Tag Archives: art

Herstory And The Artist Support Pledge

14 Sep

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A while back I did a series of screenprint portraits, I call them “Herstory”, of women artists I greatly admire. I don’t like to have favourites but perhaps top of my list – just – is the incomparable Käthe Kollwitz, active in Germany from the late 19th century to the end of World War 2. Her life, her work and her politics are fascinating and I think that she should be far better known than she is. But unfortunately that’s true of many women artists. Her work is profoundly moving. She suffered the tragedy of losing her son in World War 1 and her grandson in WW2 and her war memorial, ‘The Grieving Parents’ in the Vladsio German War Cemetery is imbued with a terrible sadness and hopelessness. But she was also an energetic political campaigner and social rights activist. A wonderful artist and human being.

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These are the original 8, I’ve always intended that the series will be ongoing and I’ll be adding to them soon. I’ve only exhibited them a couple of times – so many galleries don’t want a series of work, just one or two pieces. I’m going to be releasing these for sale over the next couple of months, beginning with Käthe this week, through the  Artist Support Pledge which was set up to help artists sell work through these uncertain Covid19 times.

 

 

 

Pollution And The Seagull

28 Jul

 

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I spent the morning at Swansea Print Workshop – we are doing a very limited re-opening now that the Covid19 restrictions are relaxing. I want to finish an edition of screenprints I made from a drawing of a stuffed seagull back last Autumn. I printed a load of seagulls on newsprint while I was getting the strength of the ink right so I used a couple of these today to try out different backgrounds. I’m thinking of making a photoscreen from fruit nets to create the background. There’s so much rubbish in the environment, loads of plastic pollution, so I’m going to use some with the seagull. I’m not necessarily going to use these colours but at the moment I’m trying to get the composition right.

 

Warm Buttered Plums: The Recipe

29 Apr

plums 3

You can download the recipe and print it out, it’s a jpeg. It’s delicious, even if I say so myself. I’ve given gluten-free, dairy-free and vegan alternatives.

oaty plums

Tecchie stuff

I took the photos with the camera on my phone, put them into Instagram, then reduced the size in Adobe Photoshop. I used Comic Life for the layout (I LOVE Comic Life) and exported it as a jpeg. If you right click on the image, you should be able to save it to your My Pictures folder and then you should be able to print it out.

If you don’t have an ovenproof frying pan, try a tarte tatin tin or a heavy pie dish that you can use on top of a stove.

Scruffy, Bitey, Digital Cat

19 Apr

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Just doodling this evening with my Samsung Galaxy Note 8, a free app called “Markers” and Sparta Puss. She’s looking a bit scruffy because it’s Springtime and she’s moulting. She needs brushing but every time I get near her with a brush, she bites me. Hey ho.

 

 

Clean Green Space

4 Apr

allotment 1a

We’ve just had our letter from the local council giving us permission to go to our allotment during the lockdown. We’re so lucky. We’ve had the plot about 12 years and it’s not been easy – a very heavy clay soil, surrounded by woodland. A few times we’ve considered giving up but I’m so glad we stuck with it because now it’s a godsend. We were there for nearly 3 hours today, getting exercise, fresh air, sunshine and growing food. It’s just below Oystermouth Castle and you can see the castle behind the trees in the first picture.

allotment 2

Because we’re overshadowed with woodland at either end, it’s hard to grow crops in those areas so I’ve created a small woodland garden between the shed and Compost Corner. The hellebores and primroses are in full bloom but the little daffodils are dying back. The wild garlic is about to flower and the arums are flourishing. The apple and plum trees are just budding.

allotment 3

This is the view that greets us. There’s a wooden shed hiding behind the greenhouse. There’s loads of wildlife here too. The birdsong was beautiful today and we’re visitied by foxes, squirrels and badgers, who are very fond of sweetcorn. We’re so lucky to have this space at the moment. I really feel for people who live in the larger congested cities with no access to clean green space.

