Tag Archives: children

To Stand And Stare…..

7 Aug

1533672024664.png

I’m having fun doing digital drawings of people with their heads thrown back; today a sunny little one, another ginger, who was gazing at clouds. Ah, I remember doing that when I was little. It brings to mind the poem “Leisure” by Welsh poet W. H. Davies …..

 

What is this life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.
No time to stand beneath the boughs
And stare as long as sheep or cows.
No time to see, when woods we pass,
Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass.
No time to see, in broad daylight,
Streams full of stars, like skies at night.
No time to turn at Beauty’s glance,
And watch her feet, how they can dance.
No time to wait till her mouth can
Enrich that smile her eyes began.
A poor life this if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.

 

 

Babysitting

26 Jun

rhisteff 1a

I did some babysitting this morning. I didn’t sit on them, honest. We walked down to the beach, just a few minutes away and we’re having an uncharacteristic heat wave, so it was lovely down there, with lots of people enjoying the sand. The sea was right out but there were a few pools left behind by the last tide and the sprogs had fun collecting shells. The little one is very fair and had to borrow Husb’s summer hat, which he propped up on his ears. It did the trick though, but it’s hard to draw. I didn’t draw them from life, it was too hot. I took a few photos and I’ll use them to do some practice studies. They climbed trees as well, which will give me some great poses to draw. That’s Mumbles in the background. I used a ballpoint pen into my A5 size ‘Peter Pauper Press’ Cat’s Meow journal. Here it is with Sparta Puss.

book cover

Sprogs In Sketchbooks

12 Jun

I’ve been flicking through some of my old sketchbooks again, finding things I’d forgotten about. There are quite a lot of drawings of sprogs.

23 sprogs 2

 

They’re weird little creatures to draw, looking simultaneously like aliens and cartoons.

A Cluster Of Heads…

8 Jun

I’ve been flipping through old sketchbooks, reminding myself of work I’d forgotten about. I came across a cluster of heads in one that I’d bought from the Tate gallery in London. Nice sketchbook. I like drawing heads and faces, but children’s faces are so difficult. The younger they are, the more they look like an alien life form. There’s a mixture of media here, graphite, charcoal pencil, Faber Castell Pitt drawing pen and biro (ballpoint).

Waiting For Santa

19 Nov

waiting for santa 1

Santa arrived in Swansea this evening and Husb and I went along to watch Santa’s parade through the city centre. I love this every year. Big cities get fancy, expensive floats sponsored by big business but the thing I like best about our annual parade is that so much of it is home-made and a little bit wobbly. The dance troupes are sometimes not as choreographed as they might be and the marching bands a little off-key and the costumes definitely on the enthusiastic amateur side, but that’s the charm and fun of it all. And it makes no difference at all to the huge family crowds who turn out to watch. The kids are besides themselves with excitement.

waiting for santa 2

Of course, I had a few scribbles. Little kids are fun to draw, enormous heads, scrunched-up faces and impossibly skinny Bambi legs. I drew into my A5 lined sketchbook with a biro (ballpoint) pen. My favourite float was the huge mirrored cube that’s travelling the city to raise support for Swansea2021, our city’s bid to be the next UK City of Culture. We’re in the final four and should know the result in about 3 weeks. Fingers crossed.

 

Boop That Little Nose

15 Jul

NATHAN JULY 2016

Our great-nephew is having a sleepover and of course he got scribbled! He was contentedly playing with his iPhone which reflected light back onto his face. He’s at that stage where he’s no longer a little boy but not quite a teenager and his face still has some of the softness of a child, but not for much longer. I still want to boop his little nose though. He hates that 😀

I haven’t done much work in my sketchbooks lately so it’s nice to sit at home and draw family. I drew into my A4 hardbound sketchbook, prepared with ripped brown paper stuck in with Pritt stick, using white conte crayon, a 6B graphite stick and carbon.

 

I have been travelling across South Wales with Rhondda-born archaeologist Dewi Bowen and Swansea film maker Melvyn Williams, hunting the wild megalith, accompanied by my portable drawing board, portfolio of Fabriano paper and a bag full of assorted artist’s materials.  Dewi is researching his latest book on Neolithic monuments and Melvyn is making a documentary film of our literary and artistic adventures. All the work I’m doing will eventually be featured in a solo show in The Worker’s Gallery in the Rhondda Valley in September. If you want to know more, please click here.

If you want to see some of my other artworks, please click here.

