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Scribbling Chooks

14 Sep

chooks 4

 

I drew some chickens this morning. Husb and I were collecting farmyard manure from a smallholding where there are a lot of beloved animals including these chubby chooks, cats, dogs, a pig and a llama.  I used the continuous line drawing technique because the chickens were quite lively; it was early this morning and they wanted their breakfast! Continuous line is a fast method and I like the dynamism of the sketches.

 

 

The manure’s down the allotment now – it’ll be a winter mulch for the raised beds.

 

 

Tydfil The Martyr

7 Sep

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Husb and I went to the Annibyniaeth march in Merthyr Tydfil today, it was great. There were 5,300 people marching for independence and 53 dogs. Of course I had to have a scribble – of the people and the dogs. The people stayed still for longer!

 

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Tydfil was a daughter of King Brychan of Brycheiniog who was martyred in the area by pagans around 480 CE and the place was named Merthyr Tydfil in her honour. In modern Welsh, merthyr means martyr but in old Welsh it means a church built over the relics of a martyr.

Yellow Stone Blue Sheep

23 Aug

 

August Tawe source

Husb and I had a couple of days away in mid-Wales and drove back along the old unnamed road between Trecastell and Tafarn-y-Garreg in the Brecon Beacons where we stopped near the source of the River Tawe. We only had time for a short walk so we followed a dry stream bed down the hill and came across patches of bright yellowy brown. There were two types, one a fairly hard stone and the other a softer, crumbly clay. I left a coin in exchange – just in case there’s one of the Gwragedd Annwn thereabouts – and brought them home to try and make usable pigments with them.

That’s my weekend sorted! I’ll link this with my work in the FIRE Lab at Swansea University.

blue sheep

And then we saw some bright blue sheep!

 

 

 

 

The Dog Had A Bath

14 Aug

 

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The dog had a bath and now she’s running around like a maniac! Husb and I are dog-sitting while her people are on holiday. She’s a Pomerpoo – a Pomeranian / Toy Poodle cross – very small with lots of black fluffy fur. When we bathed her it stuck up all over the place. She’s not too pleased about it. Sparta Puss thinks it’s quite funny though.

 

Sparta 2018

 

 

The Beekeepers

11 Aug

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Husb and I spend a good evening at the Graft garden at Swansea’s National Waterfront Museum. It was Graft’s summer supper event, with food grown in the garden and cooked in the new cob oven. There was a very interesting honey extraction demo from local beekeepers Alyson and Chelsea. And a little boy put on a bee suit to help out – I scribbled him …

graft 1

 

 

 

Snipe In The Dark Manner

14 Jul

Snipe 4

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.

 

 

Another Blind Contour Drawing

13 Jul

Snipe 2

Here’s another blind contour drawing I did, of a snipe, at Swansea Museum last week. It’s a very useful exercise, it forces you to stop being precious about what you’re drawing, to loosen up and to concentrate on closely observing your subject, instead of watching the paper.

 

 

Snipe Silhouette

12 Jul

 

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So now I’m getting a bit obsessed with Snipe, a funny little bird with impossibly skinny legs and beak, for wading and probing at the water’s edge, beautifully designed for its environment. In these drawings I focused on the silhouette to try and establish the overall shape of the bird, using my own home-made walnut ink. Thinking ahead, I can see one, or both, of these being cut into a block of lino or vinyl for printing – maybe a reduction print?

I was down at Swansea Museum, working with a group of artists from Swansea Print Workshop and scientists from the FIRE Laboratory. It was so interesting getting that interaction and input, finding out about the birds habits and habitats fleshed out their personalities and helped with developing an artistic interpretation of the little beasties.

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Blobbiness Abounds

11 Jul

Snipe 1

I thought I loved the bittern when I first saw it – and I did – but then I started drawing a snipe and that was it, bye-bye bittern. I’m so fickle. This gorgeous bird is one of Swansea Museum’s taxidermy collection.  I did this drawing with a reed pen and my home-made walnut ink. Reed pens are amongst the oldest drawing tools and work really well with the ink. It’s not possible to get a fine controlled line with them, but I like the blobbiness and I think it suits the snipe.

 

 

Blind Contour Bittern

10 Jul

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I did some blind contour drawings of the crazy stuffed bittern I was drawing recently at Swansea Museum. It was one of the taxidermy specimens from the museum stores and we were lucky to have been able to get to draw them. It’s good to go back to some basic drawing exercises now and again, good practice.

 

 

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