 

3 Blurry Cats

2 Apr

 

Husb and I have been taking daily walks to get our exercise during the Covid19 lockdown and have been seeing a lot of cats out and about, more than usual. I guess they like the peace and quiet. I do, it’s lovely. I’ve been trying to photograph the little furry ones but they don’t like me coming in close so the photos are a bit blurry. The gingers have beautiful markings and the little tuxedo is so sweet.

 

 

Look What I’ve Got ….

31 Mar

press 1

I’ve got a brand new portable printing press. From the Portable Printing Press Company. It’s lush.

press 2

I’ve put it on top of my antique mangle, which isn’t in good enough condition to turn into a printing press itself, but it’s really solid and sturdy so it’s a good base for my new  press.

tree

Husb and I went for our daily exercise walk this evening and saw this weird tree with a lovely frill of fungus on it. It’s very, very quiet out walking during the virus lockdown. We saw very few people but a couple of sweet cats crossed our path.

Cheesey Baconey Comfort Food

29 Mar

bacon bread 1

More pandemic cooking today – comfort food to the max! Here’s a yeast free Cheese and Bacon Bread recipe by Gwynn Galvin on the Swirls of Flavor website  that my mate June sent me on Facebook. It’s an American recipe which gave me a chance to use my fancy schmancy set of Joseph Joseph measuring cups.

First, preheat your oven to 180C, 350F or gas mark 4 and grease 1 large or two smaller loaf tins with vegetable oil. Snip the rind off three rashers of streaky bacon and cut them into small strips. Fry them until crispy. Put 2.5 cups of plain flour into a mixing bowl and add 1 tablespoon of sugar.

Add 4 teaspoons of baking powder and a cup of grated strong cheddar. Meanwhile melt 4 tablespoons of butter.

It’s wild garlic season and although the original recipe calls for 1/2 teaspoon of garlic granules, I substituted this with half a cup of snipped wild garlic leaves and added these to the dry ingredients and mixed them in with my hands. Beat one large egg and measure out a cup of milk.

Pour all the wet ingredients into the mixing bowl – that’s the melted butter, milk and beaten egg and mix them in gently with a large metal spoon. Don’t overmix as this will make the bread denser. Put the mix into the loaf tin/s and sprinkle some more grated cheese on top. Bake for about 45 minutes for a large loaf or 35-ish for the two smaller ones. They should be golden brown and if you stick a metal skewer into the centre it should come out clean. Leave them in the tins for about 5 minutes then remove them and cool them on a metal rack – the one from your grill pan will do.

bacon bread 4

I served the bread still warm in thick slices with home-made root vegetable soup. It is LUSH!

You can find the original recipe here

 

 

 

 

 

Comfort Food

28 Mar

nutmeg

Comfort food tonight. Rice pudding, made with coconut milk and agave syrup rather than the traditional cow juice and sugar, but nutmeg is a must. I grate it fresh and stir it through the pudding before I cook it. I microwaved it for 30 minutes, which is a lot quicker than in an oven, but it doesn’t seem to get a skin this way. Lot’s of people don’t like rice pudding skin but I love it.

On the left, the ingredients mixed and ready to go into the microwave at full power for half an hour. Then served up hot and creamy with a dollop of home-made jostaberry jam.  It was lush!

 

 

 

Survival Kicking In

27 Mar

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I seem to have gone into some weird default setting, a deep seated survival instinct. I’ve been wondering why I’m finding it so hard to do any art at the moment – surely the greatest crisis within living memory would kickstart some creative ideas? But no. Instead I’m digging my allotment, planting seeds, picking crops, cooking, preserving, using up leftovers, recycling, storing.

Art is a higher function. Food is a basic need. Something deep seated has been triggered and the energy I would normally be putting into my studio is now going into my kitchen and allotment. Today I bottled some rhubarb and made rhubarb cordial. We’ve got a glut of rhubarb this year. Normally I’d be making crumble and upside down cake with it but Husb has decided to give up sweet things for a while because he thinks he’s putting on weight and I can’t take cakes around to friends and relatives because we’re on lockdown. There’s loads more in the ground ….. tomorrow I’m going to make rhubarb gin.

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