Tag Archives: #fromscratch

Let’s Get Ready To Crumble!

11 Sep

Apple raspberry 2

Had a very domestic day today, first babysitting a family toddler – a small, cute, adorable maniac. Then I made an allotment crumble with Bramley apples, raspberries and wild strawberries.

Apple raspberry 1

It didn’t last long – when it comes to crumble, Husb takes no prisoners!

 

 

A Chance To Own One Of My Artworks

I have some small screenprints for sale, inspired by my drawings of the taxidermy collection at Swansea Museum. I have given these antique artifacts a modern twist by combining them with images of rubbish – old fruit nets, bubble wrap and plastic – highlighting the problem of human pollution and how it affects wildlife.

To buy my work on the Swansea Print Workshop site please click the image to the left.

In this one, I combine some of the images with snippets of text of things my Nana used to say. She used to take me to Swansea Museum a lot when I was little and I could hear her voice in the back of my head as I was sitting and drawing the birds and bugs.

20 percent of the cost of each screenprint sold goes to support Swansea Print Workshop, which receives no public funding.

Fake And Bake

28 Aug

flowers 5

Had another lunchtime session with The Cheese And Wine Painting Club over on Faceboo. It’s all painting and no cheese and wine, honestly. Today we tried out copying a landscape with flowers using big brushes, palette knives and an old debit card. Picked up some good tips.

After faking it, I baked gluten free lemon, elderflower and almond biscuits for some younger relatives who need to eat gluten-free. They can have them over the Bank Holiday when we go on a family outing – masked and distanced of course.

 

Gluten free elderflower biscuits

 

 

A Chance To Own One Of My Artworks

I have some small screenprints for sale, inspired by my drawings of the taxidermy collection at Swansea Museum. I have given these antique artifacts a modern twist by combining them with images of rubbish – old fruit nets, bubble wrap and plastic – highlighting the problem of human pollution and how it affects wildlife.

To buy my work on the Swansea Print Workshop site please click the image to the left.

In this one, I combined the image of the bird with snippets of text of things my Nana used to say. She used to take me to Swansea Museum a lot when I was small and I could hear her voice in the back of my head as I was sitting and drawing the birds and bugs.

20 percent of the cost of each screenprint sold goes to support Swansea Print Workshop, which receives no public funding.

 

Messing About With Gouache And Buttercream

20 Aug

figure 1

I had a bit of gouache left over from a design I was working on so, waste not want not, I grabbed some Bockingford paper that was knocking about and messed about with it, not using any source material, just brushing the paint across the paper for the sheer fun of it. It flows so well and makes great marks. Then I made a cake for one of my young relatives who got his – good – GCSE results today, a three layer lemon sponge filled and covered with lemon buttercream. I’ve no idea what it tasted like, because I rarely eat cake, but he seemed happy enough.

lemon buttercream

 

Cake And Chaos

19 Aug

coconut and sultana

Sometimes you have your day planned out and there’s plenty of time to do some artwork but then life just gets in the way and everything turns a bit chaotic and that’s what it was like today. Nothing bad, just unexpectedly hectic. But I made time to make Husb his favourite cake for his birthday, coconut and sultana, plain but proper tasty. Tomorrow’s his birthday but he’s piled into the cake already.

Sharpening Tools

17 Aug

august

Just carrying on cutting blocks today for my pandemic printmaking project. I’m still in the early stages but I know what I need to do and that’s most of the battle, to be honest. I keep my tools super sharp as I’m carving the lino, using my Flexcut Slip Strop.

Twenty eight blocks

I’ve cut almost a third of the little blocks. The whole piece will be made up of text printed onto fabric.

Calligraphy set

I treated myself to this Chinese calligraphy set. I don’t like shopping unless it’s for tools and art materials – oh, and books. I don’t know how to use it but I’ve been getting advice from over on Facebook and Instagram. I don’t think I’ll be trying it out for a while as I need to crack on with my lino project and I’m also doing a weekly painting session to improve my skills. But this is something to look forward to.

Tonto The Dog And A Pochoir Design

15 Aug

Jack 2

I don’t often take on design work but I need to put together an adult education instruction pamphlet, cutting stencils and building up layers of acrylic paint for a finished “pochoir“. It’s a word that’s hardly ever used now, it’s a multi layered stencil print. It was very popular in the first half of the 20th century and Picasso, Matisse, Braque and Miro are some of the artists who used the technique.

