Archive | December, 2014

The Poppies At The Tower

31 Dec

2014 Dec 31

Back in November, Husb and I went up to London to meet up with friends and do a few exhibitions – the Egon Schiele at the Courtauld and the Grayson Perry at National Portrait Gallery – fabulous. We also trekked across the city to go and see the extraordinary installation Blood Swept Land And Seas Of Red by Paul Cummins and Tom Piper, where almost a million ceramic poppies had been steadily filling the moat around the Tower of London in memory of the British and Commonwealth troops who had died during World War 1. It was tough getting there. It was a very wet, grey November the 5th and London was jam packed with people come to see the Bonfire Night fireworks display down at the River Thames. There had been 4 million visitors to the Tower by then, an unprecedented number and it was a battle to get on the packed Tube and then we were swept along by the throng making their way to see the poppies. But it was worth it. An incredible experience. There were tens of thousands circling the Tower, but little noise. People were silent or muted, quiet and respectful. It wasn’t like ticking off a visit to a tourist attraction, it was a Communion and a moving experience.

I scribbled quickly into my A5 Tate Gallery sketchbook with some Faber Castell Pitt drawing pens in sepia and added the sea of red with a lipstick. When I came home I put on some washes of my newly made walnut husk sepia ink. My little scribble doesn’t do it justice. I don’t have the drawing skills to show the thousands of people there, just a tiny number immediately in front of me. But the sketch takes me back to the experience in a way that a photograph never could.

It’s New Year’s Eve and I have now blogged just over 1,200 posts, each one showing at least one of my art works. I wish you all a happy and peaceful New Year. Blwyddyn Newydd Dda i chi pawb x



A Cartoon Nude

30 Dec

Dec 30


So I was only out for about 40 minutes first thing and I didn’t have time to scribble anything and I’ve been working on the computer all day because it isn’t all about creating arty stuff, I wish it was and I’m fed up scribbling my feet, Husb and the cats so here’s one from the archives, from a sketchbook about 7 years ago. I was going through a phase of dividing up my page into cartoon boxes and drawing the model in different poses in each box, cropping the figure to fit. I worked directly onto the paper in Faber Castell Pitt drawing pen, as usual. I’ve never drawn in pencil first and inked over – straight in at the deep end, that’s me. This is an elder model who has many tattoos, of lizards, insects and carnivorous plants all over her body. As you do. And now, back to the computer stuff. 😦

A Slow Dance

29 Dec


Swansea Beach was pretty busy today with loads of walkers and dogs. The weather was fantastic, very bright and sunny with a crisp chill. There was a small group of people who seemed to be having a slow dance. It wasn’t slow enough to scribble so I took a photo and did a sketch from that, in graphite into my A5 Tate Gallery sketchbook.

Bone Idle

28 Dec


A totally lazy day today. It’s Sunday, it’s Xmas time and Husb, the cats and I did absolutely nothing all day. Except a spot of cooking, watching mindless telly and Facebooking. Here’s a quickie of Husb doing nothing.

Drawn with a Samsung Galaxy Tablet Note 8 using the free Markers app in about 10 minutes.

A Winter Visit

27 Dec


It’s a bit of a tradition at this time of year to visit our dead loved ones in cemeteries and memorial gardens. I went with Husb and Mam-in-Law to visit Dad-in-Law’s memorial stone in our local cemetery. It’s a lovely place, green with lots of trees and the noonday winter sun was low in the sky and cast long shadows across the bright grass.

When time is short, all you can do is get the main features of the landscape down, no time for lots of detail. I noticed that most of the gravestones were tilted, I don’t know why. Drawn with Faber Castell Pitt drawing pens sizes S, F and M into my A5 Tate Gallery sketchbook.

Lazy Day

26 Dec


Apart from a visit to some delightful relatives, today’s been a lazy day. Yesterday was such lovely weather that Husb and I walked about 8 kilometres along the seafront in Swansea. Today we woke up to torrential rain and high winds so now this evening we’re cwtched at home behind tightly drawn curtains watching television. As lazy as Sparta Puss. Here she is, sleeping through Boxing Day tv.

Drawn with a Samsung Galaxy Tablet Note 8 using the free Markers app.

Sparta Says…..

25 Dec

bah humbug

One of Husb’s drawings of the little furry tyrant. Season’s Greetings – Cyfarchion y Tymor xxxxxxx

Catacombs & Xmas

24 Dec


Following on from yesterday’s post, here are a couple more sepia drawings I did based on sketches from the St. Paul’s Catacombs in Rabat in Malta. The originals are very slight, quick scribbles. I wanted to try working with the walnut husk ink I made a few weeks ago. I don’t normally work with wet media so it’s good practice for me. I used several different sizes of sable brushes and watered the ink down to make a variety of paler washes. I’m really enjoying this and looking forward to seeing where it takes me.

Tomorrow is Xmas so have a Cool Yule and I hope the day is lovely for you. xxx

Sepia Catacombs

23 Dec

cata 6



You never know where and when you’ll get inspiration from. Husb and I visited Malta last week and I carried my sketchbooks, scribbling as we trekked across the lovely island. But it wasn’t until late in our stay that we visited the early Christian catacombs in Rabat. They are extraordinary and I felt a strong urge to draw, but at the same time the atmosphere was so powerful and ……. maybe sacrosanct …… that I felt inhibited and only managed a couple of quick sketches. Husb felt inhibited from taking photographs there too. I don’t know, maybe it seemed disrespectful to act like tourists in a mass grave.


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Anyway, a few days after we got back, I was working with my colleagues in the 15 Hundred Lives art collective at the Creative Bubble artspace and I decided to experiment with the walnut husk ink I made a few weeks ago. I used one of those very quick catacomb sketches as a starting point and just started to develop the drawing with a brush and ink, building up layers in the rich sepia and pale washes onto a piece of Fabriano Accademica paper. It’s a new thing for me, I really enjoyed doing it and I’m pleased with what I have so far. I’ll be doing some more experimenting over the next few weeks – there are some ideas fermenting in there! There’s a lot of marks in the piece and that reflects the reality of the catacombs which have very rough, textured surfaces left by the simple chisels they used to hack out the tombs from the soft limestone.

Doggy Scribbles

22 Dec


This is Cookie the boxer dog. Husb and I visited her this evening. She pestered the life out of me until I got my sketchbook out. Then she fidgeted and did her best to ignore me. Pffft! Drawn into my Tate Gallery sketchbook with Faber Castell Pitt drawing pens sizes F and M.

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