Archive | August, 2013

A Tough Call

31 Aug

31 war

There was a demonstration in the city centre earlier today, to protest at the possibility of military intervention in Syria. I went along to do a bit of scribbling. It was very good natured with the demonstrators rubbing along next to some youth drama groups performing a medley of showtunes, and lots of people just sitting in the square, sunning themselves.

It’s a tough call. Social Networking sites have been buzzing with arguments for and against all day. “What if we’d done nothing against Hitler” is a powerful argument. “All it takes for evil to flourish is for good men to do nothing” is another. But can we be sure that it was Assad who ordered the gas attack? Are the opponents of Assad actually any better? And wouldn’t military intervention kill as many, if not more civilians? And of course, there’s the ongoing mess in Iraq and Afghanistan. All equally powerful arguments. It’s a tough call.

Drawn in my A5 cloth-bound sketchbook with Faber Castell Pitt pens, size S and F and watercolour wash. The sketchbook was prepared with ripped brown wrapping paper stuck in with Pritt stick.

On the way to the woods…

31 Aug

Lovely arty musical blog from Kara Seaman

Disclosure and Barring Service

30 Aug

Hilarious spoof blog about public life in Wales, featuring the Princes Will-One-Is and H Are I and the endangered Golden Badger of Wrexham. So funny…….

Disclosure and Barring Service.

Oscar’s Pink Kisses

29 Aug

29 oscar 2

While we were at the Pere Lachaise cemetery in Paris last week, Husb and I visited Oscar Wilde’s grave. It’s very different from the typical ‘little houses’ marking other graves. It was made by Jacob Epstein, inspired by Assyrian carvings, and it’s nudity attracted a lot of controvery, culminating in the testicles being smashed off in the early 1960’s.  Poor thing! There’s a protective glass barrier around it now. A tradition has grown up of planting a pink lipstick kiss on the monument and there were several fresh kisses; some agile visitor had planted one on the statue’s lips.

29 oscar 1

Drawn with a Faber Castell Pitt pen, size S and watercolour into my A5 clothbound sketchbook, prepared with ripped brown wrapping paper stuck in with a Pritt stick.

A Creep Of Tortoises

28 Aug

28 jimmies

Here’s a small edition of 6 drypoint intaglio prints I did today, based on a sketch I did recently of Jimmy the tortoise. Apparently the collective noun for tortoises is a ‘creep’. I think it refers to their way of walking; not a slur on their character 🙂

I used a paper drypoint plate, printed with drypoint etching ink  in shop black onto handmade paper with a beige handmade fibre paper for the chine colle.

Fleeting Hoodie

27 Aug

27 hoodie

Sometimes I just get a fleeting glimpse of a figure, not long enough to make a sketch, so I have to recreate it later. I’m not comfortable with this because I normally work with models, or in situations where people stick around for a while. This man in a hoodie loomed out of the dusk the other evening but was away up the street in a few mintes.

Drawn into my clothbound A5 sketchbook with Faber Castell Pitt drawing pens size S and M and a watercolour wash.

Another Scribbler!

26 Aug

26 pompidou scribbler

Husb and I spent a happy day at the Pompidou Centre in Paris last week, traipsing around the exhibitions. We were very impressed with the Simon Hantai retrospective. I’d never heard of him before but I thought his work was fantastic. As we wandered around, I noticed a French scribbler sketching away in a corner. So I scribbled her too.

Digging With Oysters

25 Aug

25 beach

Back from France, the weather is lovely, a small nephew is staying so we’re off to Swansea Beach. Not quite Montmartre, but you can’t dig a hole in the sand by the Moulin Rouge. Here’s Husb and boy, digging with some oyster shells they found. Small boy got very excited when they reached the water table, which wasn’t very far down, because it’s the beach. Great fun, it’s free and it got him out of the house and away from the lure of the computer and the Wii. Result.

Drawn into my A5 clothbound sketchbook by Laura Ashley with Faber Castell Pitt drawing pens, sizes S and B and a watercolour wash over brown parcel paper.

Thespians In London

24 Aug


We spent a day in London before our recent trip to Paris, taking in the Royal Academy Summer Show and then to Gaby’s Deli for supper. There were a couple of aged thespians seated at the next table helping each other to practice from Hamlet. Here they are.

Necropolis And The Linguist

23 Aug

23 champollion

Husb and I just went away for a few days to Paris and in our last few hours we visited the Pere Lachaise Cemetery. I knew there were famous graves there and we wanted to visit some dead artists but I had no idea what to expect or how amazing the place is. It’s a necropolis; a city of the dead. The area is packed with incredible tombs and monuments, most of them like tiny houses with pointed roofs, doors and stained glass windows, laid out in streets. It’s like walking around a city from a Tim Burton film.

One grave I desperately wanted to visit was the tomb of Jean-Francois Champollion, the French linguist who translated the Rosetta Stone and unlocked the meaning of Egyptian hieroglyphics. The monument is in an older part of the necropolis, rather rundown and ramshackle, but his simple and minimalist memorial obelisk stands out from the strange, ornate little houses surrounding it. It was a very hot day and the place was full of tourists and mourners attending funerals but there was a strange silence underlying it all.

I sat on the ground opposite and worked up this sketch into my A5 clothbound sketchbook that I’d previously prepared with some ripped up brown package paper. I used Faber Castell Pitt pens, sizes S, F, M and B in sepia along with some water colour in black and emerald green and a touch of white conte crayon.

The BBC has a documentary about Champollion and the Rosetta Stone on You Tube.

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