Archive | November, 2020

Doing The Detail

29 Nov

20201130_120608

I carried on faking “Son Of Man” by René Magritte today, focusing on the finer details, like the brickwork on the wall, rendering the cloth on the coat and sketching in the shirt, tie and hands. I can see what needs some attention – the left lapel, the hat brim and the apple which is too large, the hands are too small. I’m learning a lot about applying paint from doing this one, working wet on wet and blending colours directly on the canvas. I hope to get it finished tomorrow.

I paint a fake every Friday lunchtime with the Cheese and Wine Painting Club over on Facebook – it’s my lockdown challenge. I think this is number 25. Painter Ed Sumner, who runs the club, has done 35 since lockdown started in March. The cost is a donation or free for those who can’t afford it. The next one, on December 4th, is van Gogh’s sunset.

Nearly But Not Quite

28 Nov

Rob 6

I did some more painting today – what’s going on with me? I’ve hardly painted since I was in art college back in the 1970s and now I can’t stop. The fabulous GS Artists have been organising free art tutorials, a mixture of Zoom and on-site (observing safety protocols of course). It’s part of the 9-to-90 art events programme in Swansea and there are plenty coming up – click on the link to find out more. Today’s was a portrait class run by Tomos Sparnon and the subject was ‘Gavin And Stacey’ actor Rob Brydon. It isn’t a good likeness yet but I’m getting there. I’ve made his nose too long which makes his face too long.

Tomos started with some sketchbook exercises in pencil and then we tried a few quick scribbles of Rob before drawing him up ready for painting. I worked on paper in gouache, a new experience for me and I really liked it. One of my favourite artists, Egon Schiele, did a lot of his best work in gouache. I think that one of the most important things I learned today was not to be too precious about a painting. Keep at it even though there are mistakes because recognising those is part of the process. Then put it aside and start another. And another until you get it right. Good stuff.

 

A Chance To Own One Of My Artworks

I have some small screenprints for sale, inspired by my drawings of the taxidermy collection at Swansea Museum. I have given these antique artifacts a modern twist by combining them with images of rubbish – old fruit nets, bubble wrap and plastic – highlighting the problem of human pollution and how it affects wildlife.

To buy my work on the Swansea Print Workshop site please click the image to the left and to see the complete image.

Inspired by drawings of the taxidermy collection at Swansea Museum. I have given these antique artefacts a modern twist by combining them with images of rubbish – old fruit nets, bubble wrap and plastic – highlighting the problem of human pollution and how it affects wildlife.

20 percent of the cost of each screenprint sold goes to support Swansea Print Workshop, which receives no public funding.

 

 

Faking A Man With An Apple For A Face

27 Nov

Magritte 6

Today’s painting session with Ed Sumner’s Cheese and Wine Painting Club on Facebook is a famous painting by the Belgian Surrealist artist René Magritte, “The Son Of Man”. It isn’t finished, I reckon a couple of hours over the weekend should do it.

I set myself a lockdown challenge to improve my painting skills and found this paint club. This is my 26th painting (I think). It’s working, I’m getting better at it. The next Cheese and Wine Painting Club is an extra one tomorrow (Saturday 28th November) painting a Winter landscape.  And next Friday lunchtime it’s a van Gogh Sunset. If you fancy joining in, it’s suitable for anyone over the age of 5, it’s family friendly and it costs a donation or free for those who can’t afford to.

 

 

 

A Chance To Own One Of My Artworks

I have some small screenprints for sale, inspired by my drawings of the taxidermy collection at Swansea Museum. I have given these antique artifacts a modern twist by combining them with images of rubbish – old fruit nets, bubble wrap and plastic – highlighting the problem of human pollution and how it affects wildlife.

To buy my work on the Swansea Print Workshop site please click the image to the left and to see the complete image.

Inspired by drawings of the taxidermy collection at Swansea Museum. I have given these antique artefacts a modern twist by combining them with images of rubbish – old fruit nets, bubble wrap and plastic – highlighting the problem of human pollution and how it affects wildlife.

20 percent of the cost of each screenprint sold goes to support Swansea Print Workshop, which receives no public funding.

 

Passing On The Vintage

26 Nov

10 mins c

Here’s a 10 minute pose from last week’s life drawing session at Swansea Print Workshop. I worked onto a heavy textured vintage paper – it doesn’t have a watermark so I don’t know the make. Over the past few years I have been given loads of vintage papers, and some tools as well, by relatives of elderly artists who passed away.

