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Nooks And Crannies

10 Apr

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This morning I carried on with my detour into randomness, overprinting yesterday’s yellow lino cuts with red (Caligo Easy Wipe in Process Magenta mixed 70:30 with Extender).

Because I had a moment of madness and ripped the paper with my bare hands instead of using a nice steel straight edge it was a bit awkward to take the prints with a Japanese baren, especially around the rough edges, so I used a smooth marble egg to get into the nooks and crannies.

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I saw marble eggs and spheres being used for hand printing when I did a residency in Pakistan a few years back, where there is a traditional marble carving industry. It works really well for small areas. The eggs are quite expensive so I’ve gotten into the habit of buying them from charity shops and car boot sales.

 

So Many Creatives

18 Mar

Kat Ridgeway

 

The exhibition to celebrate International Women’s Day at Swansea’s Cinema & Co is coming to an end, just one more day. It’s been a privilege to work with such an amazing group of creative people. Here’s most of the wall-based art in the show – I didn’t manage to photograph a couple of the pieces. There were also films and entrepreneurs at the opening event, a real celebration of women’s achievements.

 

 

Artists, designers, performers and filmmakers are Aida Garton, Ally Jay Phillips, Alyson Williams, Amber Hiscott, Amelia Thomas (Unity), Amy Goldring, Angie Stevens, Ann Jordan, Ann Lucas, Avant Cymru, Carol Lawrence, Catrin Jones, Chris Bird-Jones, Claudia Mollzahn, Emma Cownie, Hana Scoular, Kara Seaman, Kat Ridgeway, Kate Bell, Laura Niehorster, Leila Bebb, Leanne Vaughan Phillips, Lynne Bebb, Nazma Botanica, Natie M Davies, Nicky Stitch, Patricia McKenna Jones, Rose Davies (Rosie Scribblah), Rhona Tooze, Rufus Mufasa, Sally Davies, Sally Price, Tina Wisby. Plus entrepreneurs Anna Redfern and Goggi Shazi.

Thank you, you are amazing women.

Here’s one of the films, featuring artwork by Aida Garton.

Mother And Daughter

17 Mar

Lynne B

I organised an exhibition and event for International Women’s Day last week at Swansea’s Cinema & Co, showcasing women artists, makers and entrepreneurs from the Swansea area. Mother and daughter Lynne and Leila Bebb are featured. Lynne Bebb is a sculptor and printmaker and has exhibited a trio of screenprinted monotypes with her daughter Leila as the subject. Leila is a performance artist and we showed this film of her contemporary dance piece, “Shattering“. So much talent in one family.

Shattering from Lynne Bebb on Vimeo.

 

The film was choreographed by Jessie Brett with original music by Jered Sorkin and supported by The Welfare, Ystradgynlais.

 

The Airhead In A Spotted Knitted Coat

3 Feb

knitted coat

So when I go to a gig, I go to listen and enjoy and maybe have a bit of a dance (although a lot of people don’t think that headbanging is dancing) and I assume that other people are there for the same reason, so it really narks me when you get some airhead who thinks it’s okay to stand near the stage and talk, loudly and incessantly, through the set. It happened the other week when I was in Cardiff for the launch of Rufus Mufasa’s album , “Fur Coats From The Lion’s Den” and this airhead stood right in front of me and gabbled her way through a load of performances. Which isn’t just annoying but also really disrespectful to the performers who had put so much effort into their acts. Why couldn’t she go to the back? Or go to the toilets? Or just go? I thought about whacking her with my sketchbook but then I’D be the bad guy. I wasn’t going to draw her because that would be giving her some credibility so here’s an empty page dedicated to the empty airhead in the spotted knitted coat.

Please do check out Rufus Mufasa’s music on the video, she’s brilliant.

Drawing To A Rhythm

2 Feb

rapper

I was at the launch of Rufus Mufasa’s album in Cardiff and having a scribble when I found that I was making marks to the rapping. I often listen to rock music when I’m working but I’ve never noticed my drawing being affected. Mind you, there’s a bit of a difference between rap and prog rock!

 

Please check out Rufus’ album, she’s really something and if you like what you hear, please buy it. It’s hard to make a living as a creative.

An Extraordinary Face

31 Jan

Eddie Ladd

I know I’ve been banging on about Nawr Yr Arwr / Now The Hero, but it’s a big deal for me and I was beside myself when I went to the official launch last week. There I was , a scruffy urchin from a council estate, hobnobbing with the great and the good in the arts and it was a bit overwhelming, to be honest. One of the many highlights of the day was sitting opposite the wonderful Welsh actor, Eddie Ladd. It turns out that she and I have been Twitter chums for some time, but we use different names so I didn’t realise until the day of the launch. Of course, I couldn’t resist having a scribble. I didn’t have much time and it’s not the best likeness, but practice makes perfect, eh? Eddie has an extraordinary face and I hope to draw her again, but with a bit more time.

Here’s a brief film of the commissioned work I have done for Nawr Yr Arwr / Now The Hero.

The Essential Elements

30 Jan

WW1

 

I went to the launch of ‘Nawr Yr Arwr / Now The Hero’ last Friday. I was besides myself with excitement! But I still had a scribble. I usually do. This young actor, Mathew Prichard, in World War 1 uniform stood to attention throughout the launch. I drew him in my A4 brown paper sketchbook from Seawhites of Brighton using black and white conté crayons. It was tough getting the hat right, hats are hard! But I’m pleased with the result, I worked very quickly, capturing the basic details of the face, the essential elements.

 

 

 

The launch event featured a short film about me and my model, David, by filmmaker George Morris, here it is below…..

 

 

“Nawr Yr Awr \ Now The Hero is an immersive theatrical experience that will take the audience on an extraordinary journey through three intertwining narratives of war; from Celtic history, the First World War, and today’s conflicts. 

Drawing on an epic poem, some rejected paintings, and an intimate portrait of a Swansea soldier serving today,  Marc Rees’ bold production brings the stories of war to life, but counterpoints the tragic telling with hope.”

The Ghost

29 Jan

Darkness 2 ghost

I work a lot with a three-colour monotype technique that produces a full colour unique artwork on a sheet of paper (BFK Rives 250gsm). Then I put a second sheet of paper onto the plate and put it through the press again to take a second print with the ink (Caligo Safe Wash) that’s left to give a fainter ‘ghost’ monotype. Apparently the artists Degas and Monet used to work over their ghost monotypes with oil pastels, but I generally leave mine as they are because I like the way the oil-based inks break up in a very Impressionistic way. I also like the contrast with the full colour first proof.

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Detail from a ghost monotype

This is the ghost of “The Darkness”, a work commissioned as part of Nawr Yr Arwr / Now The Hero….

“…. an immersive theatrical experience that will take the audience on an extraordinary journey through three intertwining narratives of war; from Celtic history, the First World War, and today’s conflicts.

Drawing on an epic poem, some rejected paintings, and an intimate portrait of a Swansea soldier serving today, Marc Rees’ bold production brings the stories of war to life, but counterpoints the tragic telling with hope.”

Nawr Yr Arwr / Now The Hero was launched last week and will culminate at the end of September in Swansea with a festival weekend in and around the historic Brangwyn Hall.

The gestation of this work is the subject of this short film by George Morris and it shows the process from initial drawing to finished monotype via the fascinating vintage printing presses at Swansea Print Workshop.

It’s All About The Process

28 Jan
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Detail of “The Darkness”

I am so fortunate to have worked with the artist Marc Rees, filmmaker George Morris and my long-term life model, David Williams, to create a unique monotype for the “Now The Hero / Nawr Yr Arwr” art happening / event / extravaganza that will climax at the end of September. I worked from one of the drawings I did in the Brangwyn Hall (see yesterday’s post) using one of the fabulous antique presses at Swansea Print Workshop.

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I used a monotype process similar to that used by Impressionist artists Monet and Degas. If you want to find out more, check out the process in my “Techie Stuff” section here. It’s called the three colour reduction monotype technique and it’s a complex process. The final monotype took a full day’s work at the print workshop. A long day, too.

You can see the process and the inside of the print workshop in George’s film below. It’s a very honest reflection of the relationship between an artist and model, where inspiration comes from and also the technical processes we use.

Nawr Yr Awr \ Now The Hero is an immersive theatrical experience that will take the audience on an extraordinary journey through three intertwining narratives of war; from Celtic history, the First World War, and today’s conflicts.

Drawing on an epic poem, some rejected paintings, and an intimate portrait of a Swansea soldier serving today, Marc Rees’ bold production brings the stories of war to life, but counterpoints the tragic telling with hope.”

The Lord, The Warrior And The Welsh Cake

26 Jan

It’s been an exciting day. I shook hands with a lord, hung out with a Celtic warrior, sipped tea and ate a Welsh cake in an art deco temple in Swansea, and watched a film about my model and me. Here it is….

I’ve been involved in this expansive art project, Nawr Yr Arwr / Now The Hero for some time but couldn’t say anything until the official launch today. I’ll be working mostly on this body of work for the next 9 months …….

Darkness 1

I’ll tell you more about it tomorrow……..

“Nawr Yr Awr \ Now The Hero is an immersive theatrical experience that will take the audience on an extraordinary journey through three intertwining narratives of war; from Celtic history, the First World War, and today’s conflicts. 

Drawing on an epic poem, some rejected paintings, and an intimate portrait of a Swansea soldier serving today,  Marc Rees’ bold production brings the stories of war to life, but counterpoints the tragic telling with hope.”

 

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