Tag Archives: birds

Sparta Puss And The Magpie

2 Nov

Magpie final

Today I finished off the copy I made of Monet’s painting “The Magpie”, started with Ed Sumner’s Cheese and Wine Painting Club on Facebook. So many shades of white! I used Liquitex heavy body acrylic paints, Daler Rowney brushes for acrylics and a primed canvas from Wilkinsons. Oh, and a couple of palette knives. In fact, I mostly used the palette knives, which is something new for me.

Sparta Puss isn’t impressed. We have a pair of magpies that return to nest in the tree next door every year and they are her sworn enemies. She’s never managed to harm them though. She’s a little on the ….. chunky side and can’t climb up as far as the nest. They torment her, throw stones at her and scream at her from the other side of the window when she’s indoors. She hates them.

Sparta Magpie

 

 

 

 

A Chance To Own One Of My Artworks

I have some small screenprints for sale, inspired by my drawings of the taxidermy collection at Swansea Museum. I have given these antique artifacts a modern twist by combining them with images of rubbish – old fruit nets, bubble wrap and plastic – highlighting the problem of human pollution and how it affects wildlife.

To buy my work on the Swansea Print Workshop site please click the image to the left and to see the complete image.

Inspired by drawings of the taxidermy collection at Swansea Museum. I have given these antique artefacts a modern twist by combining them with images of rubbish – old fruit nets, bubble wrap and plastic – highlighting the problem of human pollution and how it affects wildlife.

20 percent of the cost of each screenprint sold goes to support Swansea Print Workshop, which receives no public funding.

 

A White Raven Emerges

8 Jul

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Inspiration can be a slow process for me. I heard a poem performed by Welsh artist and rapper Rufus Mufasa back last year which featured a raven and it’s been buried somewhere inside and emerged a few days ago. As a female raven, as a manifestation of the ancient Welsh goddess Brânwen and now, today, as a white raven. None of this is being consciously directed by me, I’m just getting on with it and seeing where it leads me. I had a go drawing her on my Samsung Galaxy tablet today, with a free drawing app called Markers, which is the only drawing app I’ve ever used. In this format she’s come out as quite feisty, almost perky, which is nothing like the tragic history of Brânwen.  I’ll try developing her in different media and see what happens.

This is the drawing I did originally at Rufus’ performance, it was a spontaneous reaction and the raven is just starting to emerge.

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And a couple of days ago I drew this one in HB pencil.

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I’m getting an urge to try this out in collage next, something I rarely do, but this white raven has really gripped me all of a sudden and I’m going to go with the flow.

There’s a podcast called the Celtic Myth Podshow which tells the story of ancient Celtic myths, episode by episode, including the one about Brânwen – check it out here, it’s good.

And please do check out Rufus Mufasa, she’s amazing. She’s here on SoundCloud.

Now – where’s my Pritt stick?

Scribbling Brân

2 Jul

raven 3

I practised drawing a raven today, from a photograph, as I have the germ of an idea for some new work. I find birds really hard to draw because they have such strange proportions. My first one was way off, the second is getting there. More work to do. I’m thinking this may end up in a screenprint at some point.

Thing is with birds that it isn’t just the weird proportions to get to grips with but also the foreshortening. Tricky. I used an HB Derwent pencil onto a medium weight cartridge paper. In Welsh mythology, the god and goddess Brân and Brânwen were brother and sister. Brân means raven and Brânwen,  a white raven.

City Centre Thug

7 Nov

city centre thug

 

This image has had quite a lengthy journey. I did the original drawing (below) of a seagull, or city centre thug around these parts, at Swansea Museum weeks ago, working with Edinburgh-based printmaker Kelly Stewart, sketching antique taxidermy birds and bugs from the Museum collections.

 

 

Then I created a transparency to transfer the drawing onto a photosensitised screen. When it was exposed, developed and dried I tried out a load of trial prints onto cheap newsprint paper, using Daler Rowney System 3 acrylic paint, black with a hint of purple, and some printmaking medium.

