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Drawing The Bronze Age Mines

18 Nov

indusrtial

I did this sketch a few days ago while Husb and I were driving back from Devil’s Bridge, via the mountain road to Rhayader. We stopped for a while at these old mines going back to the Bronze Age, near Cwmystwyth. The earliest miners about 4,000 years ago extracted copper, but from Roman times the hills have been mined for lead.

industrial 2

I drew quickly into my A3 spiral bound brown paper sketchbook from Seawhites of Brighton, with conté crayons in white, sanguine and black. The weather was terrible, cold, wet and blowing a gale so I stayed in the car. There’s only so much suffering I’m going to do for my art lol 😀

 

 

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 and to see the complete image.

Inspired by drawings of the taxidermy collection at Swansea Museum. I have given these antique artefacts 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.

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

Barcud: Red Kite: Milvus Milvus

17 Nov

kites 1

Husb and I went to Ceredigion for an overnighter, just to get out of the city. We haven’t escaped the area since lockdown started in March so it was a relief to get away, even for such a short time. We called in to the Red Kite Feeding Centre, near Rhayader. Barcud is the Welsh word for red kite, milvus milvus in Latin. They’re amazing birds. We hired a hide because it was raining and I wanted to draw and Husb wanted to film.

kites 2

It wasn’t easy drawing so many moving creatures – they’re really fast! And there were hundreds of them. They’re beautiful and it’s great to see so many; not so long ago they were almost extinct in Wales. I drew quickly, just aiming to get impressions of their flight rather than details. I used white and sanguine conté crayons with a touch of black into a brown paper sketchbook. Here’s a short video of these lovelies in flight.

 

 

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 and to see the complete image.

Inspired by drawings of the taxidermy collection at Swansea Museum. I have given these antique artefacts 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.

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

A Trip To Hinterland

16 Nov

Chasm draw

We’ve been in lockdown for what seems like forever so Husb booked us an evening away at the Hafod Hotel at Devil’s Bridge – Pont ar Fynach – in Ceredigion, for a bit of a break. It’s a very atmospheric part of the world and features a lot in the Cymru Noir crime drama TV series “Hinterland“.

Chasm view

Dusk was already drawing in on a gloomy afternoon when we checked in and we had a lovely room with a spectacular view along the chasm  – the Devil’s Bridge is at the bottom of it. I grabbed some conté crayons and scribbled the view quickly into my brown paper sketchbook before it became too dark.

spooky house

The lovely but spooky Hafod Hotel, right above the Devil’s Bridge.

 

 

 

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 and to see the complete image.

Inspired by drawings of the taxidermy collection at Swansea Museum. I have given these antique artefacts 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.

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

Flashback To The Desert

7 Jan

desert drawing

It seems like a long time ago that Husb and I were in Jordan, but it was just a few weeks. I did this drawing in my sketchbook as we sat on a rocky ridge in the Wadi Rum desert waiting for the sunset, which was incredible, so beautiful, vast, silent.

sunset 1

Photograph by M. Williams

Drawing In The Moment

22 Dec

qusayr 2

 

I prefer to sketch when I’m travelling and take very few photographs because when I look back at photos and drawings, it’s the sketches that put me back into the moment and make the memory more vivid. Here’s a quick sketch outside the UNESCO World Heritage site, Quasayr’ Amra, a desert castle in the north of Jordan, to the eaast of the capital city of Amman.

Drawing In The Pleasure Palace

21 Dec

drawing 1

Husb and I travelled to a lot of fascinating places during our recent trip to Jordan. I did this drawing in Qusayr’ Amra, a desert castle, pleasure palace and UNESCO World Heritage site in the east of the country. It’s about 1,700 years old and it’s interior is covered in magnificent frescoes, unusually for a Moslem country because they accurately represent animals and humans. In this particular one (above), I noticed that she only has three fingers, which is very common in modern cartoons. And the use of patterns in some of the paintings (below) is very contemporary.

Qusayr

 

 

 

Petroglyphs, Camels and a Wadi Rum Pallette

19 Dec

pallette

Husb and I camped overnight in the Wadi Rum desert last week. The colours were wonderful, so complex. I didn’t have time to do “landscape” paintings so throughout the trip I focused on capturing the colours around me with Winsor & Newton watercolours onto Somerset paper, creating my own locality pallette.

There were camels…. it was like the Lawrence of Arabia film. Wadi Rum is where he did a lot of his shenanigans.

camels

 

And there were ancient petroglyphs, featuring camels.

 

petroglyphs

 

 

Dead Sea Pallette

17 Dec

dead sea pallette

I do some artwork when I’m travelling, but there’s no time to do completed pieces. I’m not there to carry on working but also I don’t want to miss the chance to do something creative in a new environment, so this time I decided to try and record the colours of a place, to create a pallete of local colours, using Winsor & Newton Cotman watercolours. Here’s my Dead Sea pallete, on a warm but misty day which made the land and sea look quite smudgey. I’m on a beach in Jordan, looking over to the West Bank.

dead sea

More Psychedelic Stone

16 Dec

petra 2

More amazing stone from the city of Petra in Jordan. This reminds me of a landscape but it’s formed entirely naturally in the rock.

 

What’s That When It’s At Home?

24 Nov

I’ve been doing what I’ve been doing for decades, just getting on with it, doing my art, mostly sketchbooks from reality, life drawing and printmaking, while working with marginalised people – the homeless and the drug and alcohol dependent. As far as I was concerned, these were not two different things, but are inter-dependent. When people asked what I did, it took ages to explain. Now, apparently, I’m a socially engaged artist. So there we are.

Afghan refugee children

It isn’t just about how I integrate living as an artist with working with people at the edge of society – it also informs the artwork I do. For example, I made this monotype (above) from my first visit to Pakistan over a decade ago now. It was a relatively peaceful period and we were visiting the Khyber Pass and I was inspired by Afghan refugees travelling back to their homes.

walking to greenham

In my sketchbooks, I draw from real life, both the ordinary that’s around me every day and the special events like demonstrations and meetings. Here’s a drawing I did on the march to commemorate Greenham Common back last year.

Here Be Dragons small

Sometimes my work is directly political, like “Here Be Dragons” that was commissioned last year by Sky Arts TV channel.

Flag final

And the flag of Gwenllian ferch Gruffydd designed for the AUOB Cymru marches.

b

Recently, I’ve become an artist-in-residence and researcher in the FIRE Laboratory in Swansea University’s Department of Bioscience, working at the interface between art and environmental science.

Or I just draw people getting on with their lives on the streets of Swansea….

 

So when people ask what I do, now I say “I’m a socially engaged artist” and they go “So what’s that when it’s at home then?”

 

And it takes ages to explain …..

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