Tag Archives: Elysium Artspace

Captain Cat And The Rubber Slug

23 Jul

I did about a dozen drawings on the street during the ‘Disruptions II’ event in Swansea on Saturday afternoon – this is the last one I’m going to blog but the set is going up on the Elysium Artspace website some time soon. Here’s Wanda Zyborska performing to unsuspecting citizens as a large rubber slug-like living sculpture  made from recycled rubber inner tubes from agricultural machines.

It’s the start of the summer holidays and after months of torrential rain I took advantage of the sunshine and the company of a small nephew to go out sketching. I bought the nephew a new sketchbook and some charcoal pencils, ignoring his plea for a new Nintendo DS (I don’t even know what that is). We sat in some shade in the Swansea Marina and drew the sculpture of Captain Cat, a character from Dylan Thomas.  The boy’s drawing is a lot better than mine. Here it is. He’s 8.

Albert Hall, Egon Schiele And A Birthday Boy.

27 Mar

Ink sketch: The Albert Hall.

Another unusually hot and sunny day in Swansea so I took advantage of the second floor fire escape again and drew another aspect of the rooftops, focussing on the top of The Albert Hall in Cradock Street which is next door to the other Elysium studios and gallery. It opened in the 1860’s as a music hall and later became a cinema and then a bingo hall, but it’s been empty for the past five years and is deteriorating and there’s a local campaign to save it. Quite a few of Swansea’s historic buildings are in a poor state of repair and it seems that there’s little that anyone can do about it. It’s a pity that they managed to survive the Blitz but are likely to be destroyed by indifference.

I’ve had a bit of a creative block so I did some charcoal and pastel studies from a couple of Egon Schiele’s watercolours to loosen me up and get the creative juices flowing. It worked and I feel energised and motivated again. I adore Egon Schiele. Can’t wait to get back to the studio tomorrow. Husb and I went straight from the studio to visit our little great nephew who is eight today. It was lovely sitting with four generations of family, aged between 4 and 80. We’re very priviledged to live in a time and place where people have health and longevity so that little ones can grow up alongside their great-great aunts and uncles.

Dystopia In My Studio.

23 Mar

Elysium Artspace is sponsoring an international painting competition, BEEP, in May and I thought I’d go for it. Now, I’m a printmaker and a scribbler, not a dauber, so I’ve decided to approach it from that angle, using printmaking and drawing tools to create a painting. Normally my work is quite simple and self-contained, using just one subject, usually a solitary nude figure but the topic for this competition, Dystopia, has spurred me on to try a multi-figure piece with at least five people in it. The composition that I’ve sketched out is a complex one so I find myself in the position of having to do an awful lot of preparatory drawings. I’ll usually do a simple prep sketch as the basis for my printmaking, but they’re not normally detailed. For the BEEP thing, though, I’m rattling off loads of preliminary drawings and thoroughly enjoying the experience, which is a new one for me. Here are a few in progress. I’m really excited about it. I’ve been using a squeegee and a roller to apply oil pigment to a huge piece of prepared cardboard. I’m in good company, Gerhard Richter has done lots of paintings with a squeegee and Toulouse Lautrec painted onto cardboard. I’ve got about 2 months left to complete it so I’d better crack on because I have to remember the drying time for the oils. Dystopia is a pretty grim topic and some of the drawings are getting me down, so it’s good that I do a lot of sketchbook work of the daily life around me, which helps to ground me and shake me out of the deep and dark things going on in my head.

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