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Aloe Vera and Custard Tarts

13 Dec

aloe

I took a small Khadi sketchbook with me on my recent trip to Portugal and drew en plein air with Daler Rowney soft pastels. The landscape is very dramatic and I spotted these gigantic wintry Aloe Veras spearing the land and sky. The colours are so intense in the bright winter sunshine, so different to the soft greys and greens of home.

 

custard

 

Most of our walks along the beach ended up in the old town of Albufeira where we chanced upon a lovely tiny cafe and patisserie, the Pastelaria Barhon, that served heavenly Pasteis de Nata (Portugese custard tarts) that we had to eat to revive us because it was so tiring walking in the hot sun. Honest!

 

Punjab To Rhondda With Cake

20 Nov

Winter Woodland artist residencies Nov 2017 b

I’m doing a one-day artist residency at The Workers Gallery in Ynyshir this coming Friday so if you’re in the area, or fancy that trip up the Rhondda Valley that you’ve been promising yourself, please pop in and see me. I’ll make a cake. Maybe a Victoria Sandwich.

Victoria Sandwich

When I did a residency in Pakistan, at the Zaira Zaka Print Studio three years ago, I travelled from Rawalpindi to Lahore across the vast expanse of the Punjab through some incredible weather conditions including the most ferocious thunderstorm I have ever experienced. In the car, I did 50 very quick impressionistic drawings of the journey into a small Khadi sketchbook, and these have inspired a series of small monotypes. I have done 10 so far and I’ll be working on some more at my residency in Ynyshir.

I edited the 50 original drawings together into a short video with a soundtrack taken from the sounds around me during my month-long stay. Here it is….

Male Nude And Dundee Cake

17 Nov

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Here’s another drawing I did yesterday evening at life drawing at Swansea Print Workshop. I drew onto my Samsung Galaxy Note 8 tablet, which is getting a bit old now, using the free Markers app. I worked onto a black background, putting layers of faded colour with my finger and a large brush and then worked in the finer lines with the stylus and a smaller pen function. I made a Dundee cake that afternoon and took it along for the tea break. Proper old school. Most of it went and it was a big cake too. It was still a bit warm so it was squidgy and buttery. mmmmmmm 😀

Life Drawing And Lemon Cake

19 Oct

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Just back from life drawing at Swansea Print Workshop. I drew with my Samsung Galaxy Note 8 tablet with the free Markers app. The pose was for an hour and I built up the drawing gradually. I saved every few seconds and I’m going to edit all the saved drawings together to make an animation, Husb is going to teach me how to edit on Adobe Premiere Pro. I made a sponge cake filled with lemon buttercream for the tea break. With proper butter of course. And fresh lemons.

 

Fruity

4 Oct

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Day 3 of the 40 Day Drawing Challenge set by Green Olive Press in Morocco and today I’m going fruity with a ripe pomegranate. I rarely draw still life so I’m using the Challenge to practice, one object at a time and working up to a large composition by the end. I’m taking inspiration from other artists who work with still-life. Matisse is an obvious one, but I’m very taken with the work of fellow art blogger Aletha Kuschan. Do check her work out (here), it’s sumptuous. I drew this on my Samsung Galaxy Note 8 tablet with a basic free app called Markers.

I saved the drawing several times as I went along and the slides below show the different stages.

 

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Barbie Poop And Twin Peaks

13 Aug

Unicorn 1

 

So, my young niece sent me a link to YouTube a few months ago and asked if I could make her a rainbow unicorn cake like the one on YouTube for her 18th birthday. It looked easy enough. So her birthday’s here and I’ve been cooking for a couple of days to get her cake ready and all went well until it came to putting on the icing and making it look like a unicorn. Then it sort of went pear-shaped. The pound and a half of buttercream icing on the outside looked too bland so I threw handfuls of different coloured shimmer sugar crystals at it so the unicorn became a sparkly piebald, which I don’t think unicorns are supposed to be.

