Archive | November, 2013

Tiny Art In Cardboard Boxes

30 Nov

30 cardboard cityHere’s something different. I sent a little artwork to an unusual exhibition called Cardboard City which is starting in London tomorrow (Cardboard City was a collection of homeless people in Waterloo during the Thatcher years).  Artists were invited to submit a piece that reflected social cohesion and community spirit. Each piece has been mounted into a makeshift cardboard box and they’ll be released into the wild during the lead up to Christmas. The first cluster is going out on the 1st December and then daily up until Christmas Eve, beginning somewhere near the original site of Cardboard City and heading along the Southbank, right up to the doors of the Tate Modern.

The curator had a trial run today to see if people would open the box and look at the art – they did – and if you look closely at the picture you’ll see that it’s mine, with a lovely view of St. Paul’s Cathedral and you can follow the progress of the little artworks in cardboard boxes throughout December on Twitter here, or on the Collect Connect website here.  Or if you’re in London, go walkabout on the Southbank and enjoy these tiny bits of art.

And apart from this, I’ve had a lovely day shovelling manure on the allotment – gnats still there despite it being nearly December – and watched a cracking rugby international on the TV, Wales vs Australia. We lost but it was a great game, tight to the end.

Got It! Flaunt It!

29 Nov

29 ginger

Husb and I went for a curry at The Vojon earlier to celebrate that I finished the 20 drawings and prints for my next exhibition. Any excuse for a curry. I had a garlic lamb frezi with sag rice and Husb enjoyed a chicken aloo johl and garlic rice, with poppadoms and a chutney tray. I took my sketchbook and drew this bloke opposite. He is one of the gingerest people I have ever seen. Not only proper carrot-ginger but also curly. And proud. Because he had teased his ginger curls into a marvellous confection of a hairdo. Flaunting it. Nice. Drawn with Faber Castell Pitt drawing pens, size F and B in sepia. And then, Marvel’s Agents of Shield. Marvellous. What a great evening 😀

12 Down, 8 To Go

28 Nov

28 12 down

I’m working flat out to complete a suite of 20 new works for my upcoming group exhibition. I’m drawing in ink onto ‘transfer’ prints on art papers, Bockingford and BFK Rives, 250gsm. The transfer prints started out as digital photos I’ve taken over the years, printed onto ordinary inkjet paper, placed face down onto art paper and rubbed with cheap nail-varnish remover, then put quickly through an etching press. The chemicals mutate the colours and the pressure transfers the image onto the artpaper. I’ve completed the 12 here and the remaining 8 have been pencilled and I’m inking them up now. I reckon another day of inking and then mounting and framing over the weekend. Here’s some info if you’re on Facebook.

Sparta Puss had a good look too. Now, back to inking……..

Brown Coats And A Ball Of String

27 Nov

27 string 1

All I wanted was a ball of string. Well, white nylon twine to be exact, a very versatile product that hangs picture frames, threads-up Roman blinds and strings home-made kites. It’s the sort of thing you used to be able to buy dirt cheap in dark little shops with ‘monger’ in the title, staffed by blokes in brown coats with names like Arkwright and Granville. No longer. I’ve traipsed the city centre today; haberdashers, pound shops, market stalls, stationers, post offices, no joy. An upholsterer offered to sell me some by the metre, but that’s a ridiculously expensive way to buy it. I could go and check out the couple of remaining ironmongers in the city, but they’re a drive away, as are the D.I.Y centres.

27 string 2

I ended up in Waterstone’s first-floor coffee shop, having a hot beverage and sulking. There’s a good, large window overlooking the street, ideal for people watching and surreptitious scribbling. There are some benches opposite and they’re very well-used, especially by smokers. You have to be quick though, they don’t tend to stay long, especially at this time of year, although today was relatively mild. I drew these into my A5 cloth-bound sketchbook with Faber Castell Pitt pens sizes F and S. I’ve tracked down some cheap nylon twine on t’Internet. All is not lost.

