Archive | October, 2012

Faces At The Window

31 Oct


There’s a brothel at the end of our street and sometimes the ladies sit in the window, looking out. Sometimes I surreptitiously sketch them. If they see me, they draw back and close the blinds. Locally, the policy seems to be to let them be, although technically it’s illegal. The brothels masquerade as ‘gentlemen’s health spas’ and other euphemisms. I would like to see them completely legalised, but as that’s not likely to happen anytime soon, I think it’s a good idea to live and let live. It gives public health officials a chance to offer healthcare to the ladies, many of whom are drug addicts and as they’re visible, it’s easier to make sure that they’re not being kept prisoner. Also, it’s safer for the women to be together in a building, rather than on the street and better for other women who don’t have to put up with kerb crawlers. I was kerb crawled a couple of times and it was horrible…..and frightening.


Eventually, these drawings will feed into a bigger, more structured piece in a body of work I’ve been planning for a long time, but I’m a long way from getting to grips with it. I’ve drawn them into my A5 recycled sari sketchbook with my Pilot v5 hitechpoint drawing pen.


Grass Mud Horse Style

31 Oct

Marvellous spoof on the Gangnam Style by dissident artist Ai Wei Wei – all power to his elbow!

I Want A Steamroller!

30 Oct


Tonight I went to Swansea Print Workshop for an artist talk by the new printmaker-in-residence, Fiona Kelly from Cork in the Republic of Ireland. She works mostly in block (relief) printmaking technique, basing her practice on drawing. Fantastic stuff. But best of all for me was a collaboration she showed us with some other Irish artists who hired a steamroller to print enormous woodblocks! Here they are. That’s it now – I want a steamroller to print my blocks too!

Had a chance to scribble a few faces while I was at it 🙂

Get Out!

29 Oct


Get out and scribble! Come on. Let’s take over the streets with artists and sketchbooks. I did it this evening, leaving the studio about 10 minutes early and walking down to the city centre to have a scribble. There were loads of people around so it was easy to do some speed sketching. Some people stared. Some even hovered. But I didn’t care ‘cos that’s just how I roll 😉

Tecchie stuff- each scribble took a few seconds – people move fast when they’re cold. Drawn with a Pilot V5 into an A5 recycled sari sketchbook. The small child on the far right did indeed have an enormous hat.

Scribbling Kittehs

28 Oct


Constant practice is the only way to improve skills; that’s why I draw every day (nearly). It can get a bit boring though, especially on soggy wet Sundays like today when there’s not much incentive to get out and find something to sketch. That’s where the cats come in handy. I find them difficult to draw because they have such flexible skeletons and are so very different from humans, so it’s good practice for me to get stuck in and scribble them. Sparta has been lying along my legs as I’ve been catching up with some TV so she’s been scribbled (above) and I also did a couple of pages, mostly of little Ming, in the kitchen earlier.

That! Pesky! Kitteh!

27 Oct


My cat Sparta sometimes hijacks my computer and writes her own blog. This really annoys me because apart from the mucky paw prints on the keyboard, her blogs get about three times as many readers as mine! The CHEEK of it! And she manages to creep into my artwork too. I was working with an artist / model friend to develop this mixed media piece when Sparta, as a kitten, came charging into the room chasing a ball of paper. And ended up in the final piece (detail above).

And here she is again, creeping into a photopolymer plate intaglio print! The little minx! And she’s managed to get into the Winter Show at Oriel Ceri Richards in the Taliesin Centre. Next month. Maybe I’ll make some money out of her – to replace the curtains she shredded. And the rat traps we had to buy to catch the rodents she keeps throwing at my feet. And the toaster that Ming The Merciless (my other kitteh) threw up into. Maybe………



W. I. P.

26 Oct


Here’s my latest work-in-progress; a manier noir drawing in graphite worked up from a drawing in my sketchbook. I get very dirty doing manier noir drawings and my studio is covered in a fine film of graphite and charcoal – hoovering on Monday then 😦 . This evening I went to the opening of the Winter show at the Saith Gallery in Burry Port which had work featuring, amongst others, Swansea artists (and my chums) Alan FiggHelen Finney,and Melanie Ezra. Burry Port is a tiny seaside town just past Llanelli with a lovely old stone harbour fringed by Georgian houses.

Hard Hats And Hair Dos

24 Oct


Out tonight at the Tapestri arty bar for a gig by Fanny Holm and had a good scribble while I was at it. There were quite a few people with hats and unusual hairdos so I focussed on them. Hats are sooo HARD to draw.

Hair is so much easier. Goodnight 🙂

Something completely different…

23 Oct


I do some teaching with people who are clients of our local drug and alcohol treatment service, running a short course in creativity. Today we looked at native Australian art and did some dot paintings. I joined in and this is what I ended up with. Completely different and a very interesting process. We used acrylic paint although traditionally, ancient peoples would have used ochres and we worked onto brown wrapping paper.

Trying Hard

22 Oct


Sprog-sitting my adolescent great niece today and I get my money’s worth by making her pose for me. I find it very hard to draw kids – they have weird scrunchy faces in big heads (that’ll make me popular LOL) but the only thing to do is try harder and practice, practice, practice. The one on the RHS is the last one I drew and probably the one that looks most like her, but they all have elements of her. Hooray for laptops – kept her relatively still and quiet for ages. Better than bribing her with chocolate. There’s also the little tinkly bell attached to my lovely purple silk recycled sari sketchbook, drawn with my Pilot V5 – it sounds so macho doesn’t it? Like a jet engine 🙂

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