Tag Archives: Lower Swansea Valley

Sawing And Scribbling

7 Dec

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Husb and I spent a few hours up a hill cutting down trees with some of our young relatives. The area is quite heavily forested, having been reclaimed from heavy industry during the 1970s after a couple of centuries of pollution. This area was the crucible of the Industrial Revolution and was badly scarred until Swansea University started the Lower Swansea Valley reclamation project.

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At first, only conifers would grow there, but now most of Kilvey Hill is mixed forest. A couple of areas had become overgrown with thickets of conifers and volunteers were needed to clear them. They’re Xmas trees so we were able to choose one for free in return for our labour. Result! I managed a few action scribbles in between the sawing and showers of hail, using graphite into my A5 Tate Gallery sketchbook.

The Dancer In The Hairy Slippers

15 Dec

The dancer

Here’s a piece I finished earlier this month for the exhibition I’m currently in at The Brunswick in Swansea. It’s a combination of a solvent transfer print overlaid with a drawing that started life in one of my sketchbooks. I went to an avant garde theatrical piece by Marega Palser, who also does performance drawing, and sketched this when she sat out for a while as other dancers performed. She wore strange, oversized hairy slippers. The image in the background is a piece of graffiti on a very old factory building, part of Swansea’s Industrial Revolution past. The exhibition runs until next March.

Reality And Virtuality.

3 Nov

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I’ve been at the Print Workshop grafting on some  full-colour monotypes for the new exhibition. Here’s the second one finished. I posted stages one and two yesterday; this is what it looks like after the final, Process Blue, layer. I’ve used Intaglio Printmakers relief/litho oil-based pigment onto BFK Rives 250gsm paper. Back in the summer, I wandered with Husb along the Lower Swansea Valley river path, sketching and photographing industrial ruins. I noticed that most of them had graffiti so I merged some drawings I’d done of characters around town with the buildings and created my own tag, #uglv. I’m posting updates onto that hashtag on Twitter. I like the idea of linking the traditional art of printmaking (the Impressionists used this monotype technique) with 21st century social media, so that the work has a life in reality and virtuality.

PHEW!

31 Oct

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I was back at Swansea Print Workshop this evening to put the final layer of ink onto my monotype – the Process Blue. It’s this final stage that either pulls the whole thing together or results in me sobbing inwardly and resolving to get a job filling shelves in a supermarket instead of ever doing this stupid art thing ever again! But I’m very happy with the final print. And also with the ghost below. I don’t normally like the ghosts but this is quite a strong one. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, there’s an explanation of the technique on my website here.

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The piece is based on drawings and research I did into the industrial past in the Lower Swansea Valley and drawings I did of people round the city. If you’re wandering about the graffiti in the piece, come and visit on #uglv on Twitter.

More prelims

16 Oct

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I’m working on a preliminary series of 4 reduction monotypes. These are not final pieces; they’re stages on the way of deciding what works and what adaptations are needed before I do the final pieces. Unusually, I’m working from photographs as my starting point. I’ve taken a photo of one of the graffiti-covered industrial ruins in the Lower Swansea Valley and I’ve digitally merged it with a drawing I did from a photo I took a couple of years ago. I’m working on incorporating my own graffiti into the pieces but I’m a long way from perfecting it yet. Graffiti lettering is much harder than I was anticipating and it’s also difficult to render in the medium, reduction monotype, where I’m working with negative space using a cotton bud to remove the ink on the plate. But I’m getting there.

I used black litho/relief ink mixed 60:40 with thick plate oil ontop a perspex 12″ square plate printed onto a creamy T.H. Saunders hand made paper, around 140gsm, using cotton buds (Q Tips), scrim, cotton rags, cocktail sticks (toothpicks) and wooden kebab skewers to do the mark-making.

Colour In The Ruins

14 Aug

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Here’s another drawing I did while I was walking around the industrial ruins of the Lower Swansea Valley. I spent a lot of time drawing in and around this building that was covered in graffitti. I drew this into my A4 black paper sktchbook with conte crayons and oil pastels.

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