Tag Archives: heatwave

Cutting My Losses

20 Jul

Sometimes things just don’t work and you have to decide whether to carry on struggling or cut your losses and pack it in. That’s where I am with this copy of Claude Monet’s “Landscape on the Ile Saint Martin (1881) that I started with Ed Sumner’s Cheese and Wine Painting Club on Facebook last week. I often reach a “wall” when I’m working on something but with this, I don’t particularly like the original and I’m not keen on plugging away in this punishing heatwave when I’ve no heart for it. I won’t paint over it just yet, I’ll turn it to the wall for a few weeks and see how I feel about it when the weather is cooler.

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 and to see the complete image.

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

Not So Hot

28 Jun

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Today’s temperature wasn’t quite so hot and Sparta Puss almost got up off the pouffé, almost …… She managed to be a bit alert this evening and even took a leisurely stroll to hassle a woodlouse for a bit. Hastily scribbled into my Peter Pauper Press ‘The Cat’s Meow Journal’ with a ballpoint pen.

Heat Exhaustion

27 Jun

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Sparta Puss looks the way I feel. It’s an unusually hot spell of weather and the heat is getting to us, cats, dogs, hairless apes and all. Sparta Puss has the right idea – crash out somewhere quiet until the cool night arrives. She can’t escape being scribbled though.

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Drawn with a ballpoint pen into my A5 size Peter Pauper Press ‘The Cat’s Meow’ journal.

A Grand Day Out

7 May

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Hot Hot Hot! Apparently a record-breaking temperature today. Husb and I took an elderly relative to visit the beautiful Dynefor estate near Llandeilo in Carmarthenshire. It has great walks; a magnificent 17th century house, remodelled by The Victorians; a deer park; very rare white cattle; beautiful Picturesque scenery; a medieval castle; magnificent trees, up to 700 years old; a tea room serving bara brith; a Ha-ha and a shop. A grand day out.

(I had a scribble. Well I would, wouldn’t I?)

Quickie

6 May

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Another little sketch I made yesterday sitting in the sun. I realised that I hadn’t done any plein air sketchbook work for ages and it was good to just sit and watch and scribble. I must do more. These little sketches are done so quickly that it forces you to focus on the most relevant details, which is good practice but can also drift into caricature.

 

Knickers In The Sun

5 May

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The Sun Is Shining!!!! And it must be all of …. 20° Celsius. A Heatwave! And what happens here in the UK in a heatwave? People take their clothes off. That’s what. It doesn’t take much sunshine to get us to drop our inhibitions …. and our clothes.

So today was really busy, but in a nice way. Husb and I went to a brilliant talk at the Glynn Vivian Art Gallery about the artist Käthe Kollwitz, currently exhibited there. Then onto the Street Food festival at The Waterfront Museum. Nice grub. The Swansea Gay Pride event was also there and we ended the day at the opening of Alison Lockhead’s radical and moving installation at Volcano, on Swansea’s High Street. And managed a couple of family visits. In between, we sat on the grass in the sun, opposite a rainbow coloured police car, sipping cold drinks and watching the world go by. I had to have a scribble of course. A very short skirt, undulating thighs and red knickers caught my eye.

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I drew into my small cloth-covered Laura Ashley sketchbook (above) with a Faber Castell Pitt drawing pen (size F) and added a flash of red knicker afterwards in Adobe Photoshop.

Big Pants, Burkini And The Nightwalker

19 Jul

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Another glorious day, temperature around 30 Celsius, a heatwave!!! Husb and I went down to the beach again this evening, when it had cooled off a little and for the first time in years I went into the sea for a splash about. I can’t swim and our summers are usually so miserable that I rarely bother going in for a dip. I don’t even have a swimming costume so I made do with a sports bra, crop top and a pair of big pants, Bridget Jones style. If the weather stays nice I am tempted to buy a Burkini. I’m a pale, freckly, gingery Celt, practically a nightwalker and I rarely go out in strong sunshine so a Burkini might be the answer. I hear Marks and Spencer sells them now. Hhhmmmmmm!

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When I was little we were on the beach all through the summer and stayed in the sea for hours. Ironically, it was pretty grubby back then, now we have international standards and Swansea Beach is nice and clean. I scribbled for just a few minutes, focusing on getting down the barest details of the scene using a Faber Castell Pitt drawing pen into my A5 leather bound steampunk style sketchbook. The sun was much stronger last night and I took this snap of Husb and me as shadows on the beach.

 

I have been travelling across South Wales with Rhondda-born archaeologist Dewi Bowen and Swansea film maker Melvyn Williams, hunting the wild megalith, accompanied by my portable drawing board, portfolio of Fabriano paper and a bag full of assorted artist’s materials.  Dewi is researching his latest book on Neolithic monuments and Melvyn is making a documentary film of our literary and artistic adventures. All the work I’m doing will eventually be featured in a solo show in The Worker’s Gallery in the Rhondda Valley in September. If you want to know more, please click here.

Beer Bellies, Budgie Smugglers And Moobs

24 Jul

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It’s a heatwave. The temperature is in the upper 20s which means that British men flock to the beaches and strip off as much as they can get away with and still stay legal. I’m working in my Daler Rowney A sketchbook with a Derwent sketching pencil size 4B.

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So much male flesh on show, some men obviously take pride in roasting their beer bellies and moobs in the midday sun. And unfortunately, Budgie Smugglers didn’t go out in the 1970s.

50 Shades Of Pink!

22 Jul

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What is it about we pale skinned Brits that whenever the temperature rises to anything hotter than lukewarm, we strip off as many clothes as we can legally get away with and broil ourselves under the hot sun? I went for a stroll on Swansea Beach this afternoon and it was pretty full of people roasting themseles to various shades of pink – salmon, peach, puce, cerise, magenta, fuschia, candy, Barbi, strawberry, blush, lobster, livid red, third degree burns!

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I stopped for a scribble in my little A6 spotty sketchbook with a Faber Castell Pitt drawing pen, size S. I hadn’t been at it long when I noticed my legs hurting and looked down to see two puce appendages sticking out of the bottom of my cut-off leggings, clashing horribly with my purple pumps. Ychyfi! (That’s Welsh for Yuck). Maybe I’ll get myself a burkini.

Norman & Celtic

21 Jul

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Husb and I spent a lovely afternoon in Llandeilo, meeting up with a friend and going for a walk through the woods to the old Dynefwr Castle which dates from the 12th century, Norman times. The heatwave was going full blast and it was really hot by the time we reached the castle so I found a shady spot to sit and scribble. Here’s a bit of it, drawn into my A5 clothbound sketchbook that I’d prepared with ripped parcel paper, drawn with Faber Castell Pitt pens, sizes S, F and B in sepia. I used a bit of Indian ink wash on the shadows and a touch of white conte crayon in the highlights.

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We passed though an old overgrown graveyard next to a small chapel and I took a snap of this amazing gravestone, completely carved with Celtic knotwork designs.

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