Archive | May, 2018

Kollwitz, Drypoint And Woodcut. What A Weekend!

31 May
Kollwitz stamp

A stamp based on a screen print I made from an original drawing of Kathe Kollwitz

Coming up, June 16th and 17th, I’ll be running a printmaking masterclass at Swansea’s gorgeous Glynn Vivian Art Gallery. Over the weekend we’ll focus on two print techniques, drypoint (intaglio) and woodcut, linked to the fabulous Käthe Kollwitz exhibition. Book now if you want to come as tickets are selling out fast….

 

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A digital drawing I did based on Kathe’s woodcut, The Widow.

On Day 1….

We’ll start with my illustrated talk about Käthe Kollwitz’s life and art (I’m a huge fan) and then we’ll go into the gallery to look at Käthe’s specific pieces that support drypoint and woodcut, the exquisite line of her etchings and the drama, chiaroscuro and simplicity of her woodcuts. We’ll make some quick sketches of her techniques.

After a tea break, off to the studio to look at individual work and start to transfer drawings to the drypoint plates and / or wood blocks and start cutting the images.

After lunch, we’ll continue cutting and prepare the paper for the next day and get our materials ready. This will be a chance for artists to chat about ideas, ask questions, get familiar with new materials and machinery.

 

On Day 2 ….

It’s all about the printing…. We’ll soak paper the paper, ink the plates and/or blocks, print a small edition for each artist and put them to dry. We’ll learn about ways of doing these print techniques at home; about signing and numbering an edition, why and how; and there will be handouts designed to help you to continue printmaking afterwards.

And all in the surroundings of the beautiful Glynn Vivian Art Gallery….

 

If you want to book onto the course, please click here … and if you want to read a bit more about Käthe, please click here and here.

W!A!M! At The Workers

31 May

WAM night June 2018

Coming up fast – Thursday June 7th at The Workers Gallery, Ynyshir from 7pm. There will be art (from me), film (from Melvyn Williams), prehistory (from Dewi Bowen), cake, chocolates (from Afan Vale) and there may even be music. All free. How can you miss this? If you haven’t visited this little gem of a gallery before, then make this your first time. It’s run by artists for artists and it’s just awesome and it’s Trip Advisor’s number 1 attraction in the Rhondda Valley and yet receives NO public funding. So please come and support it. The W!A!M! evenings are on the first Thursday of every month and are brilliant. Seriously. And I’m not just saying that because I’m in the next one. Honest 😉

Here’s a tiny preview of what to expect from Melvyn’s film ….

 

That Lightbulb Moment

30 May

light bulb

Husb and I stopped off for a nice cuppa tea and a flapjack (I do enjoy a moist flapjack) and I scribbled him quickly as he queued. He’s quite tall and was standing right underneath a glass light fitting and it looked a bit like one of those lightbulb moments in the comics when someone suddenly gets an idea.

 

Dracula In The Sun

29 May

2018 Tate Whitby

Husb and I spent the Bank Holiday visiting the North East of England, looking at places we’ve been meaning to see for years and finally got around to it. We dropped in on Whitby, home of  Whitby Jet jewellery ( I collected a few antique pieces back in the 1970s before it was fashionable) and the dramatic setting for Bram Stoker’s Dracula. The weather was fantastic, hot and sunny and there was a theatre group performing a fast and funny version of the story through the grounds of the magnificent Whitby Abbey.

I had to have a scribble. I quickly sketched in the abbey, with a Staedtler drawing pen, just before the performance started and did a quick Winsor & Newton watercolour wash, then over-sketched one of the actors. I didn’t do any more because we had to follow the actors all over the Abbey site.

Rainbows In Durham

28 May

 

Husb and I have been doing a mini tour of North East England over the Bank Holiday and visited the historic town of Durham yesterday, which was hosting a Pride festival. There were rainbows everywhere.  I had to have a scribble,  didn’t I? So I did a bit of pen and watercolour work en plein air. We were sat outside the Cathedral in the glorious sunshine looking across the green. There were hundreds of rainbow people, it was lovely.  When I was a child it was illegal to be gay (well, for men anyway). How far we have come, it’s brilliant.

I drew with a Faber Castell Pitt drawing pen into my Tate Gallery ‘landscape’ sketchbook and then added washes with Winsor & Newton watercolour half pans.

A Holiday Quickie

26 May

Here’s a quick sketch, I’m on holiday and Internet access is almost non existent so I hope this uploads

Not As Simple As It Seems

24 May

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I have been enjoying the Käthe Kollwitz exhibition at Swansea’s Glynn Vivian Art Gallery and I bought the exhibition book. I wanted to study her woodcut technique in more detail so I laid a black ground in the Markers drawing app on my Samsung Galaxy Note 8 tablet and then drew into it with white brush and line functions, to emulate the lines she had originally cut into a block of wood. When you look at the original, it seems very, very simple but when you study it and try to copy it, it’s a lot more complicated than it appears.

First Things First

23 May

boots

My Nana always used to say, “First Things First”. I should have listened to her. I started drawing my new boots a few days ago on my Samsung Galaxy Note 8 tablet but I didn’t do any preliminary sketches first to work out how the boots related to each other, the difference in perspective and angles. And now I’m stuck because the boot on the left of the digital drawing just doesn’t look right. So I started sketching them in my little paper sketchbook – and I still can’t get it right. So I’ll have to carry on until it works out.

Here’s what I’ve done so far. I think one of the problems is that Doctor Marten’s have soles that turn up quite sharply at the front and I’, having lots of trouble getting that angle right.

A Concentrated Arty Area

22 May

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It’s degree show time at Swansea Art School, or University of Wales Trinity Saint Davids to give it the official name. Husb and I have two arty relatives graduating this year, one from the computer games design degree and the other from the Foundation course. So we took ourselves off to the opening night.

The last time I played a computer game I was in a pub in the 1980s, shooting space invaders and I wasn’t keen to try out a new one but I dutifully donned a Virtual Reality helmet and waited for my nephew to put some thingys (I think that’s the technical term) in my hands that became guns in the virtual world. And to be honest, I had a good time trying and, mostly, failing to shoot down deadly killer scrapyard robots. The exhibition is in the Creative Bubble artspace in Union Street and it’s set up like an arcade. Just walk in off the street and give it a go. It’s open Monday to Friday, 10.00 – 16.00 until June the 2nd.

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Then onto Chaos, the Foundation end-of-year show at the building known as Alex. It was a blast from the past for me as I studied for my Diploma in Art there over 4 decades ago. Where does the time go? Any way, the Foundation show is lively, quirky and so well done. I particularly liked the little biographies next to each exhibit, saying where the student had come from and where they were going to, with the majority going on to degrees. It’s only just up the road from Creative Bubble, opposite the Glynn Vivian Art Gallery. All the UWTSD shows run until June 2nd so go grab yourself some culture.

Between the Glynn Vivian, the two art school campuses (Alex and Dynefor), Creative Bubble and the Tapestri artist studios next to Alex, this is a highly concentrated arty area and one of the most interesting bits of the city centre.

Blocking In

21 May

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Blocking In. I’m carrying on with my digital drawing of my new willow pattern Doctor Marten boots, blocking in the second one. It’s not as easy as the other as I have to draw everything in relation to the first and it’s tricky. It’s taken me much further with the digital drawing app (Markers) than I’ve done before. The first two stages are below.

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