Archive | September, 2019

That Beetle Is Toast!

30 Sep

Here’s a little screeprint I did at the weekend. The characters are a snipe and a beetle, printed onto a Fabriano paper with a fragment of chine colle. I think that beetle’s days are numbered!

Birds And Bugs, Rubbish And Rugby

29 Sep

full set

I’ve just finished an exhausting three days working with Edinburgh-based Australian artist Kelly Stewart to develop a boxed set of small screenprints based on drawings we did from the Swansea Museum archives – taxidermy birds and invertebrates. I also included some imagery based on rubbish – the sort that ends up in our rivers and seas. I wanted to link the two types of images together.

 

Kelly took the group of us through the demanding technical challenge of producing so many multi-layered pieces in a relatively short time. She’s the consumate professional, and a really good sport. She wasn’t at all put out by Wales beating Australia in the Rugby World Cup as we worked. She had tea and Welsh Cakes to console her.

Birds And Bugs

28 Sep

bird 3

 

I spent yesterday drawing at Swansea Museum with a group of artists led by Edinburgh-based artist Kelly Stewart. It was arranged by Swansea Print Workshop who worked with staff from the Museum stores to select antique taxidermy specimens from their collection – a range of birds and bugs. I drew herons, a hawk, cockchafers and beetles.

 

 

I used different papers – Khadi hand-made, Winsor & Newton watercolour, Daler Rowney cartridge – and drawing materials – conté crayons, carbon and my home-made walnut ink.

 

bugs 1

 

Today our group moved to the print workshop to do a two-day screenprint session with Kelly. I took my bugs and birds and the Gelli plate monotypes I did recently and developed the drawings into designs, made them into transparencies and then onto photosensitised silkscreens ready for printing tomorrow. That’s a lot of work done and a lot more to come……..

 

I’m currently artist-in-residence at the FIRE Laboratory in Swansea University, a scientific research project examining the ecology of the River Tawe. If you want to find out more about local freshwater fauna, check this out ….

Rubbish

27 Sep

mono 2

 

I’ve just done a dozen or so monotypes using rubbish. I recently became the artist in residence with the FIRE Lab at Swansea University and I’ve been going out on field trips with the science team along the River Tawe, looking at its ecosystem, which includes noting the rubbish. We used some rubbish we found to make cyanotypes a few weeks ago and I really liked the result, so I decided to try out a different printmaking technique with rubbish and Gelli plates.

 

mono 3

 

I started by inking a Gelli plate with a thin layer of Process Yellow Safewash ink from Caligo Cranfield and stretched a net fruit bag over it. Then I put a piece of Hosho Japanese lightweight paper on top and pressed it with my hands, to lift the ink. I repeated the process with another dozen sheets, putting different pieces of rubbish onto the Gelli plates, including ripped newspaper and old bubblewrap.

 

mono 4

Then I cleaned the equipment (in hot soapy water – so easy) and inked up in Process Red, using fresh pieces of rubbish placed at random on the Gelli plate. I put the yellow-printed papers face down and rubbed so the monotypes became yellow, red and orange.

 

mono 5

 

Finally, after cleaning everything, I repeated the whole thing with Process Blue.

 

mono 6

 

I think the rubbish looks pretty good ……

 

mono 1

…… I have plans for these ……..

Cleaning Up

26 Sep

cleaning up

 

I was down at Swansea Print Workshop this afternoon, doing loads of monotypes (more about those tomorrow) and as I was cleaning up at the end, the printing inks blended together. I liked it. It was a pity to wash them away.

Technical note: they’re Caligo Safe Wash oil-based relief inks in Process Yellow, Magenta and Cyan.

The Continuous Line Kitty

25 Sep

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I’ve been neglecting my Samsung Galaxy Note 8 tablet recently. It has a free drawing app on it, one called ‘Markers’ that I really like using but haven’t done so for weeks. I’ve got a bit of a cold and I’m slobbing out on the settee and it was easier to reach for my tablet rather than go and rummage around for a sketchbook and drawing materials. The cat’s slobbing out on the settee next to me so she was an obvious target – I mean subject – and I carried on using the continuous line technique that I’ve been practicing a lot lately.

Let’s Get Ready To Crumble…..

24 Sep

tinkers cakes

 

I do a lot of cooking, especially baking, but I rarely draw food. I made a crumble today with raspberries from our allotment, some Bramley cooking apples from a friend and some wild blackberries. It was lush! The drawing is an old one, of some Tinker’s Cakes I made on a traditional Maen or Bakestone. They’re like Welsh Cakes but made with grated apple instead of dried fruit.

 

 

For crumble, I toss the raw fruit in a mixture of sugar and ground arrowroot before topping it with the crumble mix. The arrowroot turns the liquid into a nice sauce while it’s cooking and stops it becoming soggy.

Dog At The Demo

23 Sep

climate demo 3

I was dog-sitting last Friday and went down to the Climate Change strike to do some sketches en plein air. I like drawing crowds, it’s a good exercise. The dog had different ideas though.

 

She’s only a year old and still very excitable and because she’s so cute she was getting loads of attention. There were hundreds of children so I should have anticipated it. It made sketching very difficult, with her tugging on her lead all the time and people fussing her. Not ideal conditions to have a scribble. I did my best.

 

1565811273492-218850879.png

Here’s the little tyrant.

 

 

Quote

Eco-Strike Swansea

22 Sep

A terrific drawing en plein air by Patti McKenna Jones

 

via Eco-Strike Swansea

Representing Artists

21 Sep

GS Artists Sept 2019

I went to GS Artists on High Street earlier to a meeting planning to pull together a group of local artists, a union or cooperative to represent our interests. It was a good start, lots of ideas but a lot of work ahead of us because most artists are self-employed and often working in isolation. We’re also prone to exploitation – so much pressutre to work for very little or even nothing! “You’ll get exposure” they say. You can die of exposure. It’s surprising the number of allegedly reputable organisations that try to get artists to work for no pay – or maybe it isn’t so surprising. We live in a society where artists and the arts are so undervalued.

Anyway, I had a scribble. Using ballpoint pen with the continuous line technique.

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