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Family And Folly Farm

29 Aug

Camel Dau Grwbi

Finally! A day out with family. To celebrate a little one’s birthday. We’ve been isolated for months but today we piled into cars, masked and sanitised, and headed West to Folly Farm. It’s a British Bank Holiday so of course it was chilly and damp, but it was still a fantastic day out. I scribbled a Bactrian camel and learned that its name in Welsh is Camel Dau Grwbi. I can’t describe how wonderful it was to be able to get together and have a grand day out in the fresh air in a lovely place. We’re in Easedown now, not Lockdown and I was impressed with the improvements Folly Farm has done to make the place safer.

 

 

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.

In this one, I combined the image of the bird with snippets of text of things my Nana used to say. She used to take me to Swansea Museum a lot when I was small and I could hear her voice in the back of my head as I was sitting and drawing the birds and bugs.

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

 

 

Tonto The Dog And A Pochoir Design

15 Aug

Jack 2

I don’t often take on design work but I need to put together an adult education instruction pamphlet, cutting stencils and building up layers of acrylic paint for a finished “pochoir“. It’s a word that’s hardly ever used now, it’s a multi layered stencil print. It was very popular in the first half of the 20th century and Picasso, Matisse, Braque and Miro are some of the artists who used the technique.

Jack 1

I started with a simple sketch of a Jack Russell, then I worked out how many colours I am going to print, which will give me the amount of stencils I need to cut. Then I had a practice doing some bones for the background, in gouache. I haven’t used gouache for yonks – years and years – but I had some in a box. They’re a good make, Winsor & Newton, so they’re still in excellent condition. I’d forgotten how much fun gouache is to play with.

That’s the guts of the design worked out, I’ll refine it as I’m cutting the stencils and decide on the final composition when I’m ready to print.

I love Jack Russells. My favourite is Tonto, who appeared on UK television in adverts for John Smith’s bitter. He was a great little dog. Here he is on video.

Slobbing On The Settee

14 Aug

settee august

Today took some weird turns and I ended up doing things I wasn’t planning on, like making the most of the cooler weather to take the small hairy bandy-legged Pomerpoo for a long walk ….. and shopping for groceries …. nothing exciting. Add in a whole load of admin and a smattering of housework and here I am at the end of the day without doing anything arty so I quickly scribbled Husb as he’s slobbing on the settee watching telly. I could have scribbled the cat but she’s not speaking to me because we had the small hairy bandy-legged Pomerpoo to stay for a few days. Ballpoint pen into my A6 Frida Kahlo themed sketchbook.

sketchbook

I didn’t get it because it’s Frida Kahlo themed but because it was really cheap in a TK Maxx sale and it’s very good quality.

The Bandy Legged Ball Of Fur

13 Aug

bandy furball

It’s so hot and humid with thunderstorms and downpours coming and going and we’re dog sitting for a couple of days so Husb and I are trying to take the small hairy one for walks in between the heavy showers. I followed behind the Pooch and the Husb this evening, scribbling into my sketchbook. I had to move fast to catch her as she ran about – she doesn’t do anything slowly. The more I scribbled her, the more I realised that not only is she very furry, she’s also quite bandy-legged. I think I was finally getting somewhere with the last sketch, bottom just right of centre, but I stopped then because I was shattered – it’s so much harder exercising in this weather. The dog is a Pomerpoo ( a Pomeranian Poodle cross) and I drew her with a ballpoint pen.

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

15942348378041480404380.png

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?

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