Tag Archives: Marc Rees

Warm Spiced Apple Cake

22 Sep
SPW John Abell

‘Diary Of A Dead Officer’, a collection of lino prints by John Abell and a hand printed book published by Old Stile Press.

 

There’s a lovely exhibition of contemporary printmaking at Swansea Print Workshop this week (until September 29th) and if you fancy popping in to see it tomorrow afternoon (Sunday 22nd), I’ll be show sitting (which is a much nicer way of saying invigilation IMHO) from 1.30 – 4.30. If you haven’t been to the print workshop before, I’ll be happy to show you round our remarkable collection of antique and modern printing presses as well as the lovely exhibition. And there will be tea and coffee and warm spiced apple cake. How can you resist?

“NOW THE PRINTMAKERS”, SWANSEA PRINT WORKSHOP, 19A CLARENCE STREET, SWANSEA. EXHIBITION RUNS SEPTEMBER 22ND TO 29TH (except Monday 24th), 10.30 – 4.30.

Art, Cake, Cake, Art

19 Sep

 

Invite Now The Printmakers a

 

Such a lot happening over the next week or so in Swansea and it all kicks off this Friday with the opening of the exhibition, “Now The Printmakers” at 5.30 pm at Swansea Print Workshop. Inspired by the work of Frank Brangwyn and Kathe Kollwitz, the show focusses on the work of three contemporary print artists – John Abell, Andrew Baldwin and yours truly as well as a group show of a dozen or so of our artist members. I’ll be there at 5.30 – with lashings of cake – but within the hour I’ve got to shoot across the city centre to the start of my Open Studio event at Volcano, also with lashings of cake…..

 

Invite Here Be Dragons a

And there are other exhibitions opening across the city that night – at Mission Gallery, Galerie Simpson and the Glynn Vivian, with the opening times staggered so art lovers can get around and see lots of them. It’s all leading up to next weeks major international art festival, “Now The Hero / Nawr Yr Arwr”, but more about that tomorrow……

If you’re out and about in Swansea on Friday 21st September, please pop in to one or more of the venues and get yourself some art and cake. There will be bara brith, banana cake, spiced apple cake and Victoria Sandwich……

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Traditional home-made bara brith

 

 

 

 

Marc, Frank And Victoria (Sandwich)

6 Sep

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I’m back in the house for about 20 minutes between hearing the marvellous artist Marc Rees give a talk at the Glynn Vivian Art Gallery about his upcoming art extravaganza “Now The Hero / Nawr Yr Arwr” and heading off to life drawing at Swansea Print Workshop with my Samsung Galaxy Note 8 tablet (which I used to do this drawing) and a Victoria Sandwich. As you do.

Marc spoke in front of a backdrop of projected images, including many of the glorious panels by Frank Brangwyn, which are an integral part of Nawr Yr Arwr, so he’s in silhouette. I had to have a scribble. It’s what I do….

 

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Inspired By Frank

15 Jun

Coming up in August – I’m running a weekend printmaking workshop inspired by Frank Brangwyn , one of my artistic heroes. An outstanding draughtsman, painter, printmaker, muralist who exhibited with the Viennese Secession but unlike Klimt and Schiele, Frank had the mis/fortune to live to a ripe old age and fall out of fashion; he’s due for a reappraisal and revival.

nya course flyer

I am involved in a large immersive arts project that’s climaxing in September called Nawr yr Arwr / Now the Hero, the brainchild of artist Marc Rees, which is centred around the magnificent Brangwyn Hall in Swansea, which houses the beautiful Brangwyn panels. As part of the lead up to the final act, I’ll be running a two day print course at Swansea Print Workshop, inspired by Frank’s panels and the remembrance of World War 1 (he was a war artist too).

Brangwyn-13

One of Brangwyn’s magnificent paintings

 

Here’s a short film about me, my model, my monotype and Nawr Yr Arwr / Now The Hero

And if you want to see more about the monotype technique I use, please visit the Techie section of my website, here.

An Extraordinary Face

31 Jan

Eddie Ladd

I know I’ve been banging on about Nawr Yr Arwr / Now The Hero, but it’s a big deal for me and I was beside myself when I went to the official launch last week. There I was , a scruffy urchin from a council estate, hobnobbing with the great and the good in the arts and it was a bit overwhelming, to be honest. One of the many highlights of the day was sitting opposite the wonderful Welsh actor, Eddie Ladd. It turns out that she and I have been Twitter chums for some time, but we use different names so I didn’t realise until the day of the launch. Of course, I couldn’t resist having a scribble. I didn’t have much time and it’s not the best likeness, but practice makes perfect, eh? Eddie has an extraordinary face and I hope to draw her again, but with a bit more time.

Here’s a brief film of the commissioned work I have done for Nawr Yr Arwr / Now The Hero.

The Essential Elements

30 Jan

WW1

 

I went to the launch of ‘Nawr Yr Arwr / Now The Hero’ last Friday. I was besides myself with excitement! But I still had a scribble. I usually do. This young actor, Mathew Prichard, in World War 1 uniform stood to attention throughout the launch. I drew him in my A4 brown paper sketchbook from Seawhites of Brighton using black and white conté crayons. It was tough getting the hat right, hats are hard! But I’m pleased with the result, I worked very quickly, capturing the basic details of the face, the essential elements.