Aunty Nin’s Chair And #3000chairs

11 May
Aunty Nin's Chair

Aunty Nin’s Chair

Back in the 1930’s my beloved Aunty Nin saved hard from her wages at Swansea Market to buy a lovely Art Deco suite from the poshest furniture store in the area for the parlour of her tiny little council house. A generation later, my sister and I used to visit with Mam and Dad and if we were on our very best behaviour, we were allowed to sit in the parlour on the Art Deco suite. Aunty Nin, like many other older relatives, kept her tiny front room immaculately clean and tidy, with glass fronted cabinets filled with tiny ornaments and lacy antimacassars on the backs of the furniture. Meanwhile, they crammed table and chairs, television and even a settee into the kitchen, cooking, washing up, eating, socialising and watching TV all in the same tiny room, while the parlour was kept for best.

Another generation later and my sister’s children were occasionally allowed to sit on the Art Deco suite in the parlour, but had to have their milk and Jammie Dodger biscuits in the kitchen. Eventually Aunty Nin became too old to live alone and I took the Art Deco suite, ripped and tatty with age. I found a wonderful furniture restoration firm and the suite was restored to its former Art Deco glory and now another generation of our family, Aunty Nin’s great, great nieces and nephews, sit on it. I don’t have a parlour and the little ‘uns are allowed to sit where they want, even with a handful of Jammie Dodgers.

I have just submitted this drawing to The Guardian Witness #3000 Chairs. Last week The Guardian newspaper published Nicola Davies’s poem The Day The War Came about the 3,000 unaccompanied Syrian children refused a safe haven by the UK government. Davis called on everyone who felt strongly about this to paint/draw/sketch an empty chair and share it on Twitter with #3000chairs. Images have been pouring in from professionals, amateurs, children. It’s a moving body of work.

Here’s a bit of trivia, Jammie Dodgers are made in Wales and they’re Doctor Who’s favourite biscuit 😀

Back To Basics

26 Apr

ju jitu 1

I went back to sketchbook work a few days ago, have done very little for ages, but young nephew was having a sleepover and the following day he was doing competitive ju jitsu and kick boxing so Husb and I went along to watch. It was a great opportunity to sketch figures in motion, something I don’t get much chance to do normally. This is the absolute basis of my art practice, quick sketches capturing tiny slices of everyday life, so quick that I am forced to concentrate only on the most essential details, the essence of the subject.

ju jitu 2

It was great seeing the kids so disciplined and focussed. My Dad was an amateur boxer, my brother-in-law and nephew and nieces trained in karate and now the little ones, great nieces and nephews are doing ju jitsu. I think it’s good for them, it builds confidence and self-discipline and it’s no bad thing to be able to defend yourself.

 

I drew with a Faber Castell Pitt drawing pen, size F into my A5 leatherbound sketchbook. I’m currently working on a series of expressive drawings of ancestral sites and if you want to see some of my other artworks, please click here.

Wellies And Woods

27 Dec

chelray

This afternoon, Husb and I went for a family walk in the gorgeous Penllergare Woods, just north of Swansea. It’s a spectacular Victorian garden, established by the photography pioneer John Dillwyn Llewellyn, that is being restored to its former glory. He had the valley of the Afon (River) Llan landscaped in the ‘Picturesque‘ style.

twin trunks

I took some photos and did a quick scribble of two of my young nieces in their wellies. It was an overcast and occasionally drizzly afternoon and the sky looked bleached out.

waterfall

The river was very high because of the recent torrential rains and the waterfall was much more fierce than normal. Penllergare Woods is well worth a visit, there are miles of beautiful walks and a very nice tea room with home made cakes. It’s a trust run by volunteers and relies on the support of visitors to keep it going.

reflect

Boy Chaos

29 Nov
Boy Chaos strikes!

Boy Chaos strikes!

Husb and I had one of our great-nephews for a sleepover. He’s a delightful 11 year old with a superpower. He spreads chaos wherever he goes. He is Boy Chaos! This is our settee this morning. I have no idea how he managed to get a cushion cover completely off a gigantic cushion almost as big as him, simply by slobbing out on it all evening and watching the telly.

I’ve been worried that I have fallen out of the habit of sketching. I’ve been so busy with artspaces, exhibitions and going away that I hadn’t done any daily sketchbook work for about 2 months. So Boy Chaos has kickstarted my daily scribbles. I used Faber Castell Pitt drawing pens in sizes S and B along with a dark graphite stick into my little A5 ‘Cat’s Meow Journal’ by Peter Pauper Press. It was a gift last Xmas and it’s a gorgeous little thing, I love to scribble in it, even though it is faintly lined.

%d bloggers like this: