Archive | October, 2017

Letting People Play

30 Oct

tree cat

I’m working for a charity that supports very vulnerable people, running arts and craft sessions. I work in different venues across the city and I tailor the sessions to suit them and their clients. This evening was about letting people play. It wasn’t a formal session aiming to teach fine arts or enabling people to turn out a well-crafted item, but a chance to just mess around and have a bit of fun.

 

 

I took some lovely chine collé tissue papers made from recycled saris and a couple of boxes of stamps, the ones that kids use, and an ink pad. I encouraged people to try stamping the tissues repetitively to make a pattern and / or to overlay them to get a pictorial effect.

 

 

Then we put them into little ready-made mounts which set them off nicely. Quick, cheap, easy and fun. People need to play and those living in dire circumstances often don’t get that chance. Providing a safe space for arts and crafts can give them the opportunity.

Testing Testing One Two Three

29 Oct
SOB7

The final layered print

I tried out a new printmaking technique today, gel printing with a commercial Gelli plate. It’s part of the equipment I’ve been given for my part-time job running art sessions with people who are homeless and insecurely housed. The instructions just said to use paper and acrylic paint but were no more specific than that so I wanted to try out some of the different acrylic media I have hanging around to see which worked best. First off, water-based printing inks from Seawhite of Brighton. The inks blended well on the plate, took the textures I pressed into them, printed easily onto a basic Daler Rowney cartridge paper (90gms) and cleaned up really well. I used baby wipes on the gel plate and warm water on the roller. Easy peasy.

I also tried the process with two other acrylic media, Liquitex acrylic inks and Winsor & Newton’s Galeria acrylic paints.

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The Liquitex inks were too runny for this process and smeared rather than rolled across the plate. They didn’t take the texturing well and quite a bit of ink was left on the plate afterwards. It’s a pity because the colours are gorgeous. The makers recommend trying a heavier Liquitex paint.

 

Lastly, I used the Winsor & Newton acrylic paints. They felt quite dry while I was rollering them onto the Gelli plate but they seemed to take the textures well. However, the inks didn’t transfer well to the paper, they dried out very quickly and I had trouble cleaning the roller.

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The results are okay for a first session. I’m used to doing monotypes onto a hard perspex (plexiglass) surface and I’m not sure whether I would use this technique for my own printmaking, but I need to do more experiments. I can see me using this technique to produce collage papers though. Next time, I think I’ll try with my Caligo Easywash inks and Liquitex Heavy Body acrylic. I’ll let you know …..

 

PHEW!

28 Oct

I’ve been out and about today, mostly at the 10th birthday celebrations of local Elysium Gallery and I didn’t get to do any art for my blog, so I thought I’d post this one from 4 years ago. It’s a bit technical; I had been making some colour-separation monotypes for an exhibition ……

 

Source: PHEW!

I Don’t Like Brushes

27 Oct

rose 1

Water Colour. The clues in the name. Water. Colour. Water first, then the colour. I’ve been having a few little experiments with watercolours lately. It pays to use excellent quality paints as the colours are so vibrant. I soaked the paper with a sponge first then dappled little spots of watercolour onto the surface with my finger, then ended up with a few scribbles of Aquarelle pencils. I’ve never liked paintbrushes, which might be why I’m a printmaker. It’s nice to play around with materials with for no other reason than having a play.

 

 

Life Drawing And Cherry Coconut Cake

26 Oct

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Just back from life drawing at Swansea Print Workshop, where I used my Samsung Galaxy Note 8 tablet and a free Markers app to draw this evening’s model. I started differently, scribbling random colours over the background, picking out the figure roughly in larger blocks of light colours and finishing with a fine pen function. I made a cherry and coconut cake for tea break.

I Love It

25 Oct

mansel

I work part time for a charity that works with vulnerable people, I run arts and craft sessions. I love it. I really love it. People come in, have a cuppa and some biscuits and do some arty stuff for a couple of hours in a warm, safe place.

 

 

We do all sorts of different things and of course, people work at different levels according to their experience. Some people haven’t done any art since school, others have been to art college. Today I set up a simple teaching session on collage (from the French collé meaning ‘to stick’). I cut out some simple stencil shapes for those that wanted to use them and we ripped up loads of small pixels of paper from a stack of magazines and old photographic diaries.

Some background card and a packet of glue sticks and we’re off! There’s a lovely mix of styles and approaches and people seemed genuinely pleased with the experience.

Voyeur!

24 Oct

Helen Sear 3

 

Here’s the last sketch I made while I listened to Helen Sear talking about her current exhibition at the Glynn Vivian art gallery at the weekend. Her show, “The Rest Is Smoke” is a presentation of the film / photography installation with which she represented Cymru at the Venice Biennale 2015.

Looking around audiences at events like these is great, so many interesting faces, all engrossed and unaware that I am watching and drawing. The artist as voyeur!

 

Cash And Kudos

23 Oct

Helen Sears 2

 

Another scribbled head from my visit to the Glynn Vivian art gallery a couple of days ago, to listen to the talk by artist Helen Sear while Storm Brian raged outside. The Glynn Vivian is a fabulous gallery and reopened after a five-year refurbishment last year. It’s great to have it back, it’s an amazing gallery and the city council has had the guts to keep it open and thriving in the face of swingeing public sector cuts.

 

The gallery is part of an exciting artscene in Swansea and the city is in the shortlist for the UK City of Culture 2021 with three others. It’s a mad, quirky place that oozes culture of all sorts, not just highbrow stuff. It’ll mean a lot if we win the bid, this part of Wales has been run down for so long yet arts and culture and sport thrive here without the huge amounts of cash and kudos enjoyed by places like London. What we could do with just a fraction of that!

 

Storms Cissy and Ada?

22 Oct

Helen Sears 1

I’ve been out and about with a sketchbook recently, getting back to basics, drawing as much as possible, not for projects but simply as part of my routine practice. An artist’s practice is just that, practice.

I went to a talk at the Glynn Vivian Art Gallery by the artist Helen Sear, her work is currently featured there. I managed to scribble a few listening heads. I find that I can sketch and listen at the same time because I’m not concentrating on making “great art” so I don’t mind if it all goes pear shaped. This woman had the loveliest pre-Raphaelite hair, all fuzzy ringlets tied up in a loose knot, straight out of the late 19th century.

It was a terrible day outside the gallery, we were in the middle of Storm Brian and the gales were howling and the rain was lashing down. The Americans always seem to have quite posh names for their hurricanes – Ophelia, Katrina, but we have Storm Brian. I’m waiting for Nigel and Doris. Or Cissy and Ada maybe?

 

 

 

Cissy and Ada

The immortal Cissy and Ada

 

A Quick Head

21 Oct

Swansea Fringe 3

Here’s a sketch I did a couple of weeks ago at the Swansea Fringe. Husb and I went to the Swansea Storytelling event; it’s good for drawing faces because people are usually focused and concentrating. I used a 6B graphite pencil into my A5 lined notebook.

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