Tag Archives: films

Peace And Pies

1 Mar

laurel museum

Husb and I have had a busy couple of months so we took ourselves off to the Lake District for a few days to stay with some of our favourite people and have a rest. I didn’t do any art at all! We were staying somewhere with very poor Internet and mobile access as well so we were really cut off. We just chilled out and had fun with no work to do, lots of peace and quiet. We’re both crazy about Laurel and Hardy and we went to their museum in Ulverston, Stan’s birth place. It’s lovely, one of those old fashioned, personal museums that has been obviously painstakingly put together by a real enthusiast. If you’re ever passing that way, treat yourself to a visit. It’s a town with great pies , proper old-fashioned pies with a pastry bottom as well as a lid, from Irvings Butchers. The cheese pies are good too, if you’re not a meat eater.

Drawing In The Dark

11 Apr


Just back from the cinema with Husb, we went to see Their Finest, a lovey film, funny, warm and you’ll need a hankie. I had a scribble, of course, but in the dark. I could make out shapes of heads but couldn’t see the sketchbook. Frustrating.It’s good practice though, even if the result looks like a spider had done the Charleston all over it with inky feet.




I have put my series of drawings en plein air of ancient Welsh monuments on Artfinder.  If you want to see more, please click on the image below or the Artfinder link at the top right of this page. This one is the legendary grave of Saint Elfys (Elvis) in Pembrokeshire, not for from the Presceli Mountains. Elfys? Presceli? Elvis Presley? Coincidence? hhhmmmm

St Elvis

Sat With The Cat

10 May

sparta 2

I’ve been very slack about using my sketchbook and have fallen out of the habit of using it every day. That doesn’t mean I haven’t been doing any art, I’ve been immersed in drawing and printmaking projects but it hasn’t left me much time to sketch. So this evening, after Husb and I came back from the cinema (Sing Street – lovely film) Sparta settled down with me so I grabbed a quick sketch, just a minute or so, into my leatherbound sketchbook, using a Faber Castell Pitt drawing pen.

Cross And Purring

30 Nov

cross and purring

How can a cat look so cross and be purring at the same time? Husb and I went to see ‘Legend’, the new film about the Kray twins, this evening and when we got back, this is what greeted us. Sparta Puss looking furious but also purring like a train. I think she was really annoyed because we’d gone out for a couple of hours and weren’t there to pay her loads of attention but she was also glad to see us, well me as she seems quite hostile to all other life forms……

I had a quick scribble with my Faber Castell Pitt pen, size S, into my A5 “The Cat’s Meow Journal”. It took a couple of minutes. Sometimes the way cats sit, they look a bit like a Batman mask.

The film is excellent, gripping and so well acted. Tom Hardy, who played the twins, was absolutely brilliant. We saw it in our local independent cinema at the Taliesin Arts Centre. It’s a great venue, much nicer than the multiplex chains.

Northern Soul

28 Jan

taliesin heads

Husb and I went to the Taliesin cinema this evening to see Northern Soul, a great film with a fantastic soundtrack. Set in the 1970s, it reminded us how grubby and ugly Britain was back then, at least in the working class areas. Damn good fun though. Would love to be able to dance like that again, but all that dancing and partying in my youth has caught up with me 😀

Had a juice in the bar and did a quick scribble of people’s heads. Speed drawing forces you to just capture the main details and is really good practice. I used a mid-grey graphite stick into my A5 Tate Gallery sketchbook.


Queueing For A Viewing

17 Dec

17 queueingHusb and I were given free tickets to the cinema this evening, ‘The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty’, with Ben Stiller. I’m not a big fan of Stiller and hated the original ‘Walter Mitty’ film with Danny Kaye but this turned out to be a really good movie. I thoroughly enjoyed it, especially as a lot of it was set in Iceland, one of my favourite places. There was a huge queue in the foyer so I grabbed the chance to practice drawing a group, always good for perspective and proportions. I find it easier to focus on one person to start with and then work out from him / her. Then I pick out that person in a slightly thicker pen to finish off. I used Faber Castell Pitt drawing pens, size F and M into my clothbound A5 sketchbook.

A Quickie At The Cinema

9 Apr

9 cinema

Finally got to see The Hobbit at our local independent cinema, The Taliesin. I just had time to scribble this man and his hair before the lights went down, the glasses went on and I went back to my childhood. I read the Hobbit when I was about 10 and loved every word of it. I really like the film version and I’m looking forward to the other two parts. Though I couldn’t suss out which role was played by Barry Humphries until I got home and googled it. A far cry from Dame Edna! This is scribbled into my A5 pink recycled sari sketchbook that I bought really cheaply in a sale in WH Smith a while back, using a Pentel V5 drawing pen. It took about two minutes.

