Tag Archives: drawing

The Starting Point

18 Aug

The Warrior Turns small

Yesterday I posted about the upcoming immersive art event in Swansea in September – Nawr yr Arwr / Now the Hero. I will be exhibiting some of the work I have been doing over the past decade with a young , now not so young, soldier who is also a life model. I’ve been looking through it all and it’s a big body of work. The starting point is life drawings, which I do most weeks at Swansea Print Workshop.

Warrior Turns print l

From the hundreds of drawings I have in sketchbooks and portfolios, I select some for development, usually into original prints. This one started as a pastel sketch on a canvas sheet and I developed it into a full-colour monotype (see my Techie section for how to do it). Very early on, I started to investigate the idea of The Warrior and this is reflected in the work I’ve done. This was done near the start of our working relationship and it’s called ,”The Warrior Turns To Face The Darkness“.

 

 

I Cried

17 Aug
SONY DSC

My monotype based on an original life drawing of my model, a young Welsh soldier

Swansea, September 21st to 30th 2018.

I’ve been involved in the expansive art project Nawr Yr Arwr / Now The Hero for some time and it’s all coming to a head in Swansea at the end of September. It’s part of a whole load of specially commissioned art projects from “14-18 NOW WW1 Centenary Art Commissions“, a nationwide programme of innovative and thought-provoking art events that commemorate – not celebrate- World War One.

Some of the highlights for me have been Cummins and Piper’s amazing gigantic installation of “Weeping Poppies” -I saw it at the Tower of London- and Jeremy Deller’s “We’re Here Because We’re Here“, commemorating those who died in the Battle of the Somme. I stopped in my tracks in the centre of Swansea as a group of VERY young men in WW1 uniform walked silently by. I cried. My grandfather was just 14 years old when he enlisted. He lied about his age.

 

Were-Here-Because-Credit-Eoin-Carey_01-Glasgow

Image credit: ‘we’re here because we’re here’ conceived and created by Jeremy Deller in collaboration with Rufus Norris, photo by Eoin Carey

I have been working with a life model, a young soldier, for 10 years and our working relationship – and the work I have produced – are a part of Nawr Yr Arwr / Now The Hero. You can see a short film of us below. As well as the film, many of the drawings and original prints I have made over the last decade will be exhibited at Swansea Print Workshop and Volcano – I’ll write a bit more about this over the next couple of weeks.

 

“Nawr Yr Awr \ Now The Hero is an immersive theatrical experience that will take the audience on an extraordinary journey through three intertwining narratives of war; from Celtic history, the First World War, and today’s conflicts. Drawing on an epic poem, some rejected paintings, and an intimate portrait of a Swansea soldier serving today,  Marc Rees’ bold production brings the stories of war to life, but counterpoints the tragic telling with hope.”

nya

 

 

 

 

Cockle Shells And A Labyrinth

15 Aug

labyrinth

Thirty one years ago I was working on a local environmental programme, The Rosehill Quarry Project, a community-led scheme to clear and renovate an old quarry near the city centre and turn it into a nature reserve and leisure area for local people. One of the things we did was to work with Welsh prehistorian, Dewi Bowen, to cut a Cretan labyrinth into the turf and line it with cockle shells, a local resource from the Gower Peninsula cockle industry. Over the years, people have gathered to maintain the labyrinth and there was a work group just a week or so ago.

labytinth martin slucutt

The labyrinth after last week’s renovation. Photograph by Martin Slucutt.

 

I did the drawing above onto newspaper with pastels, charcoal and chalk, from the first viewing point on the path up to Pantycelyn Road.

 

 

Another Life Drawing (Female Nude)

29 Jul

Another Life Drawing (Female Nude)…

1532636984213.png

Here’s another life drawing I did at Swansea Print Workshop’s drawing group this week. It was a thirty minute pose that I drew on my Samsung Galaxy Note 8 tablet with a free Markers app.

1532635492485.png

I started with a mid-brown ground laid down with my finger and then worked the drawing up with a light brown large brush tool, again using my finger to draw. Finally I did some fine line work, using the stylus.

Back To Life Drawing (Female Nude)

27 Jul

Back to life drawing (female nude).

1532635316341.png

I started back to life drawing group this week after a break of several months, life got in the way. I think the break did me some good, I’m a bit looser and I’m taking more chances and playing around with distorting the figure.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

I drew onto my Samsung Galaxy Note 8 tablet with the stylus and my fingers, using a free drawing app called Markers. The slideshow shows the different stages in constructing the drawing.

The Melted Rocks

24 Jul

Paviland wordpress

One of my favourite places is Paviland, a strange otherworldly cove on the coast of the Gower Peninsula which is the site of the Goat’s Hole Cave, famous for the skeleton of the  “Red Lady of Paviland“, which is actually a young man. From the main road, it’s a fair walk across fields via a marked footpath before the ground drops sharply and narrows into a steep rocky valley down to the beach. The slippery and difficult rocks look as if they have been melted and are splashed with colour from mosses and lichens and veins of different minerals coursing through them. I always take a sketchbook when I visit and I made this large monotype from one of my sketches.

