Archive | November, 2019

Switching Stitching

30 Nov

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Still working on Michael Sheen. I’ve nearly finished stitching his face so I had a bit of a change and switched to working on a few curls. His hair is quite salt and pepper in the reference photo, which gives very good definition to the curly bits. I’m making this for the 9 to 90 creative festival in Swansea,  …..coming up soon

Still At It With Michael Sheen

28 Nov

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Doing it slow ….. very slow ….. will I finish this by the deadline?

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Slowly Stitching Sheen

27 Nov

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Still stitching away at my embroidered portrait of Michael Sheen. Local artist Ann Jordan got in touch to comment that people often don’t realise the immense amount of time put into textile art. She has a fabulous solo show, Life And Loss, at Volcano on Swansea’s High Street at the moment, running until December 2nd. It’s well worth a visit.

 

If you fancy doing your own Michael Sheen in collage please join me and Patti McJones at GS Artists this Friday – follow the link here to book in. It’s free but they appreciate pre-booking so they can work out the catering – they’re providing a free high tea too.

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Carrying On With Michael Sheen

26 Nov

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It’s slow but I’m carrying on with my stitched portrait of the Port Talbot actor, Michael Sheen.

I’m doing it to enter the 9to90 Creative Festival that’s happening in Swansea this month. Lots of artists are running free community arts sessions – Patti McKenna-Jones and I are ging to be GS Artists this Friday with out collage workshop.

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So if you fancy collaging one of the two topics of this year’s festival, Michael Sheen or a new coat of arms for Swansea, follow the link here and book in. It’s free and all the materials will be provided. Would be lovely to see you….

Massed Michael Sheens

25 Nov

 

I spent a very absorbing couple of hours this evening developing an embroidery of the actor Michael Sheen at the Sew Swansea workshop. It’s part of the 9to90 Creative Workshops this year.

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I haven’t done embroidery for decades, not since I was a child, watching my mother embroider and trying out little bits of stitching on scraps of material. It seems very much like drawing, but slower.

Patti McKenna-Jones and I are running  free workshop this coming Friday – please see the leaflet above.

The 9to90 sessions will culminate in an exhibition of massed Michael Sheens at GS Artists next month…..

What’s That When It’s At Home?

24 Nov

I’ve been doing what I’ve been doing for decades, just getting on with it, doing my art, mostly sketchbooks from reality, life drawing and printmaking, while working with marginalised people – the homeless and the drug and alcohol dependent. As far as I was concerned, these were not two different things, but are inter-dependent. When people asked what I did, it took ages to explain. Now, apparently, I’m a socially engaged artist. So there we are.

Afghan refugee children

It isn’t just about how I integrate living as an artist with working with people at the edge of society – it also informs the artwork I do. For example, I made this monotype (above) from my first visit to Pakistan over a decade ago now. It was a relatively peaceful period and we were visiting the Khyber Pass and I was inspired by Afghan refugees travelling back to their homes.

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In my sketchbooks, I draw from real life, both the ordinary that’s around me every day and the special events like demonstrations and meetings. Here’s a drawing I did on the march to commemorate Greenham Common back last year.

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Sometimes my work is directly political, like “Here Be Dragons” that was commissioned last year by Sky Arts TV channel.

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And the flag of Gwenllian ferch Gruffydd designed for the AUOB Cymru marches.

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Recently, I’ve become an artist-in-residence and researcher in the FIRE Laboratory in Swansea University’s Department of Bioscience, working at the interface between art and environmental science.

Or I just draw people getting on with their lives on the streets of Swansea….

 

So when people ask what I do, now I say “I’m a socially engaged artist” and they go “So what’s that when it’s at home then?”

 

And it takes ages to explain …..

Take A Hike

23 Nov

There’s so much going on in Swansea this weekend and I’m going to give it all a plug because there’s a lot of people living in Swansea who are professional complainers and bang on about nothing happening, which isn’t true, so why not get into town tomorrow (Sunday) and take a hike around the city calling in on the fabulous things happening, all of them free.

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Art and artists’ cards at Swansea Print Workshop

First off, start with the hidden gem that is Swansea Print Workshop which is having Open Days from 10.30 – 4.00 each day until Wednesday November 27th, with original art, artists’ cards, and amazing antique and modern machines dating from Queen Victoria’s era.

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Then stroll down West Way onto the seafront (about 2 minutes walk) to the National Waterfront Museum which is hosting the Green Fayre – I went today and bought some fab vintage tools and a really nice vintage glass brooch from Tools For Self Reliance Cymru who lovingly refurbish old tools.

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Jeweller’s pliers, a burnisher, a scraper (for mezzotint) and a glass brooch all for £7.50

Then round the corner to Swansea Museum , a proper old Cabinet of Curiosities sort of place which is now displaying drawings and screenprints from Swansea Print Workshop with its collection of antique taxidermy.

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And then if you want more, round the other corner is the Mission Gallery that has just launched its Winter Garden show and if you’re hungry for more – try out the Glynn Vivian art gallery that’s showing the official Swansea City 50 years exhibition and has a fab cafe too. Oh and they’re taking entries for the Swansea Open as well.

PHEW!!!!! If you’ve got a car you can also catch the last day of Deanne Mangold’s Open Studio at Class Glass in Llansamlet.

There, that should fill up anyone’s Sunday ……

Tucked Away

21 Nov

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Just a quick sketch that I did at GS Artists a few days ago, scribbling people in the audience. These little drawings underpin my artistic practice, I have thousands of them, tucked away in cupboards all over the house.

The Debut Of Musical Scribblefish

19 Nov

A blog I wrote for the FIRE Lab (Freshwater Interdisciplinary Research and Evaluation Laboratory) about our new public art engagement activity – it was fun, fishy – and mucky!

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Please click on the link below ….

The Debut Of Musical Scribblefish

Blind Contour And Continuous Line

18 Nov

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Here are some more heads I drew on Saturday at GS Artists. I started with a speed sketch using the blind contour technique, where I kept the pen on the paper and didn’t look at it at all as I drew, keeping my gaze on the person. It’s a good warm-up exercise. Then I moved onto a continuous line drawing.

 

 

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