Archive | February, 2013


28 Feb

28 recycled scribbles

Life drawing at Swansea Print Workshop tonight and I scribbled over a drawing I did a while back that hadn’t worked out. I used to be much more precious about my drawings and have portfolios stuffed full of them, waiting for a cull. But the last couple of years I’ve been ruthless. I’m using top quality paper and sketchbooks and it’s self-indulgent to keep poor drawings; I’m reusing the paper and getting some interesting results by drawing over existing work, rather than sketching straight onto pristine white paper. Tonight’s life drawing of a younger female model is overlaid onto one of an older male model, some of his bits are showing through which adds another dimension. In order to minimise the original figure I am forced to use far more materials and marks than I would normally, which takes me out of my comfort zone. Which is a good thing.

Drawn into a creamy Somerset hardbound sketchbook, 30cm square, over a double page, with chalky pastels.

Luscious Leftovers

27 Feb

27 leftovers 1

Had a full day at Swansea Print Workshop running a session on making miniature prints, to encourage artists to enter the Leftovers IV print exchange organised by the fabulous Wingtip Press in Boise, Idaho, USA. We’ve been saving our scraps of leftover papers – gorgeous, luscious printmaking papers. I demonstrated two techniques: block (relief) printing using offcuts of signwriter’s foam board. The other technique, drypoint intaglio printing with paper drypoint plates – so cheap and easy to use and so much quicker than copperplate etching. Here are some artists getting down and dirty in the print studio. In the foreground is the most complicated cutting tool we use for these two techniques – a four inch screw with some masking tape wrapped around it :).

27 leftovers 2

Here are some of the drypoint prints done today………

………. and some artists even managed to do an edition to enter for Leftovers IV. Result!

27 leftovers 3

Up The Swans!

26 Feb

26 swans

Our Swansea City Football Team (that’s soccer to anyone outside Britain) has won the League Cup and everyone’s going bonkers!!!!! It’s been a tough recession for the city but the crowds came out in force this afternoon to cheer the victorious team as they paraded through the city in a double decker bus. The atmosphere was terrific – optimistic and happy. I scribbled a few people in the crowd. It’s an excuse to wear daft hats and scarves in black and white, the team colours. Cyril the Swan, our mascot, was on the victory bus too. He’s been voted best mascot in the UK and been arrested, sent off and banned for fighting and swearing. He’s a hell of a bird!


Doodlemum’s Competition.

26 Feb

The marvellous blogger, Doodlemum, who lives not far from me, is having a competition for a copy of her new book, signed by the entire family (if she can get Arnie the cat and Bonnie the dog to agree). If you email her a drawing of someone in your family, her children will pick the winner  🙂


Taking It Further….

24 Feb

towel small

Once I decide that a rough sketch is worth developing, I like to see how many different ways I can take it. This is a very small scribble I made in a life drawing session a couple of years ago in a sketchbook size A5. I drew the reflection of the model in a mirror.

Then I developed a small oil painting, size A3; I don’t often paint but I wanted to do some technical exercises with oils.

yellow towel small

Then I scaled up the drawing and used it as the basis for a full colour monotype, along with it’s ‘ghost’ below. These are A2 size.

yellow towel final small

yellow towel ghost small

And finally, back to A5 and a photopolymer plate etching.

24 towel

I wonder where I’ll go next with it? hmmmmmmmmm 🙂



Deep And Dark (nude figures)

23 Feb

23 foyer 23 foyer 2

I spent a happy few hours today at a local housing project for teenagers, working with some of the residents and a group of artists who draw on a ‘Big Draw’ day. We crawled around on the floor, scribbling on HUGE rolls of paper. It was lovely to see the different styles emerge. I normally work from life but today I didn’t take any preparatory drawings with me and worked from my imagination instead. Which is a bit disturbing because look what I came up with! And no, it’s not the bright colourful one with the toadstools, it’s the dark, visceral one at the other end.

I’ve had an idea bouncing around in my head for a few years now. It’s based on the legend of Lilith, the first wife of Adam. This creation story says that Adam and Lilith were both created from clay and I’ve struggled with a way of showing how flesh, blood and bone might emerge from mud, trying to get a grasp on the reality of creatures gestating and birthing in such a way. It wouldn’t be nice. So today I got into ‘the zone’ and let my imagination run riot. It’s  a start, I feel like I’m getting somewhere with it and I’m going to continue to develop this idea. It’s very bleak and some people might be disturbed by the imagery, but it’s what’s coming out of me at the moment so I’ll go along with it and see where it leads.

In The Beginning… (life drawings – nudes)

22 Feb

22 life 1 22 life 2 22 life 3

In the beginning there is the sketch. And it may be good. Or it may be rubbish. But even if it’s rubbish, it’s still useful because I can look at it critically and work out what’s wrong with it and that’s learning something. Here are three pages from my life drawing sketchbook. The middle one is being developed into a large mixed media piece and I’ll also work it up as a large monotype. The top one is OK, but I think the pose is a bit boring so I won’t develop it any further. The bottom one ….. well I lost the plot that night!

Fountain Fine Art: Welsh Emerging Artists I’m one of them…

22 Feb

Here’s a blog about an exhibition that my work is featuring in, opening tomorrow. So if you’re in the Llandeilo area Saturday evening (March 23rd) please pop in for art and cake, 7-9pm.

Rose 🙂


Fountain Fine Art: Welsh Emerging Artists I’m one of them….


21 Feb

21 baggage

The lurgi has left me but I’m getting tired very easily and although I had good intentions to go to life drawing this evening, I’m too shattered. So I drew a pile of bags that I’d dumped on the floor instead. I’m so slovenly. I used Pentel V5 and Faber Castell Pitt drawing pens into my blue silk recycled A6 sketchbook, which only has a few blank pages left.

Husb is glad I’m missing life drawing tonight because he can pile into the Victoria Sandwich I made to take with me.

Victoria Sandwich

I filled it with home-made strawberry butter. Which doesn’t contain butter; it’s a Victorian preserve made by sieving cooked fruit and boiling the pulp with sugar, in the same way as jam. The result has a buttery texture and is great for filling sponge cakes. It turns a lovely dark purple, not at all like the vivid pink of raw strawberries.

Street Scribbles

21 Feb

20 street 3


This is my equivalent of a singer practicing their scales. It’s what underpins the ‘finished’ pieces that I hang in a gallery. Just mundane, quick, scribbly sketches in real time. It’s only a few minutes work but it keeps me fresh by focussing me on the essence of each figure. It’s not great art but it’s not meant to be. This is the daily practice of my craft.

20 street 2

Here are some more. With Sparta. Up to no good!

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