Archive | August, 2013

Pompidou Pigeons

22 Aug


Husb and I spent the whole day at the Pompidou Centre. What an amazing place. We sat awhile on one of the roof terraces, looking at the views over the rooftops and I had a bit of a scribble. I wanted to draw the pigeons but the statues and the building sort of took over. There is a shallow pond on the roof and the pigeons share it with the statues.

Drawn into my cloth bound sketchbook with Faber Castell Pitt Drawing pens and a touch of water colour. I prepared the sketchbook first by sticking in some brown parcel paper with a Pritt stick.

Done Before.

20 Aug


Paris is fabulous but I’m shattered because we’ve been walking everywhere and it’s Hot! It’s also difficult to decide what to scribble because in a city full of artists, it’s all been done before. Husb and I visited Notre Dame yesterday; it was jam packed but I found this statue in a dark, quiet corner and stood at the bottom, sketching. I like the drama of the foreshortening and the way it loomed out of the darkness.

Today we traipsed all over Montmartre and I had quite an emotional moment in front of Theo vanGogh’s house, where Vincent lived for a while. Marvellous. Tonight we went for a stroll under the full moon in the delightful Parc Bercy, which was packed with locals picnicking, playing sports and enjoying the gardens.

Gadding About in Paris

19 Aug


Yep. I’m on my travels again, courtesy of Eurostar and a budget hotel, Husb and I are in Paris for a couple of days. Arrived this morning and already shattered, we crammed in Notre Dame, Saint Chapel level, a sculpture park and some heavy duty walking. It’s very hot. Here’s a young mother and her baby outside Notre Dame.

Back To Quickies

17 Aug


17 quickies


After two days working on one large drawing installation, it’s back to speed sketching. I did these two little scribbles in the cafe in Waterstones bookshop. It’s a nice place to chill out; everyone’s reading their purchases and staying quite still. I love bookshops and especially ones that serve tea and cake. I scribbled for about 3 or 4 minutes, then my pot of tea arrived.

What I Did All Day

16 Aug

Final 1

For the past two days I’ve been working with other artists in a public artspace doing what we do, making art and letting anyone in to see how we do it. I did a very large drawing on two layers; the background on brown parcel paper and the foreground figures in thick tracing parchment.

The background is a local street scene and the figures are based on drawings I made during a street art performance event last summer, Disruption II. I have sketchbooks full of scenes scribbled on the hoof and it’s hard to find a way to use them, so I was well pleased that I found a format for developing them.

The drawing is huge, taller than me and I ended up with really sore arms because I was drawing over my head. I used a reed pen that cost me about 50p and black drawing ink. It was a very physical drawing experience.

Here’s the drawing gestating below.

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About 70 people came in over the two days, which we’re well pleased with. A lot stayed to do some art themselves and talked to each of us about our methods and sources. It was a mixed bunch too, not just artanistas. We’re hoping to do something like this regularly because we want to demystify art; there’s too much posing in the art world and too much nonsense written about it.

Long Day And Night Of Art

15 Aug


It’s been a long day, doing art. First off, I was with my colleagues from the art collective, 15 Hundred Lives, at the Creative Bubble artspace in Swansea, doing what artists do all day, making art. People usually see art in its finished state, framed and hung on a wall in an intimidatingly white gallery. We want to make art much more accessible to the public and also let people see just how complicated and long the creative process is. I spent the day constructing a large drawing in chalk and charcoal, with a touch of chalky pastels, onto brown parcel paper. Tomorrow I’ll be adding a second layer to the drawing and extending it across the wall with a translucent paper overlay. My colleagues worked on a large painting and a wall-sized collage.


And then this evening I went to life drawing group, but I’ll save that for another blog. Tired now, going to bed. Goodnight 🙂

Colour In The Ruins

14 Aug

13 graff

Here’s another drawing I did while I was walking around the industrial ruins of the Lower Swansea Valley. I spent a lot of time drawing in and around this building that was covered in graffitti. I drew this into my A4 black paper sktchbook with conte crayons and oil pastels.

Berries And Ruins

13 Aug

14 ruinSwansea Print Workshop has a major exhibition coming up for its members, based on the theme of the industrial valley. Swansea and South Wales were in the forefront of the Industrial Revolution and the area is full of historical ruins. I went out sketching to the Lower Swansea Valley a couple of days ago; the weather was fantastic and Husb came with me, supposedly to sketch, but he spent a couple of hours foraging for blackberries and hazelnuts. He’s made a load of blackberry cordial for the winter months. It’s comforting to have a glass of hot blackberry cordial when it’s cold and pouring with rain on a dark wintry night, to be reminded of the summer.

Anyway, I don’t particularly like drawing landscapes and buildings but one of the ruins had been taken over by graffitti artists which I found really interesting, so that’s what I focussed on. I used Faber Castell Pitt drawing pens with a medium ink wash into my clothbound A5 sketchbook that I’d prepared with some random torn parcel paper, stuck in with Pritt. I also used a smidgeon of white conte crayon.

Street Mam

11 Aug

11 streetmam

I often sit and have a quick scribble in the street, but quietly so people don’t notice and start to pose. I sat opposite this young mother and her little boy the other day. They were lost in their own world, so sweet and touching. I used a Faber Castell Pitt drawing pen, size F into an A5 cloth-bound sketchbook.

Street Scribble #1

10 Aug

10 streetman

Sometimes I only have a minute or two to scribble someone in the street. Here’s an elderly man sitting outside Starvin’ Jacks the other day.  I grabbed my sketchbook and did my thing. About a minute and a half before he moved on. You never know how long you have so all the relevant lines have to be done very quickly and that helps train you in spotting what’s necessary and what can be ditched. There’s no substitute for speed drawing IMHO.  Faber Castell Pitt pen size F into my A5 cloth bound Laura Ashley sketchbook.

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