Tag Archives: a nice cup of tea

A Cuppa And A Read

8 Mar

waterstones 8


Here’s another couple of quick sketches I did in Waterstone’s bookshop cafe in Swansea. It’s very quiet there because most people have bought books and then pop up to the cafe for a cuppa and a read. It’s lovely. I drew with a ballpoint pen into my tiny Laura Ashley sketchbook. I’ve put it against a 50p piece for scale.




It’s a beautiful building, the former Carlton cinema and I sat under the dome to take this photo.


Hats Indoors

7 Mar

waterstones 9

Stopped for a cup of tea in the lovely cafe in Waterstones bookshop in Swansea and had a quick scribble. Two young women wearing woolly hats indoors. They won’t feel the benefit when they go out into the cold, as my Nana used to say.






Welsh Cakes For Saint David’s Day

1 Mar

welsh cakes a

Today is Dydd Gwyl Dewi Sant, or Saint David’s Day, here in Wales, a day of tradition and celebration and one of our finest traditions is Welsh food. I cooked some Welsh Cakes – or Pice ar y Maen (little cakes on the bakestone). Here’s a recipe if you want to try them. I used dairy free, vegetarian spread instead of animal fat to cook mine.

welsh cakes

I have a very traditional cast iron Maen (griddle or bakestone) that I’ve had for over 40 years now and I think it’s the best thing to cook Welsh cakes on – they are part of a long history, possibly thousands of years, of cooking over an open fire. Welsh cakes and similar griddle cakes would have been cooked this way for many generations. And they’re perfect with a nice cup of tea.


Scribbling In The Book Shop

27 Feb

waterstones cafe 2020


I spent today doing lots of little bits of stuff, catching up with things I’ve been needing to do. One thing I’ve neglected for a while is sketchbook scribbling so I called into Waterstones cafe on my way home for a nice cup of tea and a relaxed scribble. It’s one of my favourite places for chilling and sketching; it’s been converted from the old Carlton cinema which is a beautiful building, inside and out.

The Aftermath!

16 Apr


The day after our epic all-nighter, editioning 12 drypoint plates between three artists, Zaira Ahmad Zaka, Hannah F Lawson and myself. Here’s the studio afterwards – trashed. We have a big clear up job ahead. But first, setting up the exhibition at the Satrang Gallery in Islamabad.

gallery hannah smallAfter a shower, we went over to the gallery to chat to the lovely staff about placing our work. Here’s Hannah contemplating.


gallery tea smallThen a spot of tea in the tearoom next to the gallery. Don’t mind if we do, we’re British y’know.


gallery blurbAnd checking out the exhibition blurb on a marble pillar.

gallery karaKara Seaman’s work, waiting for the arrival of Mister Pink.

Afterwards, we went to an exhibition of mixed media work by Behishte Gumshuda at the Khass Gallery where we met an eclectic group of interesting people who made us forget our exhaustion. The show is quiet and contemplative and I particularly liked the multi-layered works in graphite, but then I would, I’m a scribbler. Talking of scribbling, here’s a quick scribble I managed to fit in at Khaas. Oh and they served the most delicious samosas I have ever tasted. 😀

khaas gallery

This residency has been supported by Wales Arts International and Arts Council Wales

rose acw

Grumpy Old Man

19 Aug

Husb needed some new clothes. This meant spending a couple of hours in the city traipsing around the shops listening to him complaining, “They’ve taken a perfectly good jacket and written STUFF all over it!”

“Have you seen the state on these trousers! They’re down around their backsides!”.

“Look at the cut on these jeans!!!!! They make you look like you’ve got RICKETS!!!”

“HOW MUCH???!!!”

Husb has been in training to be a grumpy old man since his teens. He’s awfully good at it. I try to get him home after a couple of hours, in case he has a stroke.

So when we got back, he decided to do some DIY. I’ve no idea why. He detests DIY as much as shopping. At least it gave me a chance of a spot of scribbling. It was surprisingly difficult because he was bent over his Black & Decker Workmate [he’s got all the gear, even though he hates DIY], so I was trying to draw him from some very awkward angles and he kept moving around. But I managed one half decent sketch of him. With his jeans down around his backside :D!

Then he chilled out with a nice cup of tea.

Casting A Clout.

25 Mar

Ink sketch: in the garden.

It’s unusually warm and sunny so husb and I spent a long hard day on the allotment and came home shattered and aching. Every year we resolve to break ourselves in gently, do an hour or so the first time, but we don’t because you never know when it’s going to pour down for weeks on end, so we make the most of the sunshine. Anyway, we did loads and I planted up some onion sets and seeds …. spinach beet, beetroot amd carrots. Came home and went straight into a hot bubble bath to relieve the aches and pains and then had a nice cup of tea in the back garden where I did this drawing. When we look at a scene, we only see a tiny fragment at any one time because that’s all we can focus on, but we don’t really notice because our eyes move across the scene very quickly and our brain makes a composite of all the images our eyes are taking in. But when you draw a scene, you’re recording everything equally, so you end up with a drawing that looks much more full of stuff than the original scene. Well it does to me anyway. Perhaps I have a weird brain.

It was so lovely that, even though it’s still March,  I went against my Nana’s advice, “Don’t cast a clout ’til May is out” and I casted loads of clouts, sitting in the garden in thin cotton clothes, bare-legged with flip flops. Great stuff. Then husb and I took a walk down to Joe’s Ice-Cream Parlour to reward ourselves for all our hard work – I can’t resist a Cherry Temptation mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm 🙂

I wish my niece would come and pick up her bicycle!

Scribbler’s Block!! Where’s my creative juices gone?

15 Nov

Sketchbook studies: Hands in Action.


It happens to us all – Scribbler’s Block, Writer’s Block, do musicians get blockages? I’m sure they do. What do you do when you’re struggling away in the studio and the creative juices have dried up? You’ve already got three or four pieces of work on the go and everything you try to do to them looks rubbish. I have a nice cup of tea to start with [of course I would. I’m British lol] then I reach for one of my technical books and do some practice.

I’ve had a rough couple of days with no enthusiasm for the pieces I’m working on so I’ve been practicing drawing dynamic hands from a book by Burne Hogarth. They’re quite cheesy and very comic book, but I find them good for practice because they’re very exaggerated so you can see how stuff works. I have another of his books that deals with the dynamic figure too. The top drawing is in conte crayon and the bottom in biro, scribbled into a cheap A4 Belvedere spiral bound sketchbook. They’re only practice so I use cheap paper, but that sometimes frees me up and the practice pieces are often more fun to do and that sometimes helps to release the creative blockage. Hopefully I’ll be unblocked tomorrow.

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