Framing And Faffing

26 Nov

Husb and I went to Ikea today to get a load of frames. I used to send my exhibition work to framers but it’s horrendously expensive and there’s no guarantee that a buyer will like the frame anyway. I’ve made a number of sales where I’ve had to take the work out of it’s bespoke frame to sell it unframed, so now I use ready-made frames and sell at a considerably lower price. I use plain black that doesn’t detract from the artwork. I’ll be finishing off the current group of drawing / prints for my new exhibition in December over the next few days and then mounting and framing and mirror-plating next week. One day I’ll be rich enough to employ minions to do it for me. One day………. 😉

26 husb setteeMy daily scribble is of Husb faffing about with his laptop on the settee. I’ve sketched him from above because I’ve done him from a conventional angle so many times that I’m bored. But drawing must be done every day, just as a singer must practice their scales every day. I used a Faber Castell Pitt drawing pen in sepia, size F into my A5 clothbound sketchbook.

Chunky Cat In Motion

25 Nov

24 sparta moving

Greetings hairless apes. Sparta Puss here. It’s been a while. I’ve been busy, y’know, eating, sleeping, fleecing elderly humans of their winter heating allowance, sleeping, murdering rodents, sleeping, a bit more sleeping…….the usual. This evening I amused myself with a rubber band. The she-monkey was throwing it around for me. She says I’m getting chunky. I don’t know what she means! It’s my winter fur coat. It’s fluff, not chunk!

The she-monkey scratched these marks into a book with a stick with dirt coming out of it. She says she needs to practice drawing movement. She says it’s me. She’s obviously deluded. This is a chunky cat, not a svelte cat in a winter fur coat. The she-monkey says she must have the discipline of drawing every day. Discipline??! What an idiot.

They apes have lit the fire. I’m sitting right in front of it. The apes are on the other side of the room. They know their place. They are idiots. Stupid she-monkey says it’s scribbled with Faber Castell Pitt pens, sizes F and M. Do they taste good? No! I chewed them and they taste awful. Almost as awful as dogs. And bald monkeys. Idiots, all of them.

Meet the Artists

24 Nov


Yesterday was the opening of the Swansea Print Workshop’s annual exhibition which is hosted for the first time at the Cynon Valley Museum and Gallery. It runs until January 11th and here’s a little man looking at one of my monotypes. There’s a “Meet the Artist” event from 2 til 3.30 on December 10th, with tea and bara brith. If you’re in the Aberdare area,please drop by 🙂


23 Nov

23 doctor who

We took two of our little nephews to the cinema this evening to see the 3D link-up of the BBC’s 50th anniversary Doctor Who special. They were beside themselves with excitement, as were Husb and I and the rest of the packed audience. Back in 1963, my sister and I hid behind the settee, peeping through our fingers at the first episode of Doctor Who and I’ve been a Whovian ever since. We loved the special tonight and I had a chance to have a quick scribble in the cinema; a mother and daughter in the row in front and one of the little nephews in his oversized 3D glasses, laughing at the trailers.

Curry Boy

22 Nov

22 curry boyHave a 9 year old nephew staying for the weekend and when he arrived at teatime he suggested that we might go to our local curry house, The Vojon, to ‘save’ me from having to cook. How thoughtful. He’s now old enough to order from the menu himself. He sticks with the safe choice in the kids’ menu, Chicken Tikka Masala, but he tries what Husb and I have as well, so today he got to appreciate a fine Handi Lamb Polongwala and a Chicken Sag Takka-Takka-Tin.

I made him sit still for me to have a scribble and I noticed how his skull is changing shape, not quite so alien any more, starting to show signs of turning human. He still has ridiculously large eyes and long eyelashes though. Drawn into my clothbound A5 sketchbook, prepared with ripped brown parcel paper stuck in with Pritt. I used Faber Castell Pitt drawing pens, sizes S, F and M.

Just a Quickie

21 Nov

Just a quickie, just got back from life drawing at Swansea Print Workshop and it’s late – and cold. I did some 5 minute poses, all on one sheet, in graphite and conte crayon.

21 alan aAnd I also did a one=hour pose onto a canvas sheet, gessoed in white and primed with rhodamine red litho/relief ink which I squeegeed on randomly. I drew in white and black conte crayon. Difficult pose, took an age.


21 alan b

%d bloggers like this: