Archive | October, 2013


31 Oct

uglv 5

I was back at Swansea Print Workshop this evening to put the final layer of ink onto my monotype – the Process Blue. It’s this final stage that either pulls the whole thing together or results in me sobbing inwardly and resolving to get a job filling shelves in a supermarket instead of ever doing this stupid art thing ever again! But I’m very happy with the final print. And also with the ghost below. I don’t normally like the ghosts but this is quite a strong one. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, there’s an explanation of the technique on my website here.

uglv 6

The piece is based on drawings and research I did into the industrial past in the Lower Swansea Valley and drawings I did of people round the city. If you’re wandering about the graffiti in the piece, come and visit on #uglv on Twitter.

Working Like The Clappers

30 Oct

30 uglv1

Did a really long session at Swansea Print Workshop as there’s nothing like a deadline to make you work like the clappers. I’m working on two full-colour monotypes at the moment. Each print has three separate layers overlaid. The first is Process Yellow, then Process Red and finally Process Blue. Today I managed to do the yellow and red layers. Back tomorrow to do the final one.

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This process results in one full colour print and one ‘ghost’ which is made by putting the plate through the press again with a second piece of paper which mops up the final traces of ink.

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Tomorrow, the final layer which will either pull the whole thing together or reduce me to tears. I love printmaking – living on the edge!


Pomp And Sandi

29 Oct

29 SandiHusb and I just got back from our local theatre. We went to see Sandi Toksvig who is one of the funniest people I’ve ever heard. She had the entire theatre in hysterics for way over 2 hours and I ended up sore from laughing so much. Brilliant. I love her. The Grand Theatre is a wonderful Victorian pile, full of pomp and stucco, fat cherubs and naked angels floating in clouds of gold leaf and crystal chandeliers. The place was packed to the rafters to see Sandi and it was great to soak in the atmosphere in such a beautiful space.

I did a quick scribble where we sat in the Grand Circle (which isn’t any grander in my opinion than the other circle) taking in a few of the audience and a bit of the stucco work in the background. I used Faber Castrell Pitt pens sizes S, F, M and B into my clothbound A5 sketchbook, prepared with ripped brown packing paper stuck in with Pritt stick. It’s got to be Pritt, I haven’t found anything else as good.

Heavy is the head…

29 Oct

One of the funniest writers in Wales. This spoof of Welsh public life is not only hilarious but also very close to the truth…….     Heavy is the head….

The Baleful Look

28 Oct

28 catfeet

What a day! One of those when everything that can go wrong, did. I was hoping to get cracking on some design work first thing but ended up making a start at 3pm! Never mind, I managed to get quite a bit done in the end. It’s pretty boring stuff done on a *gasp* lightbox! Cheating!!!!! So as penance I did a scribble of Spartapus on the footstool next to my legs, clad in skull leggings (very seasonal) and new special lightweight walking shoes, which are killing my feet, and stripey socks. She’s throwing me a baleful look. She often does that. But I still worship the floor her paws walk on. As I should, well-trained monkey that I am.

It’s drawn with Faber Castell Pitt drawing pens, sizes S, F, M and B in sepia into my cloth-bound A5 sketchbook prepared with some ripped wrapping paper stuck into it with a Pritt stick. Sorry about the blurry photo, my digital camera is playing up.


Any Port In A Storm

27 Oct

27 storm

The expected storm has been building all day and Husb, Teen-niece and I went for a VERY bracing walk along the seafront this morning at high tide to see the raging sea. It was fabulous but really hard work walking against the gales so we took refuge in a coveniently placed ice-cream parlour in the Waterfront Museum where I scribbled the mother and baby opposite. When you only have a few moments to capture people in line, you have to focus on what’s important, the essence of what you’re drawing; in this case their heads and hands, which convey the tender moment they were sharing. There’s enough there to build on if I want, and the less important details like clothes, furniture and background can be fudged later.

Drawn with a Faber Castell Pitt drawing pen, size F, into my A5 cloth-bound sketchbook with some brown wrapping paper stuck in with Pritt stick.

Drawing In The Dark……

26 Oct

26 dark……. and some cupcakes! I’m a bit out of practice with my sketchbook work, I’ve not really felt like doing any drawing while I had that awful stomach bug earlier in the week and yesterday I spent catching up on getting ready for exhibitions and admin and stuff like that. Today Husb and I spent with friends and family, visiting and celebrating a little friend’s 10th birthday, which meant a visit to The Vojon, our favourite curry house! And also a cupcake-making session this afternoon, turning out these pink cakes with lilac icing, her favourite colours.  So I settled down to do a quick bit of scribbling about 20 minutes ago, in the dark because everyone’s watching the X Factor. But drawing in darkness is good discipline. There’s just enough light from the flickering screen to make out some of the things in the room – Sparta the cat, my feet, the fireplace, some furniture, but barely any light to see the sketchbook. And that’s a good thing. It forces you to feel your hand and arm and the pen as an extension. You have to concentrate on the movement of the line, rather than the sight of the line on the paper. Does that make sense?


26 cakes

On The Mend

25 Oct

25 on the mend

The dreaded lurgi has abated and I’m on the mend, but really shattered and not feeling a bit creative and with a mountain of admin stuff to wade through that should have been getting done when I was ill. Exhibition season is coming up and I have to crack on and get stuff ready for Xmas shows. The trouble with being a skint artist is that you end up doing your own framing to keep costs down, but this eats into your creative time. Never mind, here’s the first little lot, going out to Oriel Ceri Richards gallery tomorrow, half a dozen etchings.


Sick ‘n’ Bad

24 Oct

That’s an old saying round here if you’re unwell, you’re sick’n’bad. I’ve had one of these horrible vicious stomach bugs that has laid me low for the past couple of days. It’s meant that my creative output has been zero; I spent all yesterday and most of this morning zonked out in bed. Things improved this afternoon and I’ve been able to do some mindless grunt work, resizing and watermarking images of my artwork for the website I’m developing. Mind you, it’s been in development for about 4 years, but the end is in sight. Most of making a website is boring, mindless, repetitive tasks like I’ve been doing today, but that’s ok when you feel too poorly to do much else.


24 pav

So as I haven’t been able to draw while I’ve been ill, I’ll post one of my old ones. It’s a rare landscape using the 3-colour monotype technique. I was hiking down on the Gower Peninsula to the beach at Paviland. There’s a cave there, the site of an ancient burial, but it’s only accessible to experienced climbers. The rocks on the tricky path look like they’ve been melted by a celestial blowtorch. The geology is so strange that I was able to give my imagination a free rein.


Drawing Aliens

22 Oct


Sprogs still here and I’m still trying to draw them. It’s easy enough getting them to pose – just stick them in front of the computer or playstation and they stay quiet. If they start fidgeting, give them sweets. I’m still struggling with their impossibly huge heads, little snub noses and massive eyes. They’re aliens really.

Drawn with a Samsung Galaxy Note 8 using the Magic Marker app.

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