Tag Archives: Brecon Beacons

Finishing A Sketchbook

29 Sep

1cefnbrynbrain

A few weeks into the pandemic lockdown, when it became obvious that it was going to last a long while, I set myself some lockdown challenges. One is to improve my painting skills, which I’ve been doing with the Friday Cheese and Wine Painting Club on Facebook, practising faking well known paintings. Another is to do Tai Chi every day, which I’ve pretty much managed. A third is to have cold showers – my family have all got into Wim Hof so I’m giving it a try – it’s hell! And I also wanted to practise charcoal drawing, something I’ve avoided for years because I didn’t like the messiness. A friend gave me a lovely Khadi sketchbook for Xmas, the paper is heavy and rough and it really suits my Daler Rowney willow charcoal.

Husb and I took a drive to the Brecon Beacons on Saturday and stopped the car to look at the magnificent view and I made the last drawing in my book – number 30. The day was brilliantly sunny but also very cold and windy, so the sketch was quick and, well, sketchy. My shadow looms darkly in the bottom left of the scene.

Here’s a short video showing what it’s like drawing at the top of a mountain.

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Working in wild windy Wales.

A post shared by Rose Davies (@rosiescribblah) on

 

 

 

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.

In this one, I combined the image of the bird with snippets of text of things my Nana used to say. She used to take me to Swansea Museum a lot when I was small and I could hear her voice in the back of my head as I was sitting and drawing the birds and bugs.

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

 

While I’m Away …..

11 Sep

sketch 4

 

Here’s a couple of ‘blind contour’ sketches I did recently on a field trip to Craig-y-Nos with colleagues from the FIRE Lab. I did the sketches without looking at the paper and without taking my conté crayon off the paper. Forces me to focus on what’s absolutely essential and gives the linework a lot of life and dynamism.

 

The FIRE Laboratory

I am currently artist in residence with The Fire Laboratory  at Swansea University and have been going on field trips with scientific colleagues along the course of The River Tawe.

While I’m Away….

10 Sep

sketch 3

 

Another of my quick sketches from my field trip with FIRE Lab colleagues a couple of weeks ago. I like doing these very quick sketchbook studies, they’re dynamic because I have to work so fast.

 

The FIRE Laboratory

I am currently artist in residence with The Fire Laboratory  at Swansea University and have been going on field trips with scientific colleagues along the course of The River Tawe.

Studying Shrimp

8 Sep

sketch 2

 

Alongside making cyanotypes with my colleagues on a recent field trip, I also did some drawings. Here’s one at Craig-y-Nos in conté crayons – black, white and sanguine into an A4 sketchbook made from brown parcel paper. It took about 3 minutes and I did it mostly without looking at the paper. It forced me to focus on the essentials in the drawing. Steph and Joelle are looking at shrimp in the River Tawe.

 

The FIRE Laboratory

I am currently artist in residence with The Fire Laboratory  at Swansea University and have been going on field trips with scientific colleagues along the course of The River Tawe.

I Drew As Well

5 Sep

sketch 1

 

I’ve been posting pictures of the cyanotypes that I and other colleagues from Swansea University’s FIRE Lab team did during two field trips along the banks of the River Tawe recently. But I also did some drawings as well. Here’s one at Craig-y-Nos in conté crayons – black, white and sanguine into an A4 sketchbook made from brown parcel paper. It took about 5 minutes.

 

The FIRE Lab

I am currently artist in residence with The Fire Lab at Swansea University and have been going on field trips with scientific colleagues along the course of The River Tawe. This cyanotype experiment is our latest field trip.

Rubbish Into Art

4 Sep

develop 5

 

Here’s another cyanotype print done en plein air at Craig-y-Nos last week, on a field trip with colleagues from Swansea University’s FIRE Lab. My colleague, Steph, picked up a discarded fishing net from the river and arranged it on the photosensitised paper with some fallen leaves and stones picked up from the banks of the River Tawe. It was around midday but heavily overcast so I guesstimated a 20 minute exposure time, which has worked well. It’s a shame that thoughtless people dumped their rubbish into the river, but it’s been recycled into art and the fishing net was disposed of responsibly.

 

White Leaves And Pooled Corners

2 Sep

 

develop 4

Craig-y-Nos

Another one of the cyanotype prints I did at Craig-y-Nos a few days ago. The gardeners had been trimming hedges so I picked up a few leaves and arranged some stones and gravel from the river bank onto the treated paper. It was a very overcast day, around midday, so I guesstimated an exposure time of 20 minutes. When I developed it in cold water, I added a dash of vinegar, which is supposed to increase the contrast. It’s quite a good colour and I like the softness of the leaves. The photo below was taken while I was exposing the cyanotype. I think it’s a nice image in it’s own right.

 

exposure 4

 

Pooling

The dark splodges in the corners came from the initial coating process. The received wisdom is to coat the paper and let them dry on a flat surface, but I found that almost all the sheets of paper had ‘pooled’ at the corners. The previous batch had been hung to dry and the coating was much more even.

 

The FIRE Lab

I am currently artist in residence with The Fire Lab at Swansea University and have been going on field trips with scientific colleagues along the course of The River Tawe. This cyanotype experiment is our latest field trip.

 

 

 

 

Blue Stones

1 Sep

develop 2

Brushwork And Gravel

This is another cyanotype from my field trip earlier this week with colleagues from the FIRE Lab. When I prepared this sheet of Bockingford (300gsm) with the cyanotype chemical coating, I tried being a bit freer with the brushwork, instead of applying an even coat in a rectangular shape. And I used gravel from the bank of the River Tawe to make the image, something I hadn’t tried before. I hadn’t realised how varied it is, so many different grades. The name of the river, ‘Tawe’, might share its origins with a group of Celtic river names meaning “to flow”, including Thames, Tame and Tamar.

 

 

Fern And Raindrops

31 Aug

develop 3

Sploshed

Here’s another of the cyanotypes done a couple of days ago on a FIRE Lab field trip. I clipped the fern directly onto a piece of Bockingford paper treated with cyanotype chemicals. It was overcast and about midday so I estimated a 20 minute exposure time.

It started to rain and drops sploshed onto the paper.

Exposure 1

The FIRE Lab

I am currently artist in residence with The Fire Lab at Swansea University and have been going on field trips with scientific colleagues along the course of The River Tawe. This cyanotype experiment is our latest field trip.

 

Blue Wash

30 Aug

develop 1

Today I developed yesterday’s cyanotypes in the garden shed. Husb has been making the shed, from scratch, for about 3 years now and it’s nearly finished. He’s plumbed in an old Belfast sink which is big and deep enough to easily develop the pictures. I soaked them for 5 minutes under running water, then 20 minutes in a tray of still water with a spot of vinegar in it – apparently it increases the contrast.

 

More tomorrow……

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