Archive | out and about RSS feed for this section

Wo/Man Buns

14 Nov

woman bunz

I was sitting on the bus to our local hospital to visit a relative this evening and a young man and woman sat in front of me. They were dressed in similar clothes and had identical hairstyles. Both had longer hair on top, drawn up into a bun, and shaved close to the head below. Both had pierced ears, the young woman had inserts about the size of a 10p piece while the young man’s were smaller and both had other piercings along their ears and in their noses. My late Dad would have said “Can’t tell the girls from the boys these days” but he said that back in the 1970s when I used to wear jeans, boots and a leather jacket and rode a motorbike, which he seriously disapproved of. There’s a lot of fuss about ‘gender fluidity’ lately but it isn’t really any different to our adulation in the ’70s for David Bowie and Marc Bolan, who pushed the boundaries of what was acceptable in male fashion and style. The sky didn’t fall on our heads back then and it won’t now.

City Of Poetic Culture

13 Nov

Poetry Slam

 

Husb and I went to The Hyst in Swansea’s High Street this evening for a poetry showcase put on by Swansea City Of Culture 2017. I’m not usually drawn to poetry but these performers were fantastic – Rufus Mufasa, Clare Ferguson-Walker, Gwion Iqbal Malik,  Julia Manser and Karl Beer. Of course, I had a scribble, like you do…..

 

Winter Woodland

1 Nov

Winter Woodland

 

I have three drawings in the forthcoming winter exhibition at the lovely Workers Gallery in Ynyshir, running from November 9th to December 23rd. It’s a gorgeous gallery, a local library closed because of government cutbacks and saved for the community by artists Gayle Rogers and Chris Williams. The theme this year is Winter Woodland. I’m not a landscape artist but I always carry a sketchbook with me and draw whatever’s in front of me and it just happens that I’m often in the countryside. That’s one of my drawings on the poster, on the right hand side. I hope you can make it to the gallery at some time, it’s really gorgeous.

 

Voyeur!

24 Oct

Helen Sear 3

 

Here’s the last sketch I made while I listened to Helen Sear talking about her current exhibition at the Glynn Vivian art gallery at the weekend. Her show, “The Rest Is Smoke” is a presentation of the film / photography installation with which she represented Cymru at the Venice Biennale 2015.

Looking around audiences at events like these is great, so many interesting faces, all engrossed and unaware that I am watching and drawing. The artist as voyeur!

 

Cash And Kudos

23 Oct

Helen Sears 2

 

Another scribbled head from my visit to the Glynn Vivian art gallery a couple of days ago, to listen to the talk by artist Helen Sear while Storm Brian raged outside. The Glynn Vivian is a fabulous gallery and reopened after a five-year refurbishment last year. It’s great to have it back, it’s an amazing gallery and the city council has had the guts to keep it open and thriving in the face of swingeing public sector cuts.

 

The gallery is part of an exciting artscene in Swansea and the city is in the shortlist for the UK City of Culture 2021 with three others. It’s a mad, quirky place that oozes culture of all sorts, not just highbrow stuff. It’ll mean a lot if we win the bid, this part of Wales has been run down for so long yet arts and culture and sport thrive here without the huge amounts of cash and kudos enjoyed by places like London. What we could do with just a fraction of that!

 

Storms Cissy and Ada?

22 Oct

Helen Sears 1

I’ve been out and about with a sketchbook recently, getting back to basics, drawing as much as possible, not for projects but simply as part of my routine practice. An artist’s practice is just that, practice.

I went to a talk at the Glynn Vivian Art Gallery by the artist Helen Sear, her work is currently featured there. I managed to scribble a few listening heads. I find that I can sketch and listen at the same time because I’m not concentrating on making “great art” so I don’t mind if it all goes pear shaped. This woman had the loveliest pre-Raphaelite hair, all fuzzy ringlets tied up in a loose knot, straight out of the late 19th century.

