enthusiasm, real troupers. Apparently Britain has been hit by a Spanish Plume, which is dragging incredible storms from the Iberian Peninsula. Interesting, but a colossal pain in the neck in the middle of summer.

Despite the weather, Swansea is a pretty cool place to live in. We have a fab beach and there’s so much art and culture going on, probably more than in most cities of comparable size. As well as the Swansea Plinth programme of events today, there are  the galleries, museums, theatres, mainstream and independent cinemas, and there was also a programme of cultural events outside the Waterfront Museum, including a 360 degree cinema. All FREE. Great place to be.

Another Box Ticked

29 Jun

It’s been such a busy couple of months that it’s literally a case of ticking a box and then straight onto the next thing! Today I organised a slot on the Swansea Plinth, which is a part of the Adain Avion Cultural Olympiad event. I, along with three other artists from the Life Drawing Group based at Swansea Print Workshop, sat on the plinth for two hours and drew. Just drew into our sketchbooks in full view of the general public. I’m a great believer in letting people see artists at work and we had a lot of interest, people stopped and chatted and looked at our work. The two security guards [above] took photos of this drawing on their phones.

You have to be quick, people and seagulls generally don’t hang around, but sometimes you can catch people in conversation, like this Big Issue seller and an elderly man. It was pouring down before I left the house this morning, so I was  kitted out in jeans, boots and a mac, but as we all arrived at the plinth at 10am, the rain stopped and the sun came out!!!!! And it stayed like that all day.

I did a load more drawings and I also catalogued the drawings from the other artists and you can view them on Facebook if you like 🙂


Solar Plates, Strawberries And A Cat.

28 Jun

Another busy day, drawing in the studio then picking strawberries down on the allotment – the weather has been really bad for fruit. The heat and humidity are perfect conditions for botrytis and quite a few of our strawberries have been affected, so we’re picking whenever there’s a let up in the drizzle. It was a lovely sunny evening so we made the most of it before I caught the second half of the life drawing session at Swansea Print Workshop. I also picked up the photopolymer [solar] plates that I exposed yesterday. There’s Little Ming, above, with them and below, with today’s strawberry bounty. She likes posing for photos. That’s her boiler with a view that she’s sitting on.

We did another huge pick of loganberries from the garden as well – lots of jamming to do this weekend!

Solar Etching

27 Jun

Another long hard day, this time at Swansea Print Workshop, doing the final day of a photopolymer [solar plate] course. I’ve completed the plate I started last week and taken some proof prints, using Charbonnel ink, which I haven’t tried before – it’s gorgeous. Here’s one of the proofs. I’m hoping to do a fairly large edition. I also exposed another 4 x A6 plates and I’ll go in next week to print them up.


Tired now 🙂



26 Jun

Everything’s a mad rush at the moment – preparing for loads of things. Here are the drawings I been preparing for the second day of the photopolymer print course [solar plate] tomorrow. I’ve been working on them for a couple of days, using nib pen, Indian ink, ink wash and black oilbar onto Truegrain [I think it may be Mylar in some countries]. They’re tiny – around A6. My last finished piece was a painting 4 foot square!

I’m also prepping for my stint scribbling in public on the Swansea Plinth on Friday, 10.00 am – 12.00 noon if you want to come and join in [or poke me with a stick. No. Scratch the stick :D]. If you want to join in the public scribble-in, bring your sketchbook and something to draw with. I’ll give you a chair and put you on the plinth.

And then in less than a fortnight, I’m in a group show opening in Bath. It’s called Commensalis and it’s at Walcot Chapel. Here’s the programme of events – there are performers as well as visual arts. It’s free too. Then at the end of July, I’m doing more public scribbling in Disruption II and an exhibition in The Brunswick, Swansea. I’m hoping to put these photopolymer etchings in and do a few more by then as well. Oh and help to organise an exhibition of international miniature prints, Leftovers II, at Swansea Print Workshop, running mid-July to mid-August.

Then I’ll take a break!!!!


