Tag Archives: cave art

Bideford Black

14 Nov


I was with a group of artists working with the 15 Hundred Lives collective at Creative Bubble today. We have the artspace for a couple of days every month to work together and to let the public come in and see how art is created. I’ve been working on a very big drawing in charcoal and chalky pastels, based on an original life drawing, and I’ve been trying out an old traditional pigment, Bideford Black, which is a naturally occurring black clay-like pigment from Devon.

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I found it very interesting to use. It feels like a lump of crumbly clay but when you start to rub it on the paper, it quickly acquires a smooth surface and feels oily as it moves across the paper. I thought it would be hard to overlay it with other media, like carbon and chalky pastels, but they went on beautifully.

DSC08171It made me feel a connection to ancient artists, those who drew on the caves in Paleolithic times, using ochres, chalks and clays they found on and in the earth around them. Primeval. I like it. I’m at Creative Bubble for another day tomorrow so will finish the drawing then.

Spreading It About.

28 Jun


Like many artists I have to do lots of different things to make ends meet and I sometimes work with adult drug and alcohol addicts, developing educational and social skills through creative expression. Which is a bit of a posh way of saying I teach art. I thought I’d show some of the work my students did on the last course. Althought he emphasis is on self-epression, the course is very structured and includes a lot of the history of art and culture. We kicked off with ‘Corps Equise’, a technique used by Dada and Surrealist artists and poets in the early 20th century to release their creativity, including Dali, Magritte, Andre Breton, Valentine Hugo and Paul Elouard.

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Then we moved onto cave art and tribal art. I really like the work they did; it was great to see their confidence in what they were doing increase with each session and also kindling an interest in different historical periods of art that they’d had no previous knowledge of. I’m passionate about art; not just about creating it but also spreading it about because it can bring such beauty and interest into peoples lives.

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