Archive | January, 2015

The Cook In

31 Jan


Such a busy day, I only had time for a few quick kitty scribbles this evening as Sparta Puss dozed at my feet. After shopping this morning at the excellent Uplands Market, Husb and I did a massive cook-in, making split pea and ham soup, tomato and vegetable soup, spelt and seeded bread, Seville orange and brandy marmalade and Cawl (a traditional Welsh lamb and vegetable stew). We made huge quantities to stock up the freezer and the preserves shelf in the pantry. And now I’m off to bed. Goodnight 😀

Renaissance Head

30 Jan


Here’s the digital drawing I did last night at Swansea Print Workshop. I enjoy drawing this model’s face very much, it has a Renaissance aspect to it.

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I used my Samsung Galaxy Tablet Note 8 with the free Markers app. I put a coloured ground on first, then sketched lightly in a fine pen tool to get the basic composition. The slideshow shows the development of the drawing.

The Irrepressible Artist

29 Jan

nana joan

Husb and I went to an artist talk put on by the Glynn Vivian Art Gallery this evening. It was an interview with the gallery’s artist-in-residence, Joan Jones. It was fascinating listening to the irrepressible Joan talk about other artists, writers and musicians that had been so inspiring and influential, including Gertrude Stein, the Manic Street Preachers and Dolly Parton amongst others. Joan’s work is about turning embodied queer experience – often painful – into narratives or ‘folk stories’ through a variety of mediums, including song, live performance and zine distribution.


I drew Joan with Faber Castell Pitt drawing pens, the full set of S, M, F and B, in sepia into my A5 Tate Gallery sketchbook. And now I’m off to life drawing at Swansea Print Workshop. No peace for the wicked!


Northern Soul

28 Jan

taliesin heads

Husb and I went to the Taliesin cinema this evening to see Northern Soul, a great film with a fantastic soundtrack. Set in the 1970s, it reminded us how grubby and ugly Britain was back then, at least in the working class areas. Damn good fun though. Would love to be able to dance like that again, but all that dancing and partying in my youth has caught up with me 😀

Had a juice in the bar and did a quick scribble of people’s heads. Speed drawing forces you to just capture the main details and is really good practice. I used a mid-grey graphite stick into my A5 Tate Gallery sketchbook.


The End Of The Road

27 Jan

11 tea cosy

It was a sad day in our city. A local man who was well known to many of us has died. I blogged about him a couple of years ago but didn’t say too much about him because he didn’t like a lot of attention. Tea Cosy Pete was a gentleman of the road, a man with a lifestyle that would be too eccentric for most of us, but for many decades he lived on the city streets, politely turning down offers of housing. Today the harsh lifestyle caught up with him and he died from a stroke, in his mid 60s. Peter was well liked, respected and accepted in a way that might not have been possible in larger cities. There has been a huge outpouring of grief across social media and the local press, with many tributes and  people telling their own Tea Cosy stories.

I often saw him standing and sitting around Swansea, but I only did one drawing as I felt uncomfortable about intruding into his privacy. It’s not something that normally bothers me, I think that artists are by our very nature, voyeurs, spying and scribbling. But it wasn’t the right thing to do with Tea Cosy Pete. May he rest in peace.

Teen Ager

26 Jan


Husb and I went with Teenage Niece to see the film Effie Gray this evening at the Taliesin Arts Centre. Excellent film, I was gripped from the start and Dakota Fanning put in a marvellous performance. Managed to do a quick scribble of Teenage Niece afterwards. It had to be quick because she pulls faces all the time. And she’s too old to believe that one about your face freezing if the wind changes.

A Bit Of Colour

25 Jan

After a couple of days of live art and big drawing, I’ve had a quieter day doing some cataloguing. It’s one of those menial admin tasks that’s so boring but it’s important to keep track of the work I’ve done, some of it going back years. As I worked I rediscovered stuff I’d forgotten about. Here are some life drawings of a male nude model that I did a few years ago using watercolour instead of my usual drawing pen. I don’t much like using naturalistic colour, I don’t really see the point, so I play around with it. I used some very sturdy sable brushes, jabbing at the paper to give a chunky effect.

Time To Play

24 Jan

picture 6

As any self-employed person will know, there’s a lot of paperwork and admin, business development and marketing to do and the past couple of months have been full of everything except creative work. If it wasn’t for my daily artblog, most days recently would have passed by without me doing any art work. Except for a couple of days a month with art collective 15 Hundred Lives where we hang out at the Creative Bubble artspace in the city centre to work together and have a bit of a play. It’s a relief to just start out with a germ of an idea and develop it for two days, trying out different materials, working and reworking without having to worry about meeting deadlines or working to a brief. It’s probably trivialising it to describe it as play, but the pressure’s off and it’s a chance to be totally creative, do what I like and see what happens.

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Last month I blogged about the drawings I did in Creative Bubble from sketches I made in the catacombs in Malta. I used one of these as the basis for the much larger drawing I did this weekend, working with the walnut husk ink I made a while ago, applying it with large brushes and a piece of natural sponge. When it was dry I drew on top with a piece of carbon to get some dark definition and then brushed the carbon lines with a largeish brush and water to soften and merge them. I also incorporated a nude male figure from one of my sketchbooks. I’ve been going to life drawing for years and have a pile of sketchbooks filled with hundreds, maybe thousands of life drawings and I am always looking for ways to use these drawings. I don’t know where I’m going with this yet, maybe I never will, but it’s just great to do some creative play once in a while.

Creative Bubble Artspace is supported by the University of Wales Trinity Saint David and Swansea BID to improve the city centre.

The Hand

23 Jan


Here’s the drawing I did at life drawing group last night using my Samsung Galaxy Tablet Note 8 with the free Markers app. The pose was a bit difficult because the model’s hand was so far in front and there was some extreme foreshortening.

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The Waiting Room

22 Jan

radiography 1

Went with a loved one to the local hospital for x-rays and took the opportunity to have a scribble while I waited. It’s very selfish but hospital waiting rooms are good places for sketching as people are often very preoccupied and don’t notice you.

radiography 2

This elderly man was dressed for the winter and kept his fabulous fake fur hat firmly on his head for the duration. I used Faber Castell Pitt drawing pens, sizes S and F into my A5 Tate Gallery sketchbook. We weren’t there long. The NHS at its best is fantastic.

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