It’s kind to pass these thing on to other artists and it means that they will be used for what their original owners intended. I will have to have that conversation with my relatives so they’ll pass on my materials when I shuffle off this mortal coil.

 

A Chance To Own One Of My Artworks

I have some small screenprints for sale, inspired by my drawings of the taxidermy collection at Swansea Museum. I have given these antique artifacts a modern twist by combining them with images of rubbish – old fruit nets, bubble wrap and plastic – highlighting the problem of human pollution and how it affects wildlife.

To buy my work on the Swansea Print Workshop site please click the image to the left and to see the complete image.

Inspired by drawings of the taxidermy collection at Swansea Museum. I have given these antique artefacts a modern twist by combining them with images of rubbish – old fruit nets, bubble wrap and plastic – highlighting the problem of human pollution and how it affects wildlife.

20 percent of the cost of each screenprint sold goes to support Swansea Print Workshop, which receives no public funding.

Building The Woman In Gold

25 Nov

Klimt 6a

I carried on doing some work on my copy of Gustav Klimt’s “Woman In Gold” today, building up the layers of sumptuous decoration on her dress and the background. I started this a few weeks ago when I enrolled on a Zoom painting tutorial taught by the painter Ed Sumner. Ed has been running free painting classes every Friday lunchtime since lockdown began – I think he’s done 35 so far. But mid week, he organises paid tutorials with very small groups. Check him out here.

Klimt 7

The Woman In Gold – portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer, is one of my favourite paintings and Klint one of my favourite artists. It’s so elaborate, it’s taking me ages and apparently it took Klimt about 4 years to complete the original. I’m concentrating on the decorative parts first, I’ll leave the portrait until the end.

Klimt 6b

The painting was stolen by the Nazis during World War 2 and Adele’s niece, Maria Altmann, tried to get the painting back for her family. The story was made into a film in 2015 starring Helen Mirren and Ryan Reynolds, it’s one of my favourite films – here’s the trailer

 

 

 

 

A Chance To Own One Of My Artworks

I have some small screenprints for sale, inspired by my drawings of the taxidermy collection at Swansea Museum. I have given these antique artifacts a modern twist by combining them with images of rubbish – old fruit nets, bubble wrap and plastic – highlighting the problem of human pollution and how it affects wildlife.

To buy my work on the Swansea Print Workshop site please click the image to the left and to see the complete image.

Inspired by drawings of the taxidermy collection at Swansea Museum. I have given these antique artefacts a modern twist by combining them with images of rubbish – old fruit nets, bubble wrap and plastic – highlighting the problem of human pollution and how it affects wildlife.

20 percent of the cost of each screenprint sold goes to support Swansea Print Workshop, which receives no public funding.

 

Käthe Kollwitz by Rosie Scribblah

25 Nov

Here is my first podcast.  It is about one of my favourite artists Käthe Kollwitz.  Here is a screen print I did of her.  To own one of my series of silkscreen portraits celebrating great but often neglected women artists please click here.

Please see below the transcript of the podcast.

Most of us have a hero and Käthe Kollwitz is mine.

She was a German artist born in the 1860s at a time when women were definitely not supposed to become artists. It was a very blokey thing to do. But she came from a radical and idealistic family and grew up with this very strong sense of social responsibility.

At first, her father was a lawyer but it really messed with his head and he gave up a comfortable middle class lifestyle and retrained as a stone mason.

Kathe’s family recognised her incredible talent when she was a child so they paid for her to have drawing and printmaking lessons from a local engraver, which was very unusual at that time. I mean, she was a girl.

And then, when she was 18, her family sent her to art school in Berlin, which was very radical, a teenage woman on her own away from home, in those days.? And while she was in art school she got involved in socialist and feminist politics.

She finished her course and when she was 24 she married a socialist doctor, Karl Kollwitz, who was very principled and although they could have had a very comfortable lifestyle, instead Karl ran a clinic in a working class area where people paid a little bit every week, a kind of medical insurance. Kathe often helped him in the surgery and saw for herself the terrible effects of poverty.

Queen Victoria

This was at the end of the 19th century – Queen Victoria was on the throne over here and the lives of working class people across Europe were short and hard. Just think of the books written by Charles Dickens – the poorest people had awful lives.

Kathe was so talented – she could have made loads of money painting portraits for rich people but instead, she decided to become a printmaker, mainly doing etchings and lithographs.

That decision was because of her politics. Two reasons, one was because you can make lots of prints from an etching plate, so you can sell them far more cheaply that the cost of one painting, so it meant that people who were not very wealthy could afford to buy her art.

