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Faking It Slowly

9 Aug

fields 3

I dropped into Facebook’s Wine and Cheese Painting Club on Friday, to practice and improve my skills. It looks like a fairly simple work but it’s surprisingly complex, with loads of layering, stippling the colours over each other.  It’s going to be a long job. This is what I managed in the hour and a half session but I reckon there’s another 4 hours at least. I didn’t get a chance to work on it through the weekend, today’s fine weather was perfect for a couple of hours down the allotment, followed by a few in the garden. A hot sweaty job. Got loads done though. So this fake is going to have to wait until tomorrow.

I use Liquitex Heavy Body acrylic paints and Daler Rowney brushes.

I also got a cracking charity buy yesterday, from the Cats Protection shop. I love spiders. Always have, ever since I was little and got a liking for the little critters running up my arms – it tickles.

spider brooch

 

Pollution And The Seagull

28 Jul

 

gull 2

I spent the morning at Swansea Print Workshop – we are doing a very limited re-opening now that the Covid19 restrictions are relaxing. I want to finish an edition of screenprints I made from a drawing of a stuffed seagull back last Autumn. I printed a load of seagulls on newsprint while I was getting the strength of the ink right so I used a couple of these today to try out different backgrounds. I’m thinking of making a photoscreen from fruit nets to create the background. There’s so much rubbish in the environment, loads of plastic pollution, so I’m going to use some with the seagull. I’m not necessarily going to use these colours but at the moment I’m trying to get the composition right.

 

A White Raven Emerges

8 Jul

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Inspiration can be a slow process for me. I heard a poem performed by Welsh artist and rapper Rufus Mufasa back last year which featured a raven and it’s been buried somewhere inside and emerged a few days ago. As a female raven, as a manifestation of the ancient Welsh goddess Brânwen and now, today, as a white raven. None of this is being consciously directed by me, I’m just getting on with it and seeing where it leads me. I had a go drawing her on my Samsung Galaxy tablet today, with a free drawing app called Markers, which is the only drawing app I’ve ever used. In this format she’s come out as quite feisty, almost perky, which is nothing like the tragic history of Brânwen.  I’ll try developing her in different media and see what happens.

This is the drawing I did originally at Rufus’ performance, it was a spontaneous reaction and the raven is just starting to emerge.

RM1

And a couple of days ago I drew this one in HB pencil.

raven 3

I’m getting an urge to try this out in collage next, something I rarely do, but this white raven has really gripped me all of a sudden and I’m going to go with the flow.

There’s a podcast called the Celtic Myth Podshow which tells the story of ancient Celtic myths, episode by episode, including the one about Brânwen – check it out here, it’s good.

And please do check out Rufus Mufasa, she’s amazing. She’s here on SoundCloud.

Now – where’s my Pritt stick?

Scribbling Brân

2 Jul

raven 3

I practised drawing a raven today, from a photograph, as I have the germ of an idea for some new work. I find birds really hard to draw because they have such strange proportions. My first one was way off, the second is getting there. More work to do. I’m thinking this may end up in a screenprint at some point.

Thing is with birds that it isn’t just the weird proportions to get to grips with but also the foreshortening. Tricky. I used an HB Derwent pencil onto a medium weight cartridge paper. In Welsh mythology, the god and goddess Brân and Brânwen were brother and sister. Brân means raven and Brânwen,  a white raven.

The Matisse Cat finished

2 May

cat 7

I carried on with the acrylic painting I started yesterday in an online painting session on Facebook, hosted by the Cheese and Wine Painting Club. I did about 3 hours yesterday and another three today. The painting is a cat and goldfish by the Fauvist painter Henri Matisse, he painted cats and goldfish a lot. It’s been fun and it’s given me a real insight into how Matisse painted. When I’m working on my own art, it’s very intense and difficult, it takes so much concentrationa and my own work often deals with difficult subjects, so it was lovely to relax and do some art purely for the enjoyment. I’m surprised by how much I liked it, I don’t normally paint.

final

The original was on a different shaped canvas, mine is longer and thinner, so I had to adapt by losing the sides of the original and putting some decorative panels on the top and bottom.

The next paintalong is van Gogh’s Starry Night on May 8th at midday. It’s free or a donation if you can afford it. Would be nice to see you there 😀

Painting A Matisse Cat

1 May

cat 6

I joined in with an online painting session on Facebook today, hosted by the Cheese and Wine Painting Club. It’s an hour and a half live session and today’s painting was a cat and goldfish by the Fauvist painter Henri Matisse. I haven’t finished – there’s a few more hours work to do, but it’s given me a real insight into how Matisse structured his painting and unusually for me I’m enjoying it. I don’t normally like painting, I much prefer drawing and printmaking, but this isn’t just painting, it’s also learning about another artist in a very real way.

It’s something different to do during lockdown. The next one is van Gogh’s Starry Night on May 8th at midday. It’s free or a donation if you can afford to. Will you be joining in?

The Rainbow And The Censored Dog

21 Apr

rainbow

I painted a rainbow onto a small canvas and put it into the window and then went out to do a bit of shopping and came across another of these little Jack Russell wheatpastes, this time he’s been censored! He’s on Instagram, he’s @theswanseajack

swansea jack

Scribbling, Shouting And Low Flying Seagulls

11 Apr

crazy lady

Queueing outside shops gives me time and opportunity to have a quick scribble in my little sketchbook that goes everywhere with me. I think it’s important to sketch, it doesn’t have to be a fabulous work of art, just a quick scribble to keep practicing. I saw this lady walking along the other side of the street in the sunshine, talking very loudly to herself and occasionally shouting across to people on the opposite side of the road. A few of us in the queue, observing safe distancing of course, chatted about whether she was alright, but she seemed happy enough and was clean and tidy, looked well fed and was walking along purposefully enough. I noticed that the seagulls are swooping very low now.

Pandemic Printmaking And A Wheatpaste Dog

7 Apr

 

isolate 1

 

I’ve been working on a new art project, a response to the pandemic and lockdown. It’s taken me a while to get ideas coming through but I think this will probably end up being quite a big body of work made up of many components. I’ve carved a little lino block and printed it up today – there’s my workstation (above) ready to go.

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I tried printing the block onto paper and then onto some white cotton fabric, using Cranfield Caligo Safe Wash Relief ink in black with a traditional Japanese baren.

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Here it is – my first word of the pandemic – isolate. There will be more …..

Swansea Jack

Husb and I are not in the vulnerable category so we’re sometimes out getting essential supplies for our family. Today was a walk to the Uplands area of the city, to the pharmacy. While we waited outside (the restrictions are, rightly, very strict) I spotted a wheatpaste artwork of the new Swansea Jack.  I first spotted this little fellow a few months ago in a different part of the city. He’s on Instagram – @theswanseajack and #theswanseajack . Husb and I are reflected in the window.

 

 

The Edwardian Singer

3 Apr

corona 1

So I’m finally getting some creative ideas from the pandemic lockdown and I’m getting my kit together to make a start this weekend. I’ll be starting with some sewing, using my lovely Edwardian Singer machine. I love it and use it a lot, it’s better than the electric machines I’ve had over the years. Singers have a metal plate with a serial number and you can look it up online to find the date. This one is from 1904, in the middle of the reign of Edward 7th.

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