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The Generations

24 Jun

Linda 1949

Carrying on with my self-imposed task to meet with, chat to and draw one hundred Baby Boomers, I was lucky enough to ‘capture’ three in one go yesterday, three lifelong friends at the upper end of the Baby Boom, a research term that covers those born between 1946 and 1964.

The other generations are:

  • The Silents, or alternately The Traditionalists (I prefer The Silents, it’s like something from Doctor Who), born 1945 and before,
  • Generation X, 1965 to 1976,
  • The Millennials, 1977 to 1995,
  • The Centennials, born from 1996

According to researchers, generations share similar characteristics because they had similar experiences at more or less the same stage in life.

A Slice Of Time

14 Jun

woollies pigeons

This screenprint represents a very specific slice of time. Some years ago, there was a Woolworths store opposite the Waterstones bookshop in Swansea. I used to sit in the window of the bookshop cafe up on the first floor, with a pot of tea, and scribble the pigeons that sat on the Woolworths signage opposite. It was large and red and stood out from the wall, giving the pigeons enough space to sit and groom themselves comfortably. It was also lit up day and night, which gave them warmth.

I found the pigeons hard to draw because they constantly fidget so I had to develop a quick impressionistic style to capture them. I wrote down my thoughts and combined them with some of the drawings to create the photographic silkscreen.

 

 

Sprogs In Sketchbooks

12 Jun

I’ve been flicking through some of my old sketchbooks again, finding things I’d forgotten about. There are quite a lot of drawings of sprogs.

23 sprogs 2

 

They’re weird little creatures to draw, looking simultaneously like aliens and cartoons.

Suffering For My Art!

11 Jun
workers 1

Me and my unruly hair talking about my work on ancient standing stones.

 

I had a fab evening out last week, up The Workers, a lovely gallery in the village of Ynyshir in the Rhondda Valley. On the first Thursday of each month, they host an evening of Words, Arts and Music (WAM) and I was part of it this month. I did a talk about my work, mainly the en plein air pieces I did in collaboration with prehistorian Dewi Bowen, who’s been researching his new book, and filmmaker Melvyn Williams.

 

event-header

Some of the mixed media drawings in my series ‘Yr Helfa’.

 

Dewi did an illustrated talk about ancient monuments in the area around Rhondda and Melvyn premiered the new film he’s made of me and Dewi on our creative journey across South Wales. Here’s the film below. People in the audience seemed to find it funny, especially the bits of me suffering for my art!!!

 

Motivation

6 Jun

Pop Art Head 1

I work part-time for a charity for people who are homeless, delivering art and craft sessions in different venues across the city. It’s much easier to engage people in crafts than in fine art, crafting seems to be more accessible and less threatening. I try out different things to motivate people who don’t think that they can paint or draw or sculpt to engage with art. I recently ordered a stencil book,  bought in some small square canvasses and did a quick little stencil painting during today’s session. It certainly attracted a lot of attention.

Pop Art Head 2

I used a stencil brush to put on the basic image in black acrylic (Liquitex Heavy Body) and while it was drying I cleaned the stencil on a piece of blue kitchen towel with a wet-wipe. I really like the ethereal image that appeared on the towel. Then I added some brush strokes in light blue and orange to give it a 1960s Pop Art feel. It was very quick and showed people how they could think about using stencils and paint to create artwork for their new homes. It also taught people quite a bit about how to use paint, without them realising it. I’m not a big fan of painting but I really like the Liquitex, it’s very strongly pigmented and can be thinned out to use in translucent washes, as with the stripes, or used fairly impasto, as I did with the stencil.

 

WAM night June 2018

The Net Shops

3 Jun

net sheds

Here’s a quick little sketch I did on my recent visit to Hastings. We walked along the sea front to the Old Town, which is a fishing village, and saw these odd, elongated dark wooden sheds. It turns out they’re net shops / sheds, the fishermen had limited space to hang their nets so built the sheds very high, three stories and painted black. There were also normal size sheds, also very dark wood, that sold the freshest of fish, landed that day. It is lovely to see a traditional industry dating back to the early 19th century still thriving.

W!A!M! At The Workers

31 May

WAM night June 2018

Coming up fast – Thursday June 7th at The Workers Gallery, Ynyshir from 7pm. There will be art (from me), film (from Melvyn Williams), prehistory (from Dewi Bowen), cake, chocolates (from Afan Vale) and there may even be music. All free. How can you miss this? If you haven’t visited this little gem of a gallery before, then make this your first time. It’s run by artists for artists and it’s just awesome and it’s Trip Advisor’s number 1 attraction in the Rhondda Valley and yet receives NO public funding. So please come and support it. The W!A!M! evenings are on the first Thursday of every month and are brilliant. Seriously. And I’m not just saying that because I’m in the next one. Honest 😉

Here’s a tiny preview of what to expect from Melvyn’s film ….

 

That Lightbulb Moment

30 May

light bulb

Husb and I stopped off for a nice cuppa tea and a flapjack (I do enjoy a moist flapjack) and I scribbled him quickly as he queued. He’s quite tall and was standing right underneath a glass light fitting and it looked a bit like one of those lightbulb moments in the comics when someone suddenly gets an idea.

 

Dracula In The Sun

29 May

2018 Tate Whitby

Husb and I spent the Bank Holiday visiting the North East of England, looking at places we’ve been meaning to see for years and finally got around to it. We dropped in on Whitby, home of  Whitby Jet jewellery ( I collected a few antique pieces back in the 1970s before it was fashionable) and the dramatic setting for Bram Stoker’s Dracula. The weather was fantastic, hot and sunny and there was a theatre group performing a fast and funny version of the story through the grounds of the magnificent Whitby Abbey.

I had to have a scribble. I quickly sketched in the abbey, with a Staedtler drawing pen, just before the performance started and did a quick Winsor & Newton watercolour wash, then over-sketched one of the actors. I didn’t do any more because we had to follow the actors all over the Abbey site.

Rainbows In Durham

28 May

 

Husb and I have been doing a mini tour of North East England over the Bank Holiday and visited the historic town of Durham yesterday, which was hosting a Pride festival. There were rainbows everywhere.  I had to have a scribble,  didn’t I? So I did a bit of pen and watercolour work en plein air. We were sat outside the Cathedral in the glorious sunshine looking across the green. There were hundreds of rainbow people, it was lovely.  When I was a child it was illegal to be gay (well, for men anyway). How far we have come, it’s brilliant.

I drew with a Faber Castell Pitt drawing pen into my Tate Gallery ‘landscape’ sketchbook and then added washes with Winsor & Newton watercolour half pans.

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