And the second reason is that there’s a long tradition of political printmaking and that suited her – she could bring her radical political beliefs into her work.

And what sort of things did she make art about?

Well, lots of political prints about the struggle of working people but also she did lots of portraits of working men and women. Now bear in mind that at that time, having a portrait done was something that only the wealthiest people could afford, and here was Kathe, drawing and making etchings of the ordinary working people who came to her husband’s surgery. That was radical.

The other subject she did a lot of work about was death. There was no medical insurance, nothing like the NHS. Medical science wasn’t all that advanced. There were no antibiotics and masses of people died from infections that wouldn’t bother us now. And lots of women died giving birth. And huge amounts of children died when they were babies and toddlers. Even in better off homes. As the wife of a doctor she was surrounded by death.

Now because her work was so political, she was very unpopular with the rulers of Germany, the First Reich, Emperor Wilhelm, Kaiser Bill, who started World War 1. He was violently opposed to any political art, he called it gutter art.  But despite that, her art very well thought of at home and abroad.

When World War 1 started, her much loved youngest son, Peter, volunteered to join the army. His father didn’t want him to but he persuaded Kathe to let him go. Unfortunately he was killed in battle just a few months later, when he was 18. Her grief was terrible and she couldn’t do any art for some years. Like so many parents across Europe she struggled with her personal tragedy.

The Great War

The Great War ended in 1918 and Germany was a defeated and broken country, sons and husbands and fathers died in the trenches and left a nation of women and children, which happened in the other the allied countries as well.

At the end of the day, there were no winners, only losers.

By this time the First Reich was gone and the Weimar Republic came into power. They thought a lot of Kathe and she had loads of major exhibitions and awards, she became a Professor and she was the first woman ever to be elected to the Berlin Academy of Art.

Then in the 1920s she made a series of incredible and very upsetting prints, woodcuts. I think during this time she was working through the grief of the war and losing her son.

She did one image called “This is The Sacrifice” and it’s obvious that her anguish comes through the way she has hacked the wood away to reveal the painful image underneath, a primeval image of the tragedy of motherhood, giving birth to beautiful baby boys only for them to be swallowed up as sacrifices in war. It’s so painful and so different to traditional depictions of war which glorify cruelty and heroism.

Her son Peter was butchered along with hundreds of thousands of sons, lovers, husbands, fathers, uncles and nephews by a stupid aristocratic family quarrel. The German royal family lived in comfortable exile after the war, while the working classes, devastated by WW1, struggled to find work, food, warmth. Again she does loads of art about this, usually showing the situation from women’s point of view.

Hitler and the Nazis

But these were desperate times and although there was a huge anti-war feeling after World War 1, as the 1920s went on and people lived in terrible conditions in Germany, that anti-war feeling was starting to change, and Hitler and the Nazis were on the rise.

They came to power in 1933 and established The Third Reich and Kathe’s work becomes even darker, facing the horrors of her country’s descent into fascism with horrific images, very Gothic and disturbing.

Many artists suffered under the Nazis, labelled degenerate, some killed themselves, some disappeared into concentration camps, some went into exile. Nobody was safe but Kathe’s style in the last years of her life became very free, almost abstract, because she couldn’t be political in her work anymore, because she would have been killed.

Self Portraits

So she did a whole load of self-portraits in these last few years. And you can see the sadness in her face. Germany was about to start another World War.  She’d lost her young son Peter in World War 1 and then her young grandson, also Peter in World War 2 and, now in her 70s, she withdrew from public life and into her own inner world.

Kathe died in 1945, shortly before the war ended.

Why isn’t better known? Well she’s a woman! That speaks volumes. And she’s German and Germans were not popular for decades after World War 2. But over the past few years her work has reached beyond Germany and she’s finally getting credit for being one of the great artists of the 20th century.

Finally, Kathe and her wonderful work is being loved again. I hope you look her up online and that you get to love her as much as I do.

Käthe Kollwitz

Well, that’s the story of Kathe Kollwitz. If you want to look her up, her name is spelled K. A. T. H. E.  K. O. L. L. W. I. T. Z.

I hope you enjoyed my first podcast. The next one is going to be about another artist that inspires me …. Frida Kahlo. In the meanwhile, look out for me on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. I’m Rosie Scribblah. Hwyl Fawr.

The Foreshortened Foot

24 Nov

60 mins 7

Here’s the 60 minute pose from last week’s life drawing session at Swansea Print Workshop. I like the quicker poses because they lead to more energised drawings but the long pose allows me to concentrate on technical practice.