 

Returning Children

23 Jul

afghan-refugee-children

I usually work from drawings done from life, only occasionally from a photograph and this is one of the rare original prints, a monotype, done entirely from a photo. I took the original image on a digital camera when I first visited Pakistan back in 2007, an amazing, life-changing journey. We travelled up the Khyber Pass, with an armed guard, and I saw this refugee family returning to Afghanistan. The security situation was much better then and I often wonder what happened to them, whether they were able to stay or whether they had to leave their home again. If you want to see how this monotype technique is done, click here….  I’m also running a short course in it at Swansea Print Workshop, please check on the right …..

Out Of The Blue…

22 Jul
2018 sunshine coal

Buried Sunshine

 

Where do we draw inspiration from? Well, frankly, could be anything, anywhere, anytime. Sometimes it flows from a planned programme of research, other times it just hits you out of the blue. I try to listen to a TED Talk each day and one popped up yesterday by the oceanographer Penny Chisholm about the tiny species Prochlorococcus, the most abundant photosynthetic species on the planet. She was describing how aeons ago, vast amounts of photosynthetic organisms, which lived by absorbing sunlight, sank below the sea, became compressed over unimaginably vast amounts of time and turned into coal and oil. Then came the phrase that hit me … “coal and oil are buried sunshine“!

WOW! I live at the edge of the South Wales coalfield which was mined right back in the 15th century; mining really took off at the beginning of Britain’s Industrial Revolution in the 18th century, continuing until the 1980s, and I’d never thought about the buried sunshine beneath my feet.

Some previous drawings en plein air from Big Pit in Blaenavon.

 

I immediately started to imagine some visual images so I drew one straight away with Daler Rowney artist quality soft pastels onto Khadi handmade paper. While the idea of buried sunshine is beautiful, coal and oil lock away vast amounts of carbon and once they come out of the ground and they’re burned, that carbon is released back into the atmosphere. Which isn’t good. Perhaps we should leave the rest of this ancient sunshine safely buried.

 

You can see Penny Chisholm’s TED Talk on this video…

Seven Years A Blogging…

21 Jul
bobbit-drain2

Bobbit sunbathing in a drain!

WordPress sent me a message a couple of days ago to remind me that I had been blogging for 7 years. I’m really chuffed that I’m still at it after all this time and I’ve published about two and a half thousand posts. That’s a lot of art I’ve done and written about. I did my first post  while I was sitting with my elderly cat, Bobbit, as she was dying. I’ve reproduced it here. It still makes me choke up. I had about a dozen readers for my first post and I was so pleased.

“Bobbit came into our family in July 1993 and 17 years later I’m sitting with her as she sleeps her last sleep, dying gently and quietly with familiar sounds and smells and her human and feline companions around her. If she was suffering I’d take her to the vet for euthanasia, but she’s slipping away peacefully and I want her to die here, in her home.

People who don’t have pets don’t get the relationship. A pet shares part of your journey through life and when a pet dies, that part of your journey is over and you take a new route without your companion. Bobbit has been travelling with me for 17 years and now her journey’s nearly over, mine will change.

It’s a long time for a little cat to share my life. When she arrived aged 8 weeks, she hadn’t ever been outside and we took her into our garden on a warm sunny day and she saw her first grass. She went bonkers romping around on the lawn and she’s loved her garden ever since. Yesterday, I thought she might be rallying because she managed to wobble on her poor little arthritic legs to her favourite spot on the grass. She stayed there for an hour or so then wobbled back indoors and has slept since. I think she wanted one last sleep in the sun, with the feel of the grass under her.

In those 17 years, I’ve moved to England to work and come back to Wales. I’ve had several career changes, run my own business and finally achieved my ambition of becoming a full-time artist. New little relatives and friends have been born, while loved family elders, dear friends and respected colleagues have died. Bobbit has been one of the adored cats who have shared my life along the way, moving from being the youngest (and only girl) out of four, to being the grouchy matriarch over two much younger kitties.

As I’m sitting here with her, I think about the people I’ve shared a path with; who is still a friend, who has disappeared out of my life, the important events, the happinesses, the regrets. The death of a pet encapsulates that period of time and all those experiences and sort of brings it to a close. I know that in a couple of weeks I won’t be so upset; that I’ll be able to tell stories about Bobbit and chuckle over them and she’ll take her place fondly in my memory with my other dear cats; Kat, Nellie, Banshee; Freddy Kruger; Sialco and Bola, but for the moment I’m heartbroken to let go of that part of the journey we have shared and to start on a new path without her.”

Here are a few more sketches of Bobbit, and some of her feline companions.

Scribbling Bollywood

20 Jul

indian dancer 1

Husb and I went to the Glynn Vivian art gallery in Swansea this evening for their monthly late opening night. As well as the exhibitions, they put on some activities and events. This evening we had a Bollywood Dance Performance & Workshop by Sarita Sood to complement the current main exhibition, “Facing” by N. S. Harsha.

indian dancer 2

It’s always difficult to draw people in motion, you have to suspend the desire to record detail and instead draw the barest minimum to convey what’s in front of you. Very good practice though.

 

 

 

 

%d bloggers like this: