Tag Archives: Bank Holiday

Gold Mine In The Rain

2 Apr


It’s the British Bank Holiday so of course, the rain was tipping down. Husb and I got fed up looking out of the window at the Easter deluge and took off up to Dolaucothi to have a look around the Roman goldmine. It’s a lovely part of the country and we had a good time, despite the torrential sky juice.

The mines were originally worked in pre-Roman times, then the Romans invaded and took them over. Then they fell into disuse until the Victorians had a go and they finally closed in the 1940’s so there was a lot of historical stuff to see on site. I had a scribble, sheltering in the engine house and sketching the industrial machinery and landscape outside, using white, sanguine and black conté crayons into my A4 brown paper sketchbook.

Before The Deluge

30 Mar

aberdulais 1

It’s a Bank Holiday and rain is forecast so Husb and I got out of the house before the deluge started and went off to Aberdulais Falls for a bit of a walk, some historical instruction and to do a quick scribble or two. I used white, sanguine and black conté crayon into my spiral bound A4 brown paper sketchbook from Seawhites of Brighton. I worked very quickly as it is still quite cold, just getting down the basic details of the scene. Then off to the cafe in the old schoolroom to warm up and have a cup of tea and slice of bara brith.

Why Is The Ocean Green?

25 Aug

Because the sea weed. [GROAN] That’s what happens when I spend a couple of days with small nephews.


A traditional rainy bank holiday in Britain again. It’s been tipping down all day but cleared up a bit this evening so Husb and I headed down to the beach; he ran 7k along the promenade and I worked out on the free gym equipment.

beach drawing

The tide was fully in and just a few feet from the edge of the prom, so I wandered down and dipped my toes. And drew them. It’s hard finding marks to protray the sea, especially when you just have a fine pen, but I did my best. The sea weed sloshed over my toes. It tickled.

Drawn with a Faber Castell Pitt drawing pen, size S, into my little A6 spotty sketchbook.

Romantic Rosehill

26 May

25 labyrinth 1

A hot sunny British Bank Holiday. Inconceivable! But here it was so Husb and I went for a stiff walk up to Rosehill Quarry, where I stopped awhile to draw the view over the Cretan Labyrinth, was cut into the turf in 1987 by Bob Shaw and a team of local volunteers. I don’t find it easy to work with landscapes, but I’m practicing hard to develop a style and approach that suits me. I guess my starting point is to define some key shapes and colours within the landscape and scribble them in place. Then I move away from the view and work with different drawing materials and colours, making marks and expressing what I want on the paper. It stops being about the subject and becomes about me. That sounds conceited but I’ve always thought of myself as an Expressionist and that’s what I’m doing, expressing myself.

25 labyrinth 2

I drew onto a sheet of newspaper using charcoal, carbon and Daler Rowney artists’ soft pastels. The Quarry is an amazing place. A lot of the city centre is built with stone quarried from there and in the 1980s it became an inner city environmental project and was converted into a community park and wildlife corridor. Husb and I met while we were both wroking on the project so it’s one of our favourite places. Awwww there’s romantic 😀 . You can just see the labyrinth in the bottom photo.

Man In A Black Square

31 May

Some time ago I took some digital photos from my second floor studio window, looking down on the people walking past below. I worked them up into drawings and I’ve been gradually cutting them into blocks for printing. I’m planning to do a series of nine block prints, all square and the same size, with the figure offset within the square. It sort of ties in with my feeling that artists are voyeurs, spying on the world to record what they see. Well, some of us are anyway. Once I’ve done all nine, I’ll exhibit them in a 3×3 square formation so that the black squares make the most impact and also to emphasise the isolation of each individual imprisoned in their own dark square.

I cut the image into a recycled piece of signwriter’s foamboard, I think the brand name in Britain is Floatex. I use it because it’s free and gives a very fine line that I can’t get with lino or wood. I used it extensively to teach block printing to people with drug problems; some have blood-borne viruses and the last thing you want is a cutting tool injury. The foamboard doesn’t have to be cut – it can be incised with a 4″ nail or even a biro.

I printed this today using Daler-Rowney block-printing medium and lamp black oil paint, using a Japanese baren to take the print without a press onto Fabriano Accademica 120gsm paper. I’m going to have to do more experimentation because I only had one good print out of 5. I might try it out with a Zercoll paper or adjust the ratio of paint to medium until I get it right. Ho hum, that’s my fate sealed for the bank holiday. [Holiday? Don’t make me laugh :)]

Too Modern For My Own Good!

7 May

So anyway, this is the last I’m going to write about the Renaissance drawing sessions I went to last week. I did this drawing towards the end of Day 2, when I was getting pretty frazzled and tired. The aim was to try and draw as the Renaissance masters did, using mostly materials and equipment that they used. The paper was interesting, none of it was white so I was already starting with a mid-tone, which I really enjoyed. I liked this model; I’d never worked with him before,  he has a rather Renaissance type face and hair. I started the drawing using delicate lines in willow charcoal, drawing gently so the lines were very light. Then I worked in some highlights with chalk. And THEN I went and spoiled it all by getting my charcoal and scribbling hard all over it, far too modern!

I found it very difficult to go against my inclinations and stick rigidly to someone ele’s set of rules. The main pre-occupation with Renaissance artists was to capture the underlying ‘divine truth’ that lies behind what we call reality and what they regarded as an illusion. However, I am much more influenced by twentieth century European Expressionism and the urge to let myself go and indulge in all that surface mark-making was just too much. I couldn’t help myself. Ho hum. Never mind. I learned a lot from the course, particularly in the use of tonal subtleties and drawing drapery. So back to the studio tomorrow, after this sodden Bank Holiday, and straight back into the 21st century 🙂

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