Tag Archives: #fromscratch

Caravan Jam

21 Jun

1 Clyne

After a grey rainy start, the weather turned out warm and sunny so Husb and I went for a walk in the beautiful Clyne gardens. We found this caravan parked on one of the paths, serving drinks and home made cake. Of course, I had to have a scribble, with willow charcoal into my Khadi sketchbook. The little vintage van is overshadowed by spectacularly huge trees. It’s called The Touring Tea Room and is open 6 days a week on it’s patch in Clyne Gardens.

loganberry jam.jpg

Earlier, I made loganberry jam, the first of this year’s home-grown crop. It’s lush.

Baps, Blocks And Book

20 Jun

grow group

Had a bit of a spurt with block cutting today, I carved until my shoulder started hurting. As I age I am more and more aware of the physicality of making art and the need to keep healthy and exercise, especially my arms, hands, shoulders, neck and back. Well that’s most of me I guess 😀

baps

I did some more baking, bread dough, and made half a dozen baps and a pizza, which was a damn fine pizza even if I say so myself. It’s not really practical to go to the shop every day for bread and I’m getting right into making my own from scratch – whoever invented instant yeast deserves a medal.

Colour

And I read and made notes from one of my favourite books by Victoria Finlay, “Colour, Travels Through The Paintbox”. Husb and I are going to start a podcast, an arty one, but also one that’s not highbrow and this is what I’m hoping to base the first few on. We’re planning to go live with it sometime in the next week …. I’ll let you know 😀

 

 

Charcoal And Chips

17 Jun

2 Cwmdonkin

We did our government-sanctioned lockdown exercise this evening and I stopped for a quick charcoal sketch of this pair of trees in Cwmdonkin Park. It was a bit of a rush because Husb phoned the local chippy and ordered fish and chips so we had to get there in time to pick them up while they were fresh. Oh they’re gorgeous. The sketch is willow charcoal onto handmade Khadi paper.

Clean, Green And Safe

16 Jun

Khadi Cwmdonkin

Husb and I have gone out for a walk most days since the pandemic lockdown started. We’re not at risk so we can have a government sanctioned hour a day. It’s really made me appreciate how lucky we are to live in such a beautiful city. Swansea is so green with loads of parks, wilded areas and the beach. There was a report a few weeks ago that 1 in 8 British people don’t have access to safe, clean outdoor spaces and of course, they’re the poorest people in society.  This is something that has to be changed once the pandemic is over. Cities can be greened and made safe, there’s no excuse.

I stopped to draw earlier in Cwmdonkin Park, where the poet Dylan Thomas played as a child. There are some wonderful trees; this one might have been a sapling when Dylan played here. I used Winsor & Newton willow charcoal into a Khadi handmade paper sketchbook.

Carving Blocks And Charcoal At The Castle

15 Jun

Lockcook 1

Today was pretty productive. I inked, traced and transferred seven texts onto little lino blocks and cut two of them. These are part of my series of words and phrases I’ve written down through the course of the Covid19 pandemic, from the first day of lockdown. Eventually, I’ll be printing them onto home-made cotton masks.

Lockcook 2

It was really hot and dry so Husb and I waited until early evening before we went down to our allotment. I did a quick sketch before we left the site, of Oystermouth Castle and it’s grounds using Winsor & Newton willow charcoal into a Khadi sketchbook.

4 oystermouth

I like working across two pages, especially with square sketchbooks. I take a can of fixative with me when I draw with charcoal, it’s manky and the drawing would smudge badly without being fixed.

 

 

‘Only’ The Cat

8 Jun

sparta 080620

I try to do a drawing every day, even if it’s only the cat (she doesn’t like me describing her as ‘only’ the cat). It’s important to practice every day, sketching is like a singer practising their scales. And to be honest, after the very difficult weekend half the world has had, it’s nice to just sit and draw a cat. It might not last.

And I made more sesame seed baps….

baps

A Cityscape, A Lush Loaf And A Spider Man

4 Jun

Khadi 5

Earlier, before the rain started, we went to visit an elderly friend who lives high on the hill, observing social distance of course. I did a scribble into my Khadi sketchbook with some willow charcoal. It’s hard drawing a cityscape – it’s so packed with detail and charcoal is quite a blunt instrument, so I had to select the stuff I wanted to put in, rather than slavishly try to fit everything into the compostion. I’m happy with it, it flows and I like the mark-making. It was fun dashing and dotting in windows and scribbling trees.

When we got back I made a Focaccia-style bread for the first time. That turned out lovely, lush. I’m enjoying lockdown cooking.

focaccia

And Husb did a painting to put into our street-facing window to entertain the neighbours, alongside the one I did the other week. Here they are, Spider Man and Sparta Puss.

Charcoal And Baps

2 Jun

3 oystermouth

I took my Khadi sketchbook and willow charcoal to the allotment this evening and drew from inside the allotment site, which is tucked away in a corner of the Castle park. It’s on a fairly steep hill dropping away to the coast and we’re near the top. It’s surrounded by woodland, which can be a bit of a challenge for growers, but it’s an idyllic place to hang out, especially in these pandemic times – we’ve been sanctioned to travel to allotments since day 1 of lockdown. I concentrated on mark-making again as there is such a lot of different textures crowding together in the view. I suppose I took about 10 minutes.

baps

I also made some sesame seed baps. We gave our bread making machine away to a relative, so I’ve been trying out making bread from scratch and it’s surprisingly easy with fast acting yeast. Lush.

Nothing Much To See Here….

1 Jun

1 equipment

Today I restarted something that has been brewing for a while now, what I call my “serious” art work, my response to the Covid19 Pandemic. It’s been on hold while I’ve been waiting for materials to arrive; they’re not all here, a lot of stuff is out of stock, but I have enough to kick-start it. I spent this morning researching the different ways to make face masks, trying to find my way around official advice and research, which is scanty. But I think I’ve hit on the best combination of safety with comfort that’s out there. The photo shows the cardboard templates I made for cutting the components of the mask. It’s nothing much to see, it’s not glamorous but it’s the foundation for all the work to come.

Isolation

16 Apr

cut 1

I chose another word to carve into a small lino block today. I’d been playing around with lots of words and phrases that have become associated with the pandemic lockdown. But it isn’t just about choosing random text, but words that have some meaning and resonance for me. The first word I cut and printed onto a mask was “isolate” which was pretty much the first message of the lockdown. But I work part-time for a homelessness charity and as the weeks have gone by I have come to realise that for some people “isolate” has become “isolation” and is hard to cope with.

cut 2

Many charities, alongside the statutory services, are working flat out to develop different, safe and effective ways of supporting the most vulnerable people in society. If you have some time to spare, please check out some of their websites to see what they do.

crisis

Photograph from the Crisis website

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