Archive | June, 2018

Out Of My Comfort Zone!

30 Jun

Today! Right out of my comfort zone!

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Designing the book cover

 

I’ve been at Swansea Print Workshop on day one of a weekend course with the excellent printmaker Kelly Stewart. I’m learning how to make a hardbacked screenprinted concertina book inspired by my drawings.

I started with a group of mixed media drawings of Neolithic Standing Stones I had done some time ago, a series I called ‘Yr Helfa / The Hunt‘, done en plein air across South Wales. But it’s often a problem trying to develop work from one genre to another because no matter what ideas you have, you are constrained by new techniques and materials that you haven’t experienced before.

It was hard work and by midday I was almost ready to throw in the towel and leave. But I persevered with Kelly’s encouragement and eventually came up with six drawings / motifs that will be printed and overprinted to form the book’s interior and designs for the front and back covers. I photocopied them onto acetates and Kelly transferred them, via the ultraviolet unit, onto prepared photoscreens. All set for tomorrow now.

Not So Hot

28 Jun

exhausted 3

Today’s temperature wasn’t quite so hot and Sparta Puss almost got up off the pouffé, almost …… She managed to be a bit alert this evening and even took a leisurely stroll to hassle a woodlouse for a bit. Hastily scribbled into my Peter Pauper Press ‘The Cat’s Meow Journal’ with a ballpoint pen.

Heat Exhaustion

27 Jun

exhausted 1

Sparta Puss looks the way I feel. It’s an unusually hot spell of weather and the heat is getting to us, cats, dogs, hairless apes and all. Sparta Puss has the right idea – crash out somewhere quiet until the cool night arrives. She can’t escape being scribbled though.

exhausted 2

Drawn with a ballpoint pen into my A5 size Peter Pauper Press ‘The Cat’s Meow’ journal.

Babysitting

26 Jun

rhisteff 1a

I did some babysitting this morning. I didn’t sit on them, honest. We walked down to the beach, just a few minutes away and we’re having an uncharacteristic heat wave, so it was lovely down there, with lots of people enjoying the sand. The sea was right out but there were a few pools left behind by the last tide and the sprogs had fun collecting shells. The little one is very fair and had to borrow Husb’s summer hat, which he propped up on his ears. It did the trick though, but it’s hard to draw. I didn’t draw them from life, it was too hot. I took a few photos and I’ll use them to do some practice studies. They climbed trees as well, which will give me some great poses to draw. That’s Mumbles in the background. I used a ballpoint pen into my A5 size ‘Peter Pauper Press’ Cat’s Meow journal. Here it is with Sparta Puss.

book cover

A Tea And Cake Party

25 Jun

Jay 1949

And here’s the third of the cohort of lifelong friends and Baby Boomers who came to Swansea for me to draw them over the weekend. Thanks to them I’ve almost finished drawing one hundred Baby Boomers. It’s taken over three years so far but I hope to draw number one hundred in July and then we’ll have a great big tea and cake party! Which is perhaps a bit tame considering the lifestyles most of us had in our youth (and some are still having today) but hey ho, we’re all getting on a bit and to be honest, a nice cup of tea is my limit these days. And once the tea party is over, I’ll have to think about what to do next. I’ve had some deep conversations with most of my Boomers which have created a rich pattern of experiences and images that I think could inspire some very interesting work and possibly a new direction artistically. But first I have to draw number one hundred! There are two contenders. Which one can I get to first?

The Generations

24 Jun

Linda 1949

Carrying on with my self-imposed task to meet with, chat to and draw one hundred Baby Boomers, I was lucky enough to ‘capture’ three in one go yesterday, three lifelong friends at the upper end of the Baby Boom, a research term that covers those born between 1946 and 1964.

The other generations are:

  • The Silents, or alternately The Traditionalists (I prefer The Silents, it’s like something from Doctor Who), born 1945 and before,
  • Generation X, 1965 to 1976,
  • The Millennials, 1977 to 1995,
  • The Centennials, born from 1996

According to researchers, generations share similar characteristics because they had similar experiences at more or less the same stage in life.

Nearly There

23 Jun

Just over three years ago I decided to draw one hundred people from my generation, the Baby Boomers. “It’ll be over by Xmas” I thought. Famous last words, But I’m nearly there and today drew number ninety seven. Oh yes!!!

 

Kathryn 1949

It’s a big demographic, starting in 1946 and continuing through to 1964, which is a big gap, not just in terms of age but also life experience and culture too. It’s been fascinating listening to people talk about their lives.

 

Getting Started

22 Jun

sketch 1

Just started drawing an idea for a new woodcut, scribbled it out onto a piece of layout paper with a chunk of 6B graphite first then did a couple of more detailed studies.

 

Next stage – getting some hand-lettering worked out….

Working With Wood

19 Jun

selfie wood

I recently did a woodcut selfie. I showed the print that I took a couple of days ago, and here now is the woodblock. I often like the blocks more than the prints, especially if they’re on a nice grained wood. I sometimes don’t want to ink up a woodblock because I think it would spoil the image.

nude wood

I’ve been working on this nude for a while now, but I don’t really want to finish it and print it up because I really like the way it looks. Maybe I’ll finish cutting it and leave it unprinted, as a unique piece.

Something Of Myself

18 Jun

rose drypoint watercolour[2]

I have always done a lot of teaching with adults and I think that an important part of my  technique is demonstration. I always work alongside the people I teach, going through the same processes as them, and facing the same highs and lows.

 

I was running a weekend course at the Glynn Vivian Art Gallery, linked to their Käthe Kollwitz exhibition. We went into the gallery to draw from her work and then went back into the studio to develop drypoint plates and woodblocks inspired by her prints. I drew directly onto a paper drypoint plate with a fineline pen, studying a small section of her etching ‘Raped’ from 1908, a few square inches around a foot and some sunflowers. Once I had incised the lines into the surface of the plate, I inked it up (Intaglio Printmaker’s Drypoint Shop Mix) and printed it onto wet paper (Somerset) and while it was still damp, I worked into it with some light watercolour washes (Winsor & Newton). Her original is monochrome so I’ve put something of myself into it.

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