25 Jun

Does what it says on the tin – here’s a cat – and some berries :D. I did loads of drawings at the studio today and forgot to photograph them, so no drawings to blog tonight. But I have two of my favourite things to blog about instead – cats and gardening. These are loganberries picked this evening from my very small back garden. There’s about a pound and a half  here and I’ve been picking a similar amount for about a week, with loads more ripening. Most of them will end up as home-made jam because we get tired of eating them fresh and loganberry jam is one of the most delicious things on the planet. We have an enclosed garden with tall Victorian stone walls. The loganberries are climbing up a south-facing wall and the microclimate is perfect for them. There’s a fig tree next to them and rhubarb below.

And here’s Little Ming in the background, not very pleased because I’ve been ambushing her with the brush whenever I can and she doesn’t like it one little bit. But it’s better than furballs. She doesn’t think so though.

Man Vs the BBC day three

25 Jun

Doing what the Brits do best ‘Writing A Letter!’ A rant from a professional grumbler lol


Man Vs the BBC day three.

The Kitchen Sink

24 Jun

Had a lovely evening last night, visiting a friend’s house for a meal, conversation, music, molestation by a wet cat etc…… Our friend is a fabulous chef and put on a Middle Eastern spread of mezze followed by tagine. Then some of the chaps cleaned up and here’s one of them doing the dishes. It occurred to me how times have changed. When I was growing up, we didn’t have people round for a meal; there was barely enough food for the family and it was plain British grub – no-one would have a clue what an olive was, let alone mezze and a tagine.  And as for men cleaning up?!? Unheard of. Things are so much better now 😀

The cat, Puss Puss, loves water and kept going out into the storm, getting absolutely soaked then coming in, drying herself on the guests and diving back out into the torrential rain again. We reverted to good old-fashioned British grub for dessert – rhubarb crumble – yum!

Shopping, Compost and Donny Osmond’s Hat

23 Jun

I hate shopping. I don’t understand why people love it. I’m happy to spend hours browsing in art supplies shops and tool shops but general shopping, in malls and stuff, I loathe it. Husb is the same, so after an hour or so in the city centre earlier we bolted to the cafe in Waterstones bookshop and chilled out for a bit with a nice hot drink and a biscuit. Hot drink necessary because this is a British summer, so it’s cold and wet outside. Did my usual of scribbling away at the people around me. The young man on the left seemed to be a student studying hard while the man on the right was with his wife and child and sported the sort of outrageous hat I haven’t seen since the 1970’s – they were called Donny Osmond hats back then. The man below was immensely tall with huge hands that dwarfed his cup of tea.

Scribbled in a couple of minutes each with a Faber Castell Pitt drawing pen [size S] into an A6 leatherbound, recycled sketchbook. When I got back from town, I transplanted a couple of loganberry plants that had tip-rooted themselves in my rhubarb patch using the first of our home-made compost made in one of the council’s free compost bins. The plants are destined for the gardens of friends. I love loganberries, but the fruits don’t last long so I guess they’re not suitable for growing commercially.

A Life Drawing Quartet

21 Jun

Midsummer’s Day and we have torrential rain! It’s humid and horrible but it was life drawing as usual this evening down at Swansea Print Workshop. I made an elderflower and lemon drizzle cake for tea break and set out to do something different with my drawings tonight. I did a short course in Renaissance style drawing a few weeks ago and I’ve done the first day of a phtotpolymer printmaking course this week. I’m hooked on the technique but the plates are quite expensive so I’ve decided to start working on A6. My usual full-colour monotypes are A1, so there’s a huge difference. I prepared some handmade paper [bought from the Tate Gallery – it’s gorgeous and wasn’t too expensive] with sepia wash, ripped it into A6 pieces and worked on them with a dip pen and Indian ink, brushes and washes and did the highlights with a fragment of white conte crayon. I did the four drawings in an hour and a half and I think I have enough to work with and adapt for a couple of little photopolymer plates next week. Watch this space………


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