Archive | June, 2013

More Kitteh Scribbles And Food Porn

30 Jun

30 kitteh

Got almost to the end of the day without doing ANY art. So I grabbed the piece of kitty scribbling I started the other night and carried on with it. Sparta was mooching around on MY chair so I did a few scribbles of her and then just played with my old-fashioned dip pen and Indian ink, enjoying the scratchiness of the flexible nib across the heavily textured Bockingford paper. It’s so unpredicatable, unlike the Faber Castell Pitt drawing pens I normally use which are smooth and consistent.

30 shortbread

And here’s the food porn – freshly baked elderflower shortbread made with our home-made elderflower cordial. I used 4 ounces of plain flour, 2 ounces of white Spelt flour, 4 ounces of softened butter, 2 ounces of castor sugar and three teaspoons of elderflower cordial, all squished together and rolled into 16 little balls and squidged onto a baking tray and baked at Gas mark 3 for about 12 minutes.

Bristol And The Beeb

29 Jun

28 mud dock

Husb and I went over the border to Bristol today for a delightful day at Spike Print Studio, where three exceptional printmakers did a series of demonstrations and talks about their practice. We walked along the riverbank up to the Mud Dock Deli for lunch and sat upstairs on the mezzanine while I drew the punters queueing at the counter. The foreshortening was severe and they were all sorts of odd shapes.

I made visual notes during the demos by Aoife Layton (mezzotint and digital drawing), Fiona Kelly (contemporary block print and lino etching) and Ros Ford (from drawing to photopolymer intaglio). I also scribbled some of the faces there. Now I’m home, chilling to BBC 3’s excellent Glastonbury coverage.


Spreading It About.

28 Jun


Like many artists I have to do lots of different things to make ends meet and I sometimes work with adult drug and alcohol addicts, developing educational and social skills through creative expression. Which is a bit of a posh way of saying I teach art. I thought I’d show some of the work my students did on the last course. Althought he emphasis is on self-epression, the course is very structured and includes a lot of the history of art and culture. We kicked off with ‘Corps Equise’, a technique used by Dada and Surrealist artists and poets in the early 20th century to release their creativity, including Dali, Magritte, Andre Breton, Valentine Hugo and Paul Elouard.

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Then we moved onto cave art and tribal art. I really like the work they did; it was great to see their confidence in what they were doing increase with each session and also kindling an interest in different historical periods of art that they’d had no previous knowledge of. I’m passionate about art; not just about creating it but also spreading it about because it can bring such beauty and interest into peoples lives.

The Felinheli Protocol

28 Jun

Hilarious comedy blog from this Welsh wit. Can’t wait for the next instalment. And I have seen the sleeping giant of Abercrave!


The Felinheli Protocol.

Keep At It

27 Jun

27 keep 1

Just back from life drawing at Swansea Print Workshop. I did five drawings over 2 hours and each one was better than the last. It’s not unusual to be a bit rusty at the beginning, but you’ve got to keep at it and not get demoralised. Below are the first four drawings and above the final one. The blue ones are done on discarded cyanotype prints – not mine, I rescued them from the bin at the print workshop. I drew the others onto some nice handmade paper I bought at the Tate Gallery shop, pre-coloured with a sepia ink wash. I used a traditional dip pen and black and white Indian ink by Winsor & Newton.

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Singing In The Shower

26 Jun

26 shower

I like singing in the shower. I’m not trying to impress anyone, just singing away for the fun of it, so there’s no pressure. Sometimes I do that with drawing; not often enough to be honest. When I was a kid I doodled all the time but now I always seem to be trying to produce something ‘good’ or finished or polished. So I just chilled out tonight and did the scribbling equivalent of singing in the shower.

I used my dip pen and Indian ink onto a piece of recycled Bockingford that I’d stained with a soggy used teabag (no expense spared here) and just doodled away. Sparta wandered in and sat around cleaning herself so I scribbled away at her as well. I got right into ‘The Zone’, enjoying the scratchy feel of the pen onto the thick textured paper, playing with speed and pressure and just going with the flow. Drawing for fun and relaxation – I should definitely do it more often.

Industrial Scribbling

25 Jun

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Sunshine all day – yaayyy Summer at last. ‘The Industrial Valley’ is the theme for an exhibition coming up in the Autumn for members of Swansea Print Workshop. Some of us are organising a series of drawing days to do preliminary studies for this and today a small group of printmakers went up the Dulais Valley to the National Trust site at Aberdulais Falls, one of the first areas to be developed during the Industrial Revolution. I normally run a mile from doing landscapes but I need to push out of my comfort zone and stop being lazy. Two ink sketches in my A5 cloth-bound sketchbook and a piece in oilbars, onto A2 stretched paper prepared with multi-coloured washes of acrylic paint.

An Inky Threesome

23 Jun

23 monotypes

Had a hard day at Swansea Print Workshop today. It was very busy with 6 printmakers working flat out. I was working with Gayle and Chris developing some 3-colour reduction monotypes. I wanted to get in a bit of portraiture practice, working directly from a simple black and white drawing, while the other two wanted to start developing some pieces for the Print Workshop’s themed exhibition later this year on the subject “The Industrial Valley”.

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It’s a long process involving drawing directly onto three separate inked plates, then printing them one on top of the other. You can find out more about the technique on my website here. The process produces one full-colour monotype and a secondary ‘ghost’. We used Intaglio Printmaker’s oil-based pigments in Process Yellow, Red and Blue onto BFK Rives 250gsm paper. I’ve been on my feet all day and now I’m going to slob out in front of the telly!

Kisses And Food Porn

22 Jun

22 kisses

Kissing Paper by Lucy Read is a day and night of drawing shenanigans at The Cove in Swansea. Husb and I went earlier today and got stuck in. We painted our lips with a black goo (I think it was graphite and something….) and kissed in sequence…a piece of sellotape, a piece of tissue and a piece of white paper. Lucy hung the MWAH monotypes from a line in the gallery and then we did some drawing with graphite and chalk lips that she’d made from melted down crayons and powdered graphite and chalk. I had my brand new sketchbook to break in – it’s a Laura Ashley cloth-bound notebook, size A5, so I quickly scribbled Husb and pal Elena holding their MWAH monotypes.

22 sketchbook

And the food porn?

22 food porn

Teatime. Swansea Eton Mess with morello cherries in kirsh, meringue and whipped cream. Nom. Nom. Nom.

Self Made Watercolor in Tubes

22 Jun

This is a brilliant blog about making your own paint. Artists would do this as part of their apprenticehip before the advent of ‘Colourmen’

Too Much White Paper

12 Tubes

I’ve been pretty busy the last several days making and tubing a set of watercolors for myself. I had gotten 12 tubes from Daniel Smith recently and I wanted to make one paint for each of them.

12 Tubes Swatches Tall

I can’t guarantee perfect color accuracy from my scanner, but here’s the swatches for each paint I made. I really like the way Pozzuoli Red and Nicosia Green Earth look next to each other. The Shungite Black Ochre was different from the rest. When I was mixing it with the gum arabic I noticed patches of a slightly oily sheen on top of the liquid. I know that a pigment like lamp black is naturally oily, so maybe this one is too? I really like the paint it made though and I’m planning on making a painting with just this and maybe some of the titanium white.

Here are some things I would…

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