Silent Heads And A Silent Movie

23 Feb

Ink sketch: heads.


Didn’t get a chance to blog yesterday because after the studio, I went with Husb to Cardiff for a seminar on social networking research. Interesting data, surprising how YouTube is far more popular than Twitter in Wales. Seminars and conferences are great places for head studies, because people tend to be very still and quiet, listening rather than chatting as they are at the theatre, cinema or gigs. I like these two men’s heads, they’re full of character. Drawn with my favourite new pen, a Pilot V5 Hi-Techpoint 0.5 into my A6 cat-themed sketchbook.

Then we went down to Cardiff Bay for a bite to eat and to the Odeon to finally see The Artist. What a fabulous film. I was totally immersed in it. A wonderful piece of cinema, funny, moving and beautifully filmed. I hope it gets some Oscars. We’ve seen quite a few good films recently – The Woman In Black [terrifying], Hugo [amazing], The Muppets – don’t knock it – Miss Piggy is AWESOME! And there’s a cameo appearance by Dave Grohl! Unfortunately, we also wasted money seeing the second of Guy Ritchie’s Sherlock Holmes movies. Tripe IMHO.

Mens’ Heads And Scary Harry Potter

15 Feb

Ink sketch.

Went to the cinema this evening to see The Artist but because of the daft queueing system, by the time we got to the front, the film had already started so we decided to see The Woman In Black. Now, I’m not a big fan of horror films, but it’s Harry Potter right? Couldn’t be THAT scary with little Daniel Radcliffe right? And it’s a Hammer film and they were always camp and cheesy right? NOT IT’S NOT!!!! IT’S A REALLY SCARY MOVIE!!!!! I’m never going to turn a light off again!

Before the film started [and I turned into a nervous wreck] I sketched some mens’ heads. The little lad at the top had one of those ‘hairdos’ that young lads seem to be inexplicably fond of these days [I’m now officially a mad old cat lady] and the other guys had varying degrees of male pattern baldness, which I rather like. Better than the daft haircut on the wee lad anyway.

So I’m going to have a nice cup of tea now and try to calm down.

Babysitting the Art at Bus Stop Cinema

25 Aug

I volunteer regularly to babysit exhibitions at Elysium Gallery and it’s a chance to catch up on admin on the laptop like cataloguing photos and writing artist statements. This week it’s Bus Stop Cinema, featuring 13 films from international artists, an eclectic mix of art, drama, animation and parody. It’s fun babysitting in the dark and mostly I’m on my own with people popping in and out but no-one yet has had time to watch the whole cycle, so they watch one or two, have a bit of a chat and then off to carry on with their Thursday afternoon activities.

First in was an older local artist during ‘River of Mud’ by Jacob Dwyer and he showed me a small original oil painting he’d bought in a second-hand shop for four quid. The painting was a conventional but pretty landscape in a lovely old-fashioned, well-made stretcher.


Ink drawing: a corner at the old Elysium Gallery.


Another artist came in during Melvyn William’s first Downfall parody, ‘Jaffa Cakes’. We discussed the call for the forthcoming Venice Biennale fringe exhibition of work in vending machines and talked about the different ways of presenting artwork in a sphere with a ten centimetre diameter – folding, crumpling, digital imagery on a memory stick, tiny art……. which took us through ‘Interior Day’ by Elina Medley.


An older woman popped in during Jayne Wilson’s ‘All That Mighty Heart’ and told me about her skateboarding lessons and the disapproval of her neighbours that a woman of her age had taken up the skateboard. She’s learnt five manoeuvres; getting on, getting off, moving in a straight line, going up, going down. She left during ‘Dress, Cover, Interval, Distance’ by Lindsay Foster to go and finish re-pointing her garden wall before it rained again.  A photographer of a certain age asked about opening times next week and we chatted about the Simulacrum exhibition that’s coming up and I gave him flyers for it and the Artawe website for local artists. That took us through David Marchant’s ‘Love Boat’.


Three people, also of a certain age, watched the animation ‘Re-Toiled’ by Sean Vicary and got right into it – it’s fantastical and a bit disturbing. The two men thought the second Hitler parody, ‘Self-service Tills’ , was hilarious but the woman found it quite difficult to get beyond the evil that Hitler stood for.  No young people this afternoon, maybe because the students have gone home. All the visitors have been 40+. Like me. Nobody but me saw David Theobald’s ‘Greensleaves’ which is a pity because it’s really funny in a weird way.

The drawing is an ink sketch in my sketchbook of a corner of the last incarnation of the Elysium Gallery when it was situated in a large semi-derelict ex-brothel in Mansel Street. I used Faber Castell Pitt drawing pens.


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