Tag Archives: calico cat

Creative Learning

10 Oct


I had a great day, working with a group of fellow artists to deliver demonstrations to primary school teachers in a lovely school on the Gower Peninsula. I showed a selection of printmaking techniques suitable for younger children including two kinds of monotype – direct line and reductive, blind embossing and colour printing with collagraph plates, and a quick bit of block printing. It was a whistle stop tour to hopefully whet their appetite for further training. This is part of the Welsh Government’s Creative Learning initiative to expand the creative education received by children in schools in Wales over 5 years.

I did some of the printing in the demonstration with my little pastamaker press – here’s a video (with my cat) showing how to convert a tabletop pasta machine into a serviceable miniature printing press.




There’s more of my art to be seen in my online Gallery in Artfinder, please click on the image below to take a look. Thank you.



Singing In The Shower

26 Jun

26 shower

I like singing in the shower. I’m not trying to impress anyone, just singing away for the fun of it, so there’s no pressure. Sometimes I do that with drawing; not often enough to be honest. When I was a kid I doodled all the time but now I always seem to be trying to produce something ‘good’ or finished or polished. So I just chilled out tonight and did the scribbling equivalent of singing in the shower.

I used my dip pen and Indian ink onto a piece of recycled Bockingford that I’d stained with a soggy used teabag (no expense spared here) and just doodled away. Sparta wandered in and sat around cleaning herself so I scribbled away at her as well. I got right into ‘The Zone’, enjoying the scratchy feel of the pen onto the thick textured paper, playing with speed and pressure and just going with the flow. Drawing for fun and relaxation – I should definitely do it more often.

Street Scribbles

21 Feb

20 street 3


This is my equivalent of a singer practicing their scales. It’s what underpins the ‘finished’ pieces that I hang in a gallery. Just mundane, quick, scribbly sketches in real time. It’s only a few minutes work but it keeps me fresh by focussing me on the essence of each figure. It’s not great art but it’s not meant to be. This is the daily practice of my craft.

20 street 2

Here are some more. With Sparta. Up to no good!

Helping The Monkey

10 Feb

10 monkey help

Greetings bald apes. Sparta the psycho-kitteh here. I’ve been helping the furless she-monkey tonight. She likes to make marks on paper with coloured dirt. I don’t know why. She could be doing something more useful, like licking me clean or hunting rats. I’d do much more interesting things if I had opposable thumbs. I’ll never understand the workings of the monkey mind.

Here she is playing with woody sticks and water. And here I am directing the whole thing. She wasn’t very grateful. Idiot.

The Hunter

7 Feb

27 sparta

Another dead rat in the hallway this evening and one very proud psycho-kitteh strutting around, well pleased with herself. We’ve had a spate of dead rats in recent weeks, some of them quite large and we found out last week where they’re coming from – our compost bin. Husb noticed that our kitchen waste was breaking down very quickly – too quickly! He poked around and found a network of tunnels through the compost. Rats have been burrowing in and scoffing our kitchen scraps…..and Sparta has been lying in wait and killing the rats. Well, that’s what our species domesticated the little furry ones for; protecting our homes and food from rodents.

14 my chair

Although I sometimes think that WE’RE the ones who’ve been domesticated! Husb has secured the bottom of the bin and there doesn’t seem to be any more rat action inside the compost, but this evening’s corpse shows that they’re still coming round to take a look. I’m amazed that she can drag a rat through two cat flaps, across a large kitchen and down a long corridor in her tiny little jaws. She’s a very small cat. The top image is a photopolymer plate etching of Sparta and the lower one, a drawing from one of my sketchbooks.

Wobbly Lurgi Man

29 Jan

29 doctors

I finally went to the doctor today because my lurgi just wasn’t shifting. I had to wait a while so I got stuck in, drawing the chap opposite me in the waiting room. Unfortunately, it was boiling in there and that set off my hideous hacking cough, which made the drawing very wonky. I had to keep putting it down to go out into the corridor where it was cooler and my cough calmed down a bit.

Turns out it isn’t seasonal flu, but a bacterial infection that snuck into my lungs when my immune system was successfully fighting off a viral throat infection, which is what I first went down with almost a fortnight ago. I’ve been hanging on thinking it’ll go, as viral infections do, but it was just getting worse. Anyway, I’ve started on antibiotics this evening and I’m already feeling better with hardly any cough. Hopefully I’ll be back doing some non-wonky art in a day or two. Sparta’s getting into posing with my sketchbook now.

Quality Control Kitteh-Style

2 Jul

We’re cropping well from our allotment and here’s Little Ming doing a quality control inspection on our latest pick of broad beans. We’ve grown mainly Claudia Aquadulce that I planted last Autumn; I also tried Imperial Longpod and Red Epicure but they didn’t come to much. We pick the young leaves throughout the Spring because they make a delicious salad with the French sorrel and wild garlic that are in season at the same time and they’re also good in stir fries.  I reckon we’ll get one more bag off the plants.

Here’s another drawing I did at last week’s life drawing group. In keeping with the Renaissance techniques I’m trying to incorporate into my work, I used the whole sheet of paper [it was only A6] and filled it with little quick sketches from the same pose.

I used some handmade paper that I bought at the Tate Gallery shop a while back and coloured it with diluted sepia ink and drew with a dip pen and black Indian ink.

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