Tag Archives: artists

Methodology, Mountain And Memorial

11 Jun
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Melanie Ezra with some of her automata

 

South Wales is so full of talented artists, despite the poor economy and our relative isolation on the Western fringes of Europe – or maybe because of it. Property is cheap and there’s an intensity and freedom to be had from being so far from the frenetic centre of the art establishment in London. Husb and I went to the opening of Melanie Ezra’s new exhibition, Methodology, at The Workers Gallery in Ynyshir in the Rhondda Valley. I love The Workers Gallery. Started by illustrator Gale Rogers and sculptor Chris Williams about 18 months ago it continues defiantly in an area of immense social and economic deprivation, receiving no public funding, building a stable of enthusiastic and eclectic artists across the area. It was lovely there this afternoon, with lashings of tea and Welsh cakes. I also met up with some fellow artists who follow this blog and had some great conversations with them. About art of course 😀

 

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My favourite trainers overwhelmed by wild flowers

 

The image that many people have of Wales is one of post industrial dereliction but what avaricious industrialists once destroyed, nature has reclaimed and the mountains and valleys are now breathtakingly beautiful and can stand comparison with anywhere in Europe. We drove back across the mountain via Treherbert and stopped at a viewing spot above Llyn Fawr, a carpet of wild flowers spilled over my feet.

 

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The memorials above Llyn Fawr

 

People have constructed memorials at the edge of the mountain, looking across the valley. This resonates with so much of my work, from Yr Helfa (The Hunt) about the ancient Neolithic ancestral stones I have been drawing in recent months; to last year’s series, Er Gôf, based on the Holocaust Memorial; from the currently ongoing drawn portraits of Baby Boomers, to the series of monotypes, Warrior, working with a young Welsh soldier – so much of my art is about loss, mortality and memory.

 

I’m currently working on a series of expressive drawings of ancestral sites and if you want to see some of my other artworks, please click here.

The Red Admiral

10 Jun

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I went to the opening of the Art In The Tawe Valley (AitTV) group show this evening at Pontardawe Arts Centre. It was fab. Lots of lovely art, artists and conversations. I took a few minutes for a quick scribble, a woman in a backless dress showing her rather lovely butterfly tattoo – a Red Admiral I think. I used to recognise lots of butterflies when I was little, but there don’t seem to be so many around any more.

 

Here are three of the artists exhibiting at the show who have close links with Swansea Print Workshop. Viv is exhibiting a beautiful landscape in hand-made felt, Leanne a delicate illustrative canvas, and Doodlemum a selection of her delightful drawings of everyday family life. The Tawe Valley Arts Week is happening at many venues up and down the Swansea Valley until June the 19th. Check out what’s happening here.

 

I’m currently working on a series of expressive drawings of ancestral sites and if you want to see some of my other artworks, please click here.

End Of An Era

25 May
Me! Doodled! By Doodlemum!

Me! Doodled! By Doodlemum!

Over the past three years I’ve been part of an art collective called 15 Hundred Lives with fellow artists Sylvie Evans and Graham Parker and we have put on 27 public access art events at the Creative Bubble Artspace. This last event at the weekend was our final regular monthly one.

 

That doesn’t mean we’re packing up completely, but we are busy with individual projects and in  future we’ll be popping up from time to time to do arty things but not as often as we have been.

Our final event was called TRANSITION, about the transition each of us is making artistically at the moment, we’re all trying out new approaches in our art practice.


We welcomed 2 guest artists over the weekend, Swansea’s Doodlemum Angie Stevens who doodled us and visitors on Friday and Melanie Ezra and her automata, soon to be the subject of a solo show at The Workers Gallery and Workshops, on the Saturday.

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It was a bittersweet couple of days, we’ve worked with over 30 guest artists and welcomed hundreds of visitors to the Creative Bubble over the past two and a half years, but all good things come to an end.

 

I’m currently working on a series of expressive drawings of ancestral sites and if you want to see some of my other artworks, please click here.

Drawing At An Exhibition

7 Feb

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Husb and I braved the atrocious weather yesterday and drove down to Narbeth, a delightful small town in Pembrokeshire where the excellent Oriel Q Gallery is hosting a new exhibition from Swansea artist Keith Bayliss, “Swsana And The Elders“. We attended an ‘in conversation’ between Keith and Sally Moss. Keith’s work is made up of drawings, paintings and sculptural pieces in a site-specific installation with a soundscape. It’s fantastic and runs until February the 27th. It’s worth taking the trip down, Narbeth is a lovely place to visit with several galleries and a great pottery.

I was so engrossed that I didn’t do any sketches but here’s a drawing I did from a piece in a previous exhibition by Keith in the Mission Gallery in Swansea.

A Focussed Face

3 Feb

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I’m drawing quite a lot of fellow artists as I’m working my way towards 100 sketches of 100 Baby Boomers and this is the third artist who has drawn me right back. It’s quite good fun when it happens. I know that I frown when I’m concentrating and other people sometimes have a ‘focussed face’ too. This artist tended to push her tongue under her lower lip as she drew. I used a mid-grey graphite stick into an A5 spiral bound sketchbook. Some people have asked why I don’t use photos, but the experience of sitting and having conversations with people is an important part of the process. It might result in a less accurate likeness but the drawings are more animated and, in my opinion, more alive and reflect the time we spend together.

Back At Me

1 Feb

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Another Baby Boomer with wild curly hair this morning and also another artist who drew me right on back. I decide what drawing materials to use when I sit down to draw. Some people are suited to drawing pens (Faber Castell Pitt) and some to graphite (I use a variety in stick form). Graphite seemed best suited to her remarkable unruly hair. I have enjoyed drawing people at The SPace on Swansea’s High Street. We only have 2 weeks left of our 12 week lease so I’m making the most of drawing people in these rather lovely surroundings.

Wild Curly Hair

31 Jan

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Here’s another of my series of portrait drawings of fabulous Baby Boomers. I’m so enjoying doing these, the conversations I’ve been having are just as important as the physical act of drawing; it’s informing and consolidating my thoughts for the future development of the work. This Baby Boomer is a fellow artist and was having a conversation with yet another artist at The SPace on Swansea’s High Street where I was drawing her. This made it more difficult than usual to get an accurate likeness but I think it led to a more animated drawing. It was fun drawing her scarf and wild curly hair. I used a dark grey graphite stick into my A5 spiral bound sketchbook.

Walk, Draw, Gong.

23 Sep
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The labyrinth with my ongoing drawing on the wall

Today is the Autumn Equinox and The Bagpuss Window featured a labyrinth made from bark and gong music from David Pitt. Visitors were invited to walk the labyrinth while David played gong. I had a go. It’s very meditative. It helped me loosen up as I did some more work on my big wall drawing.

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Walking the labyrinth with David Pitt on gongs

I’m loving what’s happening at The Bagpuss Window. When I picked up the keys to the old shop at the beginning of the month, I had no idea so many lovely artists would get involved. It’s been a brilliant experience.

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Je Suis Charlie

8 Jan

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Dark Impressions

10 Jun

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I’m carrying on with working dark on dark. I prepared lots of pages in my handmade Khadi sketchbook with an Indian ink wash and I’m working on top with random marks using different drawing materials such as carbon, graphite block, black pastels, black oil bar, compressed and willow charcoal.

I admire artists who work from their imagination; it’s something I find very hard. I have always preferred to work from what’s around me. I’m actively trying to break through the blocks that are stopping me by doing these drawings.

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