I used a sanguine coloured conté crayon onto a heavyweight ivory coloured vintage handmade paper. The foot is very foreshortened – it looks huge compared to the rest of the body, but I measured carefully and it’s pretty accurate.

 

A Chance To Own One Of My Artworks

I have some small screenprints for sale, inspired by my drawings of the taxidermy collection at Swansea Museum. I have given these antique artifacts a modern twist by combining them with images of rubbish – old fruit nets, bubble wrap and plastic – highlighting the problem of human pollution and how it affects wildlife.

To buy my work on the Swansea Print Workshop site please click the image to the left and to see the complete image.

Inspired by drawings of the taxidermy collection at Swansea Museum. I have given these antique artefacts a modern twist by combining them with images of rubbish – old fruit nets, bubble wrap and plastic – highlighting the problem of human pollution and how it affects wildlife.

20 percent of the cost of each screenprint sold goes to support Swansea Print Workshop, which receives no public funding.

The 60 Minute Pose

23 Nov

60 mins 5

Here’s a 60 minute pose from life drawing session a few nights ago at Swansea Print Workshop. It has some difficult foreshortening and I ended up with two hands, two feet and a head which is a lot of drawing.  It’s distorted but I like that. I admire the work of Egon Schiele, who also distorted some of his nudes, so if it’s good enough for him, it’s good enough for me.

 

 

A Chance To Own One Of My Artworks

I have some small screenprints for sale, inspired by my drawings of the taxidermy collection at Swansea Museum. I have given these antique artifacts a modern twist by combining them with images of rubbish – old fruit nets, bubble wrap and plastic – highlighting the problem of human pollution and how it affects wildlife.

To buy my work on the Swansea Print Workshop site please click the image to the left and to see the complete image.

Inspired by drawings of the taxidermy collection at Swansea Museum. I have given these antique artefacts a modern twist by combining them with images of rubbish – old fruit nets, bubble wrap and plastic – highlighting the problem of human pollution and how it affects wildlife.

20 percent of the cost of each screenprint sold goes to support Swansea Print Workshop, which receives no public funding.

 

Another Fabulous Faking Friday

22 Nov

Rosie Scribblah daisies

This weeks Friday fake with the Cheese and Wine Painting Club on Facebook is The Daisies by Matisse. It’s a lovely composition, strong and simple with fabulous colours. I read that Matisse hoarded tons of stuff so that he had loads to choose from to arrange in his still life and portrait paintings yet his style is uncluttered. Here are the steps below.

 

 

 

A Chance To Own One Of My Artworks

I have some small screenprints for sale, inspired by my drawings of the taxidermy collection at Swansea Museum. I have given these antique artifacts a modern twist by combining them with images of rubbish – old fruit nets, bubble wrap and plastic – highlighting the problem of human pollution and how it affects wildlife.

To buy my work on the Swansea Print Workshop site please click the image to the left and to see the complete image.

Inspired by drawings of the taxidermy collection at Swansea Museum. I have given these antique artefacts a modern twist by combining them with images of rubbish – old fruit nets, bubble wrap and plastic – highlighting the problem of human pollution and how it affects wildlife.

20 percent of the cost of each screenprint sold goes to support Swansea Print Workshop, which receives no public funding.

 

Finally Finished Faking Funny Face

21 Nov

Final

Because Husb and I went away last weekend I fell behind with my faking painting. So today I caught up and finished this copy of Henri Rousseau’s funny-faced painting “The Mandrill” that I started over a week ago. I’m joining in with painter Ed Sumner’s Friday Facebook painting class, The Cheese And Wine Painting Club, and I’m learning loads. It’s good fun too which I wasn’t expecting because painting has always stresseed me out in the past.

A Chance To Own One Of My Artworks

I have some small screenprints for sale, inspired by my drawings of the taxidermy collection at Swansea Museum. I have given these antique artifacts a modern twist by combining them with images of rubbish – old fruit nets, bubble wrap and plastic – highlighting the problem of human pollution and how it affects wildlife.

To buy my work on the Swansea Print Workshop site please click the image to the left and to see the complete image.

Inspired by drawings of the taxidermy collection at Swansea Museum. I have given these antique artefacts a modern twist by combining them with images of rubbish – old fruit nets, bubble wrap and plastic – highlighting the problem of human pollution and how it affects wildlife.

20 percent of the cost of each screenprint sold goes to support Swansea Print Workshop, which receives no public funding.

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