Then the icing kit I’d bought to decorate the top of the cake with lovely pink and white stripey rosettes didn’t quite work out for me and it ended up covered with little piles of what looked like Barbie poop. You know, like the ‘poop’ emoji but pink and white instead of brown. poop emoji

So I  smoothed it down with a knife but then I had to find some real flowers to decorate the head around the horn that I’d bought specially. Luckily, a friend had brought me flowers when she visited a couple of days ago and I used a few of those. Finally I had to cut some attractive eyelashes from black paper but mine went all sort of sinister and I ended up with a mutant unicorn cake that Husb reckons looks “like something from Twin Peaks“. I think that’s meant to be a compliment?

Luckily, when it was cut open it looked a lot better and tasted nice too.

Unicorn 2

 

 

A lot of my artwork is available on my Artfinder gallery.  If you’d like to have a look, please click on the image below or the Artfinder link at the top right of this page.

Life Drawing And Cake

1 Jul

This is a fairly quick drawing I did at life drawing session in Swansea Print Workshop on Thursday evening. I’m getting back into drawing with my Samsung Galaxy Note 8 using the free Markers app. There is some quite extreme foreshortening with that right foot.

 

I took along an apricot upside-down cake for the tea break. I like the way the apricots caramelised around the edges. I drizzled a little home-made elderflower cordial onto them before cooking the cake and it browned them nicely.

 

 

For a limited period I am putting a new drawing of an ancient monument on my Artfinder gallery every day.  If you’d like to check them out, please click on the image below or the Artfinder link at the top right of this page.

 

 

 

Baseball Bat And Chips

15 Apr

Carn Eiddil

Husb and I took a road trip up some of the South Wales valleys today, calling in at the new Studio 18 gallery in Pontycymer owned by artist Kevin Sinnott, a fabulous artspace filled with gorgeous art; paintings, etchings, drawings, well worth a visit. Then over the mountain to The Workers Gallery in Ynyshir to catch the end of the current show from the gallery artists and guest sculptor Tobbe Malm from Norway. Always a great show on there. On the way home we called into a chippie in Ferndale for the best pie and chips and the chippie owner keeps a baseball bat behind the counter. My sort of place, totally! Then we drove up over the mountains , stopping at Carn Eiddil for a quick scribble up the valley before coming home.

 

 

I have put my series of drawings en plein air of ancient Welsh monuments on Artfinder.  If you want to see more, please click on the image below or the Artfinder link at the top right of this page. This one is the legendary grave of Saint Elfys (Elvis) in Pembrokeshire, not for from the Presceli Mountains. Elfys? Presceli? Elvis Presley? Coincidence? hhhmmmm

St Elvis

In Praise Of Rhubarb

13 Apr

17-rhubarb

It’s rhubarb season and I made the first rhubarb crumble of the year a few days ago. It’s Husb’s favourite crumble and didn’t last long. It’s been around in Europe since the 14th century and it’s popular in gardens and allotments as well as being grown commercially where it’s often forced, especially in the Rhubarb Triangle and gathered by candlelight in the dark sheds. Rhubarb root can be made into a dye similar to walnut ink. I’ll have to give it a go! I did this drawing in a small sketchbook some time ago, using Faber Castell Pitt drawing pens and a block of graphite.

 

 

I have put my series of drawings en plein air of ancient Welsh monuments on Artfinder.  If you want to see more, please click on the image below or the Artfinder link at the top right of this page. This one is the legendary grave of Saint Elfys (Elvis) in Pembrokeshire, not for from the Presceli Mountains. Elfys? Presceli? Elvis Presley? Coincidence? hhhmmmm

St Elvis

Visitors And Welsh Cakes

12 Apr

27 tinkers cakes

Had a busy day with lots of visitors so I made a batch of Welsh cakes and served them warm off the griddle. In The Welsh language they are called “picau ar y maen”. Maen means a stone and in ancient times before iron was smelted, a bakestone would be used to cook flat breads and cakes. They’re still in use now. I was given mine as a present way back in the 1970s. Here’s a little drawing I did of them.

 

I have put my series of drawings en plein air of ancient Welsh monuments on Artfinder.  If you want to see more, please click on the image below or the Artfinder link at the top right of this page. This one is the legendary grave of Saint Elfys (Elvis) in Pembrokeshire, not for from the Presceli Mountains. Elfys? Presceli? Elvis Presley? Coincidence? hhhmmmm

St Elvis

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