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We’re Not Proud

9 Nov

From November 9th at Cinema & Co, Swansea, the new BogArt exhibition by me and Patti McJones.

caco 1

Art is mostly exhibited in galleries and museums that can be quite intimidating to many people, so Patti and I took up an offer by Anna, the owner of Cinema & Co, to use her substantial toilets to exhibit some of our work. We call it BogArt – art in the bogs – and it’s very democratic because people don’t have to go to a gallery but everyone has to go to the toilet. We’re not too proud to show our work here.

The work will be up for a few months but please look at Cinema and Co’s website for opening times. And here’s a short film of us talking about it …

 

 

 

 

Heads On Show

4 Nov

Pakistan suite small

I did this suite of portrait heads based on drawings from my first visit to Pakistan a few years back. I used polyurethane foamboard, the sort used by signwriters, instead of lino or wood. The block below is the one on the left in the middle row above, inked up and printed.

flotex head

They’ve never been exhibited as a group before but they will be very soon, in Swansea’s Cinema & Co from this coming Saturday, November 9th.

Musing On Cubism

15 Sep

Gateshead 2

I visited Gateshead earlier this week for a couple of days and did a bit of scribbling from the bank of the River Tyne. Here’s the Millenium Bridge with the skyline of Newcastle behind it. I’ve been reading Volume 2 of Hockney, The Biography by Simon Sykes and really got into the section about his experiments with Cubism. He points out that as the eye moves across the subject, the act of drawing focuses on each thing in turn, bringing it into prominence and that’s what Cubism tries to capture. As I did a continuous line sketch, I noticed that different areas loomed larger as I drew them so I went with it. Interesting, I might try doing this in a bit more of a structured way.

A Skyline In Continuous Line

13 Sep

Gateshead 3

 

Here’s a quick drawing I did in Gateshead the other day. Gateshead is a town built on the southern bank of the River Tyne opposite the city of Newcastle; they’re connected by seven bridges. I’m standing on the Gateshead side scribbling the Newcastle skyline. It’s a great higgledy piggledy skyline, with lots of different centuries jumbled together.

I used the continuous line technique to draw it as I thought it suited the higgledy-piggledy-ness of the scene. It’s a drawing method where your pencil or pen never leaves the page. I find it’s the best method of getting the proportions and perspective in complex scenes reasonably okay.

 

Back With Some Scribbles

12 Sep

Gateshead 1

Just back from Gateshead – it’s a long way! Still, it’s nice travelling by train. Met a very nice octogenarian from Australia and chatted all the way to Bristol. This is the first sketch I did of Sage Gateshead arts centre. I’ll say a bit more about my trip tomorrow. I just want to drink tea and chill out for now. Good night. Nos da 🙂

 

 

I Drew As Well

5 Sep

sketch 1

 

I’ve been posting pictures of the cyanotypes that I and other colleagues from Swansea University’s FIRE Lab team did during two field trips along the banks of the River Tawe recently. But I also did some drawings as well. Here’s one at Craig-y-Nos in conté crayons – black, white and sanguine into an A4 sketchbook made from brown parcel paper. It took about 5 minutes.

 

The FIRE Lab

I am currently artist in residence with The Fire Lab at Swansea University and have been going on field trips with scientific colleagues along the course of The River Tawe. This cyanotype experiment is our latest field trip.

My Geographic Palette #5 – Australian Ochre

17 Aug

ochre 9

This Australian Ochre is the fifth pigment I’m trying out from my geographic palette – plants and minerals from different places that I’m converting into paint and/or ink. I’m using them to develop work that I’m doing with Swansea University’s FIRE Lab project, which brings together science and the arts to do research and engagement along Swansea’s River Tawe. The ochre is in the little bag at the bottom of the picture.
equipment

 

I was very moved to be gifted this Australian ochre which was collected by Aunty Anna Duncan, a Gomeroi/Kamilaroi artist. She gave the ochre to researcher Emily O’Gorman to bring to Swansea and collected it from a dry river bed near Terri Hei Hei (part of her Country) in north-western New South Wales, a special area that includes very old grinding grooves near a long-dry creek, a birthing tree, some grave sites, and a colonial-Aboriginal mission. Aunty Anna collected the ochre in the traditional way to ensure that it is spiritually safe. I am honoured to receive it and excited to use it.

 

I put a couple of the smaller fragments into a small pestle and mortar (bought in Pakistan and marble I think) and crushed them – they are much harder than I was expecting and there was a lot of grit in the powder at the end which I think was the marble not the ochre!!!

 

 

I looked up some tips for how to turn it into paint – traditionally it is ground up and mixed with spittle or blood, but I decided to adapt a recipe for printing ink from Shannon Yost and added some gin and water to the powder, mixing it well. Then I mixed in a dob of Japanese Nori paste, which is made from seaweed. Finally, I put some of the rather stiff mixture into a small pot and added more water to make it thin enough to use with a brush.

 

ochre 7

I did a quick brushwork sketch based on some sketchbook drawings inspired by culverts I had visited in the Brecon Beacons a few weeks ago with colleagues in the FIRE Lab team. It worked beautifully – the pigment is thin enough to flow but thick enough to hold the brushstrokes and give a wide variation of density and colour. Well chuffed. I used a Langdon watercolour paper, 300 gsm and quite heavily textured.

 

Here’s a link to one of the FIRE Lab blogs – this is about a regular Twitter game about Dams.

 

Faces At The Folk Club

6 Aug

folk club 3

Some more scribbles from the Loughor Folk Club the other evening. Loughor is an interesting little fishing village on the estuary of the River Loughor / Afan Llwchwr.

Folk club 2

 

 

Scribbling Yes Cymru

30 Jul

Husb and I endured eleven hours on a coach with the smelliest toilets in the universe on Saturday to get to and from the YES Cymru march in Caernarfon. It was amazing! Over 8,000 people crammed into the tiny cobbled streets and little market square, enjoying the party atmosphere and listening to inspiring speakers. It was a great crowd and of course, I had to have a scribble! Our coach from Swansea picked up the Llanelli / Carmarthen posse that included a bunch of lads who rocked the Welsh costume – here’s one of them in a rather fetching mini-skirted version.

Caernarfon 3

And a few faces in the crowd…..
Caernarfon 2

….including Lloyd-George modelling an ANNIBYNIAETH banner!

Caernarfon 1

And I did a quick sketch of Scottish speaker and supporter Hardeep Singh Kohli as he sat and waited for his turn behind the ever-moving flags and legs. He was hilarious and such a fervent supporter of Scottish … and Welsh … independence.

Caernarfon 4

 

I’m still recovering from the travel sickness. But it was worth it.

 

Proofing The Stream Bed

25 Jul

 

First proof 1c

A few weeks ago I went on a field trip up into the Brecon Beacons with colleagues from Swansea University’s FIRE Lab and while they studied the environment in culverts, I sketched. I really liked the abstraction of this drawing of a stream bed so I cut it into a block of vinyl and today finally started doing some proof prints down at Swansea Print Workshop.

culvert 4

I used Intaglio Printmakers’ black litho/relief ink and Japanese Hosho paper. It’s very lightweight because I wanted to take the prints by hand, using a Japanese baren rather than the Victorian Columbian press, lovely though it is.

 

I’m pleased with it, I love the level of abstraction, which is really out of my comfort zone. Next I’m going to try to incorporate some colour with chine collé, but that will be for tomorrow.

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