 

 

 

The launch event featured a short film about me and my model, David, by filmmaker George Morris, here it is below…..

 

 

“Nawr Yr Awr \ Now The Hero is an immersive theatrical experience that will take the audience on an extraordinary journey through three intertwining narratives of war; from Celtic history, the First World War, and today’s conflicts. 

Drawing on an epic poem, some rejected paintings, and an intimate portrait of a Swansea soldier serving today,  Marc Rees’ bold production brings the stories of war to life, but counterpoints the tragic telling with hope.”

The Ghost

29 Jan

Darkness 2 ghost

I work a lot with a three-colour monotype technique that produces a full colour unique artwork on a sheet of paper (BFK Rives 250gsm). Then I put a second sheet of paper onto the plate and put it through the press again to take a second print with the ink (Caligo Safe Wash) that’s left to give a fainter ‘ghost’ monotype. Apparently the artists Degas and Monet used to work over their ghost monotypes with oil pastels, but I generally leave mine as they are because I like the way the oil-based inks break up in a very Impressionistic way. I also like the contrast with the full colour first proof.

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Detail from a ghost monotype

This is the ghost of “The Darkness”, a work commissioned as part of Nawr Yr Arwr / Now The Hero….

“…. an immersive theatrical experience that will take the audience on an extraordinary journey through three intertwining narratives of war; from Celtic history, the First World War, and today’s conflicts.

Drawing on an epic poem, some rejected paintings, and an intimate portrait of a Swansea soldier serving today, Marc Rees’ bold production brings the stories of war to life, but counterpoints the tragic telling with hope.”

Nawr Yr Arwr / Now The Hero was launched last week and will culminate at the end of September in Swansea with a festival weekend in and around the historic Brangwyn Hall.

The gestation of this work is the subject of this short film by George Morris and it shows the process from initial drawing to finished monotype via the fascinating vintage printing presses at Swansea Print Workshop.

It’s All About The Process

28 Jan
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Detail of “The Darkness”

I am so fortunate to have worked with the artist Marc Rees, filmmaker George Morris and my long-term life model, David Williams, to create a unique monotype for the “Now The Hero / Nawr Yr Arwr” art happening / event / extravaganza that will climax at the end of September. I worked from one of the drawings I did in the Brangwyn Hall (see yesterday’s post) using one of the fabulous antique presses at Swansea Print Workshop.

Darkness 2

I used a monotype process similar to that used by Impressionist artists Monet and Degas. If you want to find out more, check out the process in my “Techie Stuff” section here. It’s called the three colour reduction monotype technique and it’s a complex process. The final monotype took a full day’s work at the print workshop. A long day, too.

You can see the process and the inside of the print workshop in George’s film below. It’s a very honest reflection of the relationship between an artist and model, where inspiration comes from and also the technical processes we use.

Nawr Yr Awr \ Now The Hero is an immersive theatrical experience that will take the audience on an extraordinary journey through three intertwining narratives of war; from Celtic history, the First World War, and today’s conflicts.

Drawing on an epic poem, some rejected paintings, and an intimate portrait of a Swansea soldier serving today, Marc Rees’ bold production brings the stories of war to life, but counterpoints the tragic telling with hope.”

Start At The Beginning

27 Jan

working drawing 1

Six months ago I had the privilege of working with my model, David who I’ve been working with for 10 years, the artist Marc Rees and filmmaker George Morris. On the first day I drew David in The Brangwyn Hall, which is an amazing place, built in the 1930s for the magnificent Brangwyn panels. On the first day I drew David, who was nude – we had screens around us as The Brangwyn Hall is a public space. I used newspaper and brown packing paper with chalks, charcoal and conté crayons and did about half a dozen drawings. This is where it all starts. I used newspaper and brown paper because these are working drawings, not finished pieces and if I’d used expensive, hand-made paper I would have been inhibited. At the end of the day I chose this drawing to turn into a monotype over the next couple of days.

George has produced a short film of our experience. I’m gobsmacked at how he’s edited such a cool film from three days of footage. Please check it out here….

 

 

“Nawr Yr Awr \ Now The Hero is an immersive theatrical experience that will take the audience on an extraordinary journey through three intertwining narratives of war; from Celtic history, the First World War, and today’s conflicts. 

Drawing on an epic poem, some rejected paintings, and an intimate portrait of a Swansea soldier serving today,  Marc Rees’ bold production brings the stories of war to life, but counterpoints the tragic telling with hope.”

 

The Lord, The Warrior And The Welsh Cake

26 Jan

It’s been an exciting day. I shook hands with a lord, hung out with a Celtic warrior, sipped tea and ate a Welsh cake in an art deco temple in Swansea, and watched a film about my model and me. Here it is….

I’ve been involved in this expansive art project, Nawr Yr Arwr / Now The Hero for some time but couldn’t say anything until the official launch today. I’ll be working mostly on this body of work for the next 9 months …….

Darkness 1

I’ll tell you more about it tomorrow……..

“Nawr Yr Awr \ Now The Hero is an immersive theatrical experience that will take the audience on an extraordinary journey through three intertwining narratives of war; from Celtic history, the First World War, and today’s conflicts. 

Drawing on an epic poem, some rejected paintings, and an intimate portrait of a Swansea soldier serving today,  Marc Rees’ bold production brings the stories of war to life, but counterpoints the tragic telling with hope.”

 

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