It was a terrible day outside the gallery, we were in the middle of Storm Brian and the gales were howling and the rain was lashing down. The Americans always seem to have quite posh names for their hurricanes – Ophelia, Katrina, but we have Storm Brian. I’m waiting for Nigel and Doris. Or Cissy and Ada maybe?

 

 

 

Cissy and Ada

The immortal Cissy and Ada

 

A Quick Head

21 Oct

Swansea Fringe 3

Here’s a sketch I did a couple of weeks ago at the Swansea Fringe. Husb and I went to the Swansea Storytelling event; it’s good for drawing faces because people are usually focused and concentrating. I used a 6B graphite pencil into my A5 lined notebook.

Close Up

16 Oct

20171013_125220

Although my visit to Avebury on Friday was a quick one, I spent some time looking closely at the magnificent stones there. They are covered with fantastic growths of lichens and the surface of the stones has been weathered and eroded across the millenia. I took a close-up drawing of a section of this stone.

Warts And All

11 Oct

HopeI’m working part-time for a charity, running arts sessions for people who have housing problems. Some of the people who come along are experienced artists and enjoy a few hours in a warm, safe place to get absorbed in their art. But some have very little experience of making art and I often hear, “Oh no. I can’t draw” and panic when I get out a bit of paper. It’s a pity that this is ingrained into so many adults – children are usually much more willing to have a go. I think that one of the reasons that people are so fearful of drawing is because they think it’s innate, god-given, a born talent rather than years and years of practice and striving.

I think that we artists have become disassociated from our craft. People see perfectly formed artworks in tasteful frames on pristine gallery walls and it’s easy to buy into the idea that these magnificent objects spring forth from a bottomless pool of artistic genius. WRONG! They’re the result of blood, sweat and tears …. and endless mistakes …. and frustration! That’s one of the reasons I do a lot of art in public, en plein air, in streets, shop windows, anywhere that people can see art being made … warts and all.

Banner 1

When someone said to me today that they couldn’t draw, I said, “It’s not drawing, it’s writing”. That made it better. I asked the people I’m working with to think of one positive word, then write it down, then start playing with different ways of making the letters, colouring them, adding patterns. Then we redrew our words onto a roll of primed canvas and started painting a banner.

I work alongside them so they can see my mistakes and the bits that are rubbish and hopefully understand that making a drawing or painting is a process that starts small and builds and builds over time into a finished piece ….. and that they shouldn’t judge themselves so harshly. More next week…..

 

 

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.

madeinroath

7 Oct

With my fellow Plebeian Printmakers I’ll be making street prints at the madeinroath festival in Cardiff on Saturday October the 21st so if you’re about, please come and see us in action between 11.00 and 15.00.

The theme of this year’s festival is ‘When You Have More Than You Need, Build A Longer
Table, Not A Higher Fence’ and in keeping with this, we will take prints from manholes and metal covers from local roads and pavements, in a variety of colours, onto paper doilies and napkins that will be used as place settings on the “Longer Tables Street Party” on Plasnewydd Road throughout the day. Here’s a copy of the madeinroath brochure – there’s loads going on throughout the week.

Some of The Plebeian Printmakers – Melvyn Williams, Patricia McKenna-Jones, Hannah Lawson and Chris Harrendence. Kara Seaman will be joining us at madeinroath. And I’ll be there too….

 

The Plebeian Printmakers is a very visible group of artists experienced in working and interacting with the public and we give people the opportunity to talk as well as observe what we’re doing, encouraging them to immerse themselves in their surroundings, to slow down and appreciate what’s often overlooked in the built environment. We use non-toxic, washable materials so that people can join in and make their own print if they want.

We recently did some street printmaking in Swansea at the Troublemakers Festival and one of our members, Melvyn Williams, made this short film of us at it.

 

 

 

MiR-PubPK-dates-logos-2017

 

 

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.

%d bloggers like this: