Search results for 'manier noir'

Manier Noir in Ynyshir

27 Mar

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I spent the day at the fabulous Workers Gallery and Workshop in Ynyshir in the Rhondda Valley. I did a one-day drawing residency, working on a manier noir drawing based on photographs I took of the Berlin Holocaust Memorial in the snow a couple of years ago. A lot of people came in to see what I was doing and find out more about the technique and my work. I had a lot of very interesting conversations throughout the day and I started and finished an A2 size drawing.

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The Valleys has a difficult reputation in the media, but I find people interested and engaged, maybe because there is so little investment and so few services, people seem genuinely keen on seeing what’s going on in the new gallery. I think the media image these towns have is nothing more than blatant class prejudice in my opinion. It’s easy to pick on working class communities who don’t have control over media output. I am really happy with the drawing and the discussions and feedback I had throughout the day, and grateful for the opportunity given by the gallery artists, Gayle Rogers and Chris Williams.

Snipe In The Dark Manner

14 Jul

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This is the last of the drawings I recently did at Swansea Museum as part of a day with Edinburgh artist and printmaker Kelly Stewart, organised by Swansea Print Workshop. I did loads of drawings of the Snipe and this is done in the manier noir technique on prepared paper (please click here if you want to find out more about manier noir).

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I did loads of drawings – here are a few. It was great spending a whole day locked away in a room in a museum drawing. Like I’d died and gone to heaven.

 

 

Otherworldly

24 Jun

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I’ve been doing a manier noir drawing (above) the past few days (click here if you want to see the process), based on an original sketch I did a few weeks ago on a field trip with scientists from Swansea University’s FIRE Lab project. We were looking at culverts up in the Brecon Beacons. I found them fascinating, lovely stone architecture, probably Victorian. I thought there was an otherworldly atmosphere to them.

 

From left to right: paper prepared with charcoal; original sketch; manier noir drawing in progress using wire wool and aluminium oxide paper.

 

I like this technique, it has a spooky, soft, ethereal quality. Manier noir means “the dark manner” which I think suits it.

 

 

Filthy Paws

13 Jun

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I always was a mucky kid, climbing trees, making dens, digging the garden with my fingers. I haven’t changed. One good thing about being an artist is that I can be just as mucky as I was back then. Today I prepared a huge piece of paper for manier noir drawing.

 

I was intending to cut up the sheet into smaller pieces to do a series of drawings, but I quite like this huge piece …. maybe I should keep it like this and do one giant drawing. What do you think?

 

manier noir

So…shall I split this up into smaller pieces or do one enormous drawing?

 

 

I’m currently working on a series of expressive drawings of ancestral sites and if you want to see some of my other artworks, please click here.

Chiaroscuro In A Doorway

28 Dec

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After a bit of a break for Xmas and too much good food and gallivanting, it’s head down for a bit more serious work. I’m carrying on with my series of small drawings from photos taken in the old church recently, using the simplest of materials, white conte crayon into an A4 Daler Rowney ‘Ebony’ sketchbook. I’m trying to explore atmospheric mark making and get out of my comfort zone, which is a fine pen into a little sketchbook. These drawings emphasise chiaroscuro and I hope they’ll eventually lead to some more finished work in manier noir style drawings or even some mezzotints. These interiors remind me a bit of German Expressionist film sets, one of my favourite periods of art and printmaking.

And A Cranny

21 Dec

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Yesterday I drew a nook in the old church and today I drew a cranny. I was lucky enough to be able to take some photographs in an early 20th century church a couple of weeks ago and I’ve been drawing from them using white conte crayon into my Daler Rowney Ebony sketchbook. It’s pulling me away from my usual reliance on fine, detailed line and into intangibles, atmospheres and emotions. I’m so enjoying it and getting ideas for manier noir drawings and mezzotint etchings. I’ll be doing a lot more of these sketches I think, I’m finding it very stimulating.

The Dark Old Church

15 Dec

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I went rummaging around in an old church earlier today. There were no working lights and the natural daylight was very dim because of the torrential rain outside, so it was dark and spooky. I did some sketching into my Daler Rowney Ebony sketchbook with white conte crayon and chalk. The church is no longer used and it’s up for sale for around £50,000 but it needs about another half a million spent on it. A consortium of groups – artists, musicians, community organisations, performers, is trying to raise the funds to buy and develop it.

I loved being in there in the dark, absorbing the spooky atmosphere. I took a lot of photos as well so I’ll probably do a few more sketches from them and I might develop them into manier noir drawings over the coming weeks.

Up The Workers

28 Oct

Of Site & Song Exhibition Workers Gallery (1)

In this era of austerity and cutbacks, it’s so good to acknowledge a success story. Just over a year ago, two artists, Gayle Rogers and Chris Williams took over the recently closed public library in the little village of Ynyshir, up the Rhondda Valley and reopened it as a gallery. Not only a gallery but also a studio, a cultural reading space and a meeting venue for the community. They have just celebrated their first anniversary and will shortly open their Winter show, Of Sight And Song. I’m so flattered that they have chosen one of my images, a manier noir drawing inspired by The Holocaust Memorial, for the poster and invitations and I’m chuffed to be exhibiting in The Workers again.

A great venue, please do make an effort to get up the Rhondda Valley to visit it. The area is fabulous anyway, great scenery, interesting history and the very best chip shop in Ferndale. The show opens on November the 5th and runs until December the 23rd.

Working Flat Out

27 Jul

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I’m working flat out for the group exhibition I’m in next month at Oriel Ceri Richards, with Sylvie Evans, collagist and Graham Parker, painter. We’re part of a collective called 15 Hundred Lives and as well as exhibiting together, we do a monthly public access event at the Creative Bubble artspace where we open the doors to anyone who wants to come in and see what it is that artists do all day. It’s our second anniversary at Creative Bubble in August so as well as the exhibition, we’re also putting on a big arty birthday bash. That’s why I’m working flat out!

I’m doing a drawing using the manier noir technique. It’s French for ‘in the dark manner’ but I like to call it Drawing Darkly. Here’s some information about it 🙂

Plumb Tuckered

25 Apr

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It’s the end of a long and tiring day, but I managed to finish the manier noir drawing I was working on. And now to bed 😪

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