Archive | December, 2016

Blwyddyn Newydd Dda – Happy New Year

31 Dec

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The Mari Lwyd (the Grey Mare), is an ancient Welsh New Year’s tradition undergoing a revival. Husb and I have been out with our local Mari Lwyd, The Coppertown Mari, Mari Trecopr, for the past two nights as it, along with a band of merry singers, poets and mischief-makers, did a tour of some of the pubs of North Gower, part of the Gower Old Horse Wassail.

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The Mari Lwyd is a large puppet, made up of a decorated horse’s skull, ribbons, bells and shroud, operated by someone inside who traditionally behaves very mischievously. It looks really naughty in the photo. It is being operated here by David Pitt.

I did four drawings on the first night. The first three are quite tentative; I was getting used to the subject matter and it’s not easy to draw in rambunctious crowded pubs. By the fourth I was getting into my stride and getting into the spirit of the thing and it started taking on a life of its own.

So Blwyddyn Newydd Dda i chi – Happy New Year to you 😀

 

I am putting my series of drawings of ancient Welsh monuments on Artfinder.  If you want to buy one, you can see them by clicking on the image below or the Artfinder link at the top right of this page.

St Elvis

Walking It Off

27 Dec

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After 2 days of scoffing and lazing, no work, no art, husb and I shifted our behinds off the comfy settee, dragged ourselves out into the cold and started walking off the sluggishness of the holiday. I took my brown paper sketchbook and some conté crayons and did a quick sketch across Swansea Bay. It’s always a challenge to draw a large expanse, whether nature or a built environment, because there’s so much there but I try and focus on the basic detail, the bare essential of what’s in front of me and also to exploit the medium, trying to get some feeling, expression and interest from the way I use the crayons. I feel a little bit lighter now.

 

Have A Cool Yule

24 Dec

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It’s that time of year. Season’s greetings and all that. Here’s what Sparta Puss thinks of it. Drawn by Husb with snowflakes added by me. She looks happy, doesn’t she? The midwinter festival has been around in these parts since well before Christianity, originally known as Alban Arthan (the Light of Winter) to the Celts and Yule to the Nordic and Germanic peoples. So have a Cool Yule, Alban Arthan Dda, Nadolig Llawen, Merry Christmas one and all.

 

I am putting my series of drawings of ancient Welsh monuments on Artfinder.  If you want to buy one, you can see them by clicking on the image below or the Artfinder link at the top right of this page.

St Elvis

Frantic Felix

23 Dec

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The second of our little furry friends from the hotel we stayed at in Kyrenia recently. Husb and I called him Felix because he looks like the cat from the Felix food adverts. He was a persistent little tyke, mewing frantically when we passed him on the path and wrapping himself around our legs top stop us in our tracks until we pulled some leftovers from dinner out for him. I’ve sketched him onto St Cuthbert’s watercolour paper with a ‘B’ Derwent pencil from a digital photo. I’ll probably watercolour him next week, once the Xmas franticness is over.

 

I am putting my series of drawings of ancient Welsh monuments on Artfinder.  If you want to buy one, you can see them by clicking on the image below or the Artfinder link at the top right of this page.

St Elvis

Big Ginge

22 Dec

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Husb and I were surrounded by cats during our recent holiday in Northern Cyprus. There were three small separate well-fed colonies of kitties living on our hotel site, being doted on by staff and tourists. I thought I might draw them but to be honest, I wanted a bit of a break from drawing while I was away and they were a pretty manic bunch that didn’t stay still much so I took lots of photos to work from. I don’t generally use photographs but it gives me a chance to work to a much higher level of detail than normal. I’ve drawn the first, Big Ginge (of course we gave them names) onto a sheet of gummed St. Cuthbert watercolour paper with a B pencil. Once I’ve filled the sheet with cat drawings (it should take about 5), I’ll start to paint them in with watercolour.

I am putting my series of drawings of ancient Welsh monuments on Artfinder.  If you want to buy one, you can see them by clicking on the image below or the Artfinder link at the top right of this page.

St Elvis

Salamis

21 Dec

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On our last day in Northern Cyprus, Husb and I took off on a day trip and one of the places we visited is Salamis, an ancient site dating from the Late Bronze Age, although the majority of the visible ruins are Roman. I did a quick scribble but I don’t feel particularly happy with the sketch – I was trying too hard to record detail and not loosening up and expressing my feelings for the place.

I am putting my series of drawings of ancient Welsh monuments on Artfinder.  If you want to buy one, you can see them by clicking on the image below or the Artfinder link at the top right of this page.

St Elvis

The Five Fingered Peak

20 Dec

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On our last day in idyllic Northern Cyprus (Kuzey Kibris), Husb and I went on a day trip from Kyrenia (Girne) across to the eastern coastal town, Famagusta (Gazimağusa), a fascinating dip into the geology, history and culture of the country. On our way back, heading north over the Kyrenia Mountains as the sun was setting, our lovely driver stopped the bus to let us photograph, in my case scribble, a formation called the Five Finger Peak (Pentadactylos). As other travellers snapped away, I pulled out my brown paper sketchbook and conté crayons and hastily sketched the scene before the driver ushered us back onto the bus and darkness descended. As I drew, one of our company, a jolly Dutchmen, laughed, “That’s an old-fashioned way of photographing the scenery“. Quick as a flash I retorted with, “You should see me taking a Selfie“.

 

I am putting my series of drawings of ancient Welsh monuments on Artfinder.  If you want to buy one, you can see them by clicking on the image below or the Artfinder link at the top right of this page.

St Elvis

Jagged Peaks

19 Dec

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I didn’t do much sketching when I was in Cyprus last week because I wanted a break from work, but I pulled out my sketchbook and conté crayons a few times when the mood took me. The Kyrenian Mountain range is spectacular, separating the north coast beaches from the flat inland areas. The sharp rough outline of the peaks lent themselves to the jagged shape and texture of the conté sticks and encouraged me to draw very quickly, capturing a fleeting image in just a couple of minutes.

I am putting my series of drawings of ancient Welsh monuments on Artfinder.  If you want to buy one, you can see them by clicking on the image below or the Artfinder link at the top right of this page.

St Elvis

Women’s Arts Association autumn exhibition

19 Dec

Here’s a nice write-up of an exhibition I recently had a piece of artwork in….

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The Women’s Arts Association has had a very successful show of associate members’ work at Llanover Hall in Cardiff.  “How I see It …” fitted nicely with Llanover Hall’s educative functions by asking women makers to create an original work inspired by a woman artist.

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The opening, with readings by Toni-Ann La Crette, was enthusiastically attended, and groups from schools and of women had the opportunity to see the art but also see the women’s art that had been the inspiration – a good thing to demonstrate and take with them.

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On the left (from l to r), there is Rose Davies’ printed fabric piece inspired by Kathe Kollwitz, Dilys Jackson’s sculpture inspired by a Barbara Hepworth piece, Georgina Peach mobile inspired by Louis Bourgeois,  who painting also inspired Rebecca Croxford’s triptych, and Sue Roberts inspired by Marlene Dumas.  On the right, Bee Bennett’s landscape inspired by Joan Eardley, Dianne…

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Feeling The Mountains

18 Dec

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I took my sketchbook on my recent holiday, but wasn’t particularly interested in using it at first because I really needed a break. After a few days, though, it happened in a completely unforced way. Husb and I were walking along the main road towards Kyrenia with the Kyrenia Mountain looming above us. Well, it just had to be done. I used conté crayons in black, white and sanguine into a brown paper A4 sketchbook. The sketch was very quick and is more about my feelings at the time than a detailed topographical drawing. Which is fine by me.

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