Tag Archives: Mumbles

The Stand Of Trees

25 Jun

7 Oystermouth

Another quick sketch in willow charcoal on Khadi paper caught as we left the allotment this evening. I’m getting used to being very sparing with it now, not doing too much detail. I find it helps to squint to see the blocks of light and dark more clearly. This stand of trees caught my eye, I liked the strong diagonal they formed on the slope of the hill.

 

Just Five Minutes

24 Jun

6 Oystermouth

If you’ve only got five minutes, draw. Even when you’re so short of time, draw. It only takes a few minutes every day to keep up that regular practice and it all adds up over a year, decade, lifetime. I only had five minutes this evening after we left the allotment with our first summer berries.

berries

Winsor & Newton willow charcoal into a Khadi sketchbook at Oystermouth Castle. Gooseberries, raspberries, Alpine strawberries, blackcurrants and loganberries.

The Sausage Fingered Stick Of Doom

23 Jun

5 Oystermouth

For most of my life I haven’t been keen on charcoal, I thought it was a bit clumsy. Husb calls it “the sausage fingered stick of doom”. Maybe that’s a bit of an exaggeration, but it isn’t much good if you want to do fine detail on small paper. My Khadi sketchbook isn’t big so I’m limited in what I can put into a drawing, which is challenging but in a good way. Here’s a sketch I did with Winsor & Newton willow charcoal after Husb and I did some work on the allotment earlier this evening. There’s a group of copper beech trees in a row alongside the path leading up to Oystermouth Castle and I made them the focus of the drawing. It was a chance to play around with strong diagonal scribbles.

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.

 

 

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.

Mucky, Messy and Mumbles

31 May

2 oystermouth

Yesterday evening after Husb and I watered the allotment, I did a charcoal sketch facing Oystermouth Castle. Today, we walked around the castle park and I sat on a bench with my back to the Castle, looking towards the beach. My view was mostly trees and the park in the foreground, with a glimpse of Mumbles Lighthouse and Swansea Bay in the background.  I’m using a thin stick of Winsor & Newton willow charcoal into a Khadi handmade sketchbook. Charcoal is mucky so I carry a tin of fixative around as well. There’s a decision to be made how much you include in a drawing, if you try and cram everything in, it can look really messy, especially with charcoal, so I decided to keep a lot of white in the composition.

 

The Swansea Scream

24 May

munch 8

I’ve finished my fake painting of “The Scream” by Norwegian artist Edvard Munch. He made several versions of the same topic, in paint, pastel and lithography, and I copied this little-known one that he painted after a visit to Swansea in 1893. There was a large Norwegian presence in South Wales at the time with Norwegian churches on the docksides of Swansea and Cardiff. The famous author Roald Dahl is one of the Norwegian Welsh and there were many Norwegians living, working and settling in the two Welsh ports. Although most of Munch’s versions were based on a fjord overlooking Oslo, this one clearly shows the distinctive coastline of Mumbles in the background, as it would have been viewed from the Swansea promenade.

You can see the stages of the painting below.

 

I made up the bit about Swansea, by the way 😀

Come and join in with the Cheese and Wine Painting Club , led by artist Ed Sumner, on Fridays at 12 noon to paint a masterpiece. It’s free or a donation for those who are able to afford one. It’s great fun too.

Mamelles!

7 May

1557257992223-41548467.png

Since we spent a week puppy-sitting the delightful Smudge, we’ve kept to the routine of walking in the morning before we start work. I did a quick scribble in my A6 sketchbook the other day, but only had time for a basic continuous line drawing. So I photographed it and uploaded it onto my Samsung Galaxy Tablet Note 8, into a free app called Markers, and then added in some tones and more line work to flesh the drawing out a bit. It’s a view from the top of Rose Hill, looking down over the city towards the sea. On the right in the distance are the twin islands of Mumbles. The name allegedly comes from French sailors who, when sailing by, spotted the islands and exclaimed “mamelles, mamelles” which translates as “breasts, breasts“.

Mamelles

11 Jan

mumbles

Out and about this morning, I had an ice cream in Joe’s ice cream parlour and then nipped down to the beach for a quick scribble in my A4 brown paper sketchbook, with conté crayons in black, white and sanguine. The light was quite dramatic, full of chiaroscuro.

That’s Mumbles in the background. The name is supposed to have originated with French sailors who, many years ago, upon sailing around the headland and seeing the twin islands for the first time, exclaimed ,”Mamelles, Mamelles” which translates as “Breasts, Breasts”. Trust the French, eh?

 

Then this evening, onto a lovely exhibition by local artist Jeffrey Phillips at Swansea’s Environment Centre.

jeff phillips

Jeffrey’s exhibition of humanist and environmental artworks, Desire and Despair, runs from January 11th to February 15th Tuesday to Friday 10 – 4 and Saturday 10 – 2.

Concrete And Astroturf??!!

16 Jul

loganberry cordial

Husb and I are keen gardeners, well, no, that’s not true. I’m a keen gardener and Husb would happily fill the garden with concrete and Astroturf! Our garden is small but we also have an allotment and grow a lot of fruit and some veg. At this time of year, we’re picking our produce which means spending time cleaning and preserving it. Today we made 6 jars of gooseberry and elderflower jam and 6 bottles of loganberry cordial and picked about 4 kilos of jostaberries (a cross between gooseberries and blackcurrants), a kilo of rhubarb and a load of rainbow chard. Not much chance of doing anything arty with all this going on, but I did this drawing a while back of our local castle which overlooks the allotments. It’s an idyllic place, we’re very lucky.

Tomorrow, I’ll be jamming all those jostaberries and making rhubarb chutney.

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