And finally I printed an edition of 6 onto Fabriano Rosapina paper (285gsm) with one Artist Proof and one leftover, which is a reject. Fabriano paper comes from the Italian town of Fabriano which has been a centre for papermaking for nearly eight hundred years.

 

Who Ate All The Pies?

31 Oct

scourge the seagull

Who Ate All The Pies?

I spent the afternoon down at Swansea Print Workshop, working alongside other artists, heads down, printmaking. I worked with two others, preparing silkscreens with Azicol photosensitive solution. I’m going to make a photoscreen from a drawing I did recently, of a seagull during a drawing day at Swansea Museum.

 

screen gull

 

I drew a stuffed seagull from their collection of antique taxidermy. There are loads of seagulls around here. They steal people’s food from their hands. They’re getting bigger. And more intelligent. One day they will take over the world!

The Scourge Of The City

8 Oct

scourge the seagull

I did this drawing of a seagull a couple of weeks ago at Swansea Museum from a stuffed seagull in the Museum’s stores. I think it’s a herring gull (but I’m not sure). If it is, then it’s on the conservation danger list, which surprises me because there are thousands of them around here. They’re the scourge of the city’s bin collectors as they rip open black bags and raid them, spreading rubbish all over the street. It’s a spectator sport in the city centre, watching them snatch food from people ambling along, eating in the street.

chocolate all in one sponge

 

Talking of eating, I was having visitors round earlier so I baked a cake. A quick and easy chocolate all-in-one sponge, flavoured with freshly grated orange rind and iced with chocolate buttercream, which I make with Welsh salt butter, icing sugar, cocoa and a splash of vanilla. I kept it well away from seagulls.

A Tissue Issue

5 Oct

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Workibng with Kelly Stewart at Swansea Print Workshop last week, I experimented with different ways to screenprint my range of drawings. I’ve always liked the chine collé technique especially with handmade paper made from recycled saris. I get it from the haberdashers in Swansea Market and it has a great texture and a some juicy colours.

 

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I used Japanese Nori glue to stick it down – it’s made with seaweed. The sari paper is quite thin, but very strong, so it was easy to silkscreen over it – thicker paper might have caused some technical problems. The term chine collé is French for tissue collage and these fine papers have traditionally been imported from Chine, Japan and the Indian subcontinent.

 

The Bits In The Middle

4 Oct

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The first stage in producing my recent set of screenprints was doing the drawings.

 

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Then came the bit in the middle. I had to produce a set of transparencies. Some were photocopied from the original drawings onto a special Overhead Projector (OHP) acetate – the two bugs and the heron.

 

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Some were redrawn onto cellophane using a brush and black acrylic paint – the two snipe. One was photocopied directly onto good quality tracing paper – the fruit net. And the text was handwritten onto Trugrain film using a Faber Castell Pitt drawing pen.

 

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The final stage is to transfer the transparencies onto a silkscreen.

work station

 

Beginning To End

3 Oct

snipe

I started with an ink and wash sketch of a snipe (using my homemade walnut ink at Swansea Museum) drawn with brushes.

 

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Then, at Kelly Stewart’s screenprinting session at Swansea Print Workshop, I redrew it onto cellophane with brushes and black acrylic paint. These are the transparencies I used to create photoscreens.

 

work station

And then I screened them onto different papers, Fabriano and Somerset, with Daler Rowney System 3 Acrylic paint, mixed with Screenprint medium in an 80:20 paint to medium ratio.

 

That’s it from beginning to end.

The Cheeky Cockchafer

2 Oct

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Another of the small silkscreen prints I did recently. I started off by redrawing a little sketch of a snipe, but this time I did it onto cellophane with black acrylic paint. That formed a transparency for transferring to a photoscreen. I wanted to incorporate bits of rubbish to reflect the environment that much of our wildlife has to put up with. I used the net from a bag of fruit and put it through a photocopier onto a piece of good quality tracing paper. This became another transparency. I printed with Daler Rowney System 3 acrylic mixed 80:20 with screenprint medium onto Fabriano paper.

 

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Here’s a variation on the theme, with a cheeky cockchafer sneaking in ….

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