Jack 1

I started with a simple sketch of a Jack Russell, then I worked out how many colours I am going to print, which will give me the amount of stencils I need to cut. Then I had a practice doing some bones for the background, in gouache. I haven’t used gouache for yonks – years and years – but I had some in a box. They’re a good make, Winsor & Newton, so they’re still in excellent condition. I’d forgotten how much fun gouache is to play with.

That’s the guts of the design worked out, I’ll refine it as I’m cutting the stencils and decide on the final composition when I’m ready to print.

I love Jack Russells. My favourite is Tonto, who appeared on UK television in adverts for John Smith’s bitter. He was a great little dog. Here he is on video.

Not Just Faking And Baking

11 Aug

fake and bake

I’ve been looking at my blog posts over the past few months and it looks as if I spend most of my time baking or faking (with the Cheese and Wine Painting Club on Fridays) or drawing trees. But behind the scenes I’ve been carrying on with my pandemic-inspired project which involves, in the first stage, carving around 100 little lino blocks. Well frankly, that’s interesting to blog about occasionally but it would be pretty boring if that’s what I posted day in, day out. So I’ll just drop it in now and again.

Columbian

This morning I was at Swansea Print Workshop, we’re starting a slow and measured re-opening with no more than two artists at any one time, masked and sanitised. I get to hang out with this big beast – The Columbian 😀

Fair Pay, Cake And Unicorn Sprinkles

8 Aug

NHS Demo

Husb and I went to our local ‘Support the NHS’ demonstration earlier today, highlighting the unfairness of wages for those that only very recently were being clapped and praised by the government. It was well organised, with people being responsible, maintaining a distance, wearing masks, using sanitiser. Demos are always a good opportunity to sketch crowds, not something I find easy because there’s perspective, proportion and people moving around to deal with.

It isn’t fair that people working in health and social care can earn so little. We’d be screwed without them. Demonstrators brought flowers to lay at the foot of the flagpole outside the Guildhall to commemorate NHS workers who have died of Covid19 over the past few months.

Chelsea cake 21

On a happier note, our eldest great niece is 21 today so Husb and I made her a birthday cake – I did the cake, he did the icing. Four layers of rich chocolate almond cake sandwiched and decorated with chocolate buttercream icing, fresh fruit and unicorn sprinkles on the top. She’s got a thing about unicorns.

The Old Yew And Rhubarb Crumble

1 Aug

6 Cwmdonkin

Husb and I are still following our lockdown exercise routine most days, even though the restrictions are much more easy going now. It’s a good system that’s kept us going for the past four months so we might as well keep it up. I stopped to do a charcoal sketch into my Khadi sketchbook of this formidable old yew tree in Cwmdonkin Park. It’s gnarled and twisted and the shapes writhing all over, in and out of it, trigger the imagination. If you click on the link, you’ll find information about the childhood of the poet Dylan Thomas’ in the park.

rhubarb crumble 2

I also made a rhubarb crumble – our back garden is a rhubarb jungle – it’s been fantastic this year but I’m running out of ideas for using it up. Luckily it’s popular in my family. I didn’t get to take a photo of it before my nephew got his share – he’s a strapping lad and a massive crumble fan. Husb will see the rest off.

 

Funny Old Day With Plums

30 Jul

plum tarte tatin small

It’s been a funny old day. Quite busy with work, then sorting out my vegetable plants, redesigning my computer station so that I can work standing up, Tai Chi followed by a cold shower with a nod to Wim Hof, the car died and got towed away for scrap, my first reflexology treatment for four months, discovered an unconscious man slumped in a doorway, argument with the woman from emergency services because I wouldn’t touch him – no PPE and it’s a pandemic, he was breathing, no blood, no signs of broken bones, just unconscious –  waited until the ambulance came with staff maxed out on PPE, got a Chinese takeaway.

Then I made this plum tarte tatin. And Husb and I ate it. The plums are from my own little tree in a pot in the garden. The plum fruit moths had them earlier in the season, but I waited for them to leave and apart from a bit of a blemish on the skins, they were fine. I don’t mind sharing. The fruit tasted delicious.

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