Tag Archives: #enpleinair

Greetings Humans

15 Nov

Sparta Puss

 

Greetings Humans. Sparta Puss here. I managed to get my paws on the furless she-ape’s pooter box while she’s washing my food bowls. And preparing my supper. And brushing excess fur from my favourite blankie. And going down the road to the hunting ground called the supermarket to hunt for my kitty biscuits. She’s a lazy mare!

Anyhoo, I was lying around on my second favourite blankie earlier and the female monkey was fiddling about with a stick with dirty stuff in it called a biro pen and she was moving it around and around on a bit of paper while staring at me. I like it when the hairless simians stare at me – it shows proper respect. Then she showed me all the bits of dirt on the paper and said it’s me! She’s an idiot.

book cover

Here I am reclining with the she-ape’s thing with paper in it. She calls it a sketchbook. It has cats over it. They don’t look as good as I do.

Wo/Man Buns

14 Nov

woman bunz

I was sitting on the bus to our local hospital to visit a relative this evening and a young man and woman sat in front of me. They were dressed in similar clothes and had identical hairstyles. Both had longer hair on top, drawn up into a bun, and shaved close to the head below. Both had pierced ears, the young woman had inserts about the size of a 10p piece while the young man’s were smaller and both had other piercings along their ears and in their noses. My late Dad would have said “Can’t tell the girls from the boys these days” but he said that back in the 1970s when I used to wear jeans, boots and a leather jacket and rode a motorbike, which he seriously disapproved of. There’s a lot of fuss about ‘gender fluidity’ lately but it isn’t really any different to our adulation in the ’70s for David Bowie and Marc Bolan, who pushed the boundaries of what was acceptable in male fashion and style. The sky didn’t fall on our heads back then and it won’t now.

City Of Poetic Culture

13 Nov

Poetry Slam

 

Husb and I went to The Hyst in Swansea’s High Street this evening for a poetry showcase put on by Swansea City Of Culture 2017. I’m not usually drawn to poetry but these performers were fantastic – Rufus Mufasa, Clare Ferguson-Walker, Gwion Iqbal Malik,  Julia Manser and Karl Beer. Of course, I had a scribble, like you do…..

 

Voyeur!

24 Oct

Helen Sear 3

 

Here’s the last sketch I made while I listened to Helen Sear talking about her current exhibition at the Glynn Vivian art gallery at the weekend. Her show, “The Rest Is Smoke” is a presentation of the film / photography installation with which she represented Cymru at the Venice Biennale 2015.

Looking around audiences at events like these is great, so many interesting faces, all engrossed and unaware that I am watching and drawing. The artist as voyeur!

 

Cash And Kudos

23 Oct

Helen Sears 2

 

Another scribbled head from my visit to the Glynn Vivian art gallery a couple of days ago, to listen to the talk by artist Helen Sear while Storm Brian raged outside. The Glynn Vivian is a fabulous gallery and reopened after a five-year refurbishment last year. It’s great to have it back, it’s an amazing gallery and the city council has had the guts to keep it open and thriving in the face of swingeing public sector cuts.

 

The gallery is part of an exciting artscene in Swansea and the city is in the shortlist for the UK City of Culture 2021 with three others. It’s a mad, quirky place that oozes culture of all sorts, not just highbrow stuff. It’ll mean a lot if we win the bid, this part of Wales has been run down for so long yet arts and culture and sport thrive here without the huge amounts of cash and kudos enjoyed by places like London. What we could do with just a fraction of that!

 

Storms Cissy and Ada?

22 Oct

Helen Sears 1

I’ve been out and about with a sketchbook recently, getting back to basics, drawing as much as possible, not for projects but simply as part of my routine practice. An artist’s practice is just that, practice.

I went to a talk at the Glynn Vivian Art Gallery by the artist Helen Sear, her work is currently featured there. I managed to scribble a few listening heads. I find that I can sketch and listen at the same time because I’m not concentrating on making “great art” so I don’t mind if it all goes pear shaped. This woman had the loveliest pre-Raphaelite hair, all fuzzy ringlets tied up in a loose knot, straight out of the late 19th century.

It was a terrible day outside the gallery, we were in the middle of Storm Brian and the gales were howling and the rain was lashing down. The Americans always seem to have quite posh names for their hurricanes – Ophelia, Katrina, but we have Storm Brian. I’m waiting for Nigel and Doris. Or Cissy and Ada maybe?

 

 

 

Cissy and Ada

The immortal Cissy and Ada

 

A Quick Head

21 Oct

Swansea Fringe 3

Here’s a sketch I did a couple of weeks ago at the Swansea Fringe. Husb and I went to the Swansea Storytelling event; it’s good for drawing faces because people are usually focused and concentrating. I used a 6B graphite pencil into my A5 lined notebook.

Warts And All

11 Oct

HopeI’m working part-time for a charity, running arts sessions for people who have housing problems. Some of the people who come along are experienced artists and enjoy a few hours in a warm, safe place to get absorbed in their art. But some have very little experience of making art and I often hear, “Oh no. I can’t draw” and panic when I get out a bit of paper. It’s a pity that this is ingrained into so many adults – children are usually much more willing to have a go. I think that one of the reasons that people are so fearful of drawing is because they think it’s innate, god-given, a born talent rather than years and years of practice and striving.

I think that we artists have become disassociated from our craft. People see perfectly formed artworks in tasteful frames on pristine gallery walls and it’s easy to buy into the idea that these magnificent objects spring forth from a bottomless pool of artistic genius. WRONG! They’re the result of blood, sweat and tears …. and endless mistakes …. and frustration! That’s one of the reasons I do a lot of art in public, en plein air, in streets, shop windows, anywhere that people can see art being made … warts and all.

Banner 1

When someone said to me today that they couldn’t draw, I said, “It’s not drawing, it’s writing”. That made it better. I asked the people I’m working with to think of one positive word, then write it down, then start playing with different ways of making the letters, colouring them, adding patterns. Then we redrew our words onto a roll of primed canvas and started painting a banner.

I work alongside them so they can see my mistakes and the bits that are rubbish and hopefully understand that making a drawing or painting is a process that starts small and builds and builds over time into a finished piece ….. and that they shouldn’t judge themselves so harshly. More next week…..

 

 

A lot of my artwork is available on my Artfinder gallery.  If you’d like to have a look, please click on the image below or the Artfinder link at the top right of this page.

Focused Face

1 Oct

Swansea Fringe 2

Here’s another drawing I did at the Swansea Storytelling Club on Friday night, at The Swansea Fringe. Husb and I went to the comedy club this evening and I was going to do some more drawings, but the comedian, Noel James, was too hilarious and I couldn’t stop laughing long enough for even a quick scribble. It’s been great to have the Fringe back. I worked on the old Swansea Fringe for a couple of years back in the 1980s, happy days, and I’m enjoying its return immensely. It wasn’t raining so badly today either and there was a good crowd at the gig.

I drew this man into my little lined Papermates notebook with a 6B graphite pencil, the sort that is solid graphite, without wood around it. He was very focused on the storyteller which made life a lot easier for me.

 

Fringe Walking, Face Watching

30 Sep

Swansea Fringe 1

Husb and I have been strolling around the events at Swansea Fringe this weekend, there’s so much on, it’s brilliant. We started out yesterday evening at Swansea Storytelling Club which is a regular monthly event. Of course, I had to have a scribble. It’s quite a good place for drawing faces because people tend to listen and be still. There’s another day of the festival, I hope the weather is better tomorrow, it was pouring down today which often puts people off coming out.

 

 

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