Tag Archives: Mumbles

Mamelles!

7 May

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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.

Babysitting

26 Jun

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I did some babysitting this morning. I didn’t sit on them, honest. We walked down to the beach, just a few minutes away and we’re having an uncharacteristic heat wave, so it was lovely down there, with lots of people enjoying the sand. The sea was right out but there were a few pools left behind by the last tide and the sprogs had fun collecting shells. The little one is very fair and had to borrow Husb’s summer hat, which he propped up on his ears. It did the trick though, but it’s hard to draw. I didn’t draw them from life, it was too hot. I took a few photos and I’ll use them to do some practice studies. They climbed trees as well, which will give me some great poses to draw. That’s Mumbles in the background. I used a ballpoint pen into my A5 size ‘Peter Pauper Press’ Cat’s Meow journal. Here it is with Sparta Puss.

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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.

Hipster On The Beach

18 Jul

hipster

It’s been a glorious day – the Summer has returned and it was too hoy to go out comfortably until this evening – earlier today it reached the upper 20s! Which is very hot for gingery, freckly, pasty Northern Europeans like me and Husb. We took a stroll along Swansea Beach and I had a scribble. There were loads of people down there and I spotted this hipster and his chum so sketched them with a Faber Castell Pitt drawing pen, size S, into my A5 size leatherbound steampunk style sketchbook.

full moon july

The sunset was gorgeous, subtle and stripey and a full moon rising. I’m so lucky to live here.

 

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.

If you want to see some of my other artworks, please click here.

We’ve Got Palm Trees

17 Jul

palm 1

Yes, we have palm trees all along the beach front and in many parks. They grow well here because the Gulf Stream swirls up around our coast and into Swansea Bay. It means the temperatures are pretty warm for this latitude but it’s also very damp as well. Husb and I went for our regular walk on the beach and I stopped to scribble this little clump of palms with the twin islands of Mumbles in the background.

palm 2

I drew into my A5 leatherbound sketchbook with a Faber Castell Pitt drawing pen size S. It’s an exercise in markmaking really,  moderating my pressure, line and patterning for different areas. The specimen bush that the palm is growing out of was the most fun, lots of random scribbling.

 

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.

If you want to see some of my other artworks, please click here.

 

 

Recycle Reuse

14 Jun

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I’m always surprised at what people throw away. I often pull discarded prints out of the waste paper bin at the workshop, they’re done on beautiful paper with top quality inks and can be reused for drawings and collage but still people chuck them. Other people’s waste is my raw material and I use these thrown away prints for my own drawings. I like starting to draw over something unfamiliar. I took this down to the beach last night and drew with compressed charcoal, used neat and also rubbed in with my fingers. I might eventually cut it down to a small border or even no border at all. I was standing outside the Civic Centre, looking across Swansea Bay at Mumbles.

 

I’m currently working on a series of expressive drawings of ancestral sites and if you want to see some of my other artworks, please click here.

Rhubarb At The Castle

8 May
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Rhubarb in pen and graphite

Too warm for me today, temperature around 21 Celsius, so Husb and I didn’t get down to the allotment until about 4pm, when it was staring to cool off a bit and I could do a load of digging without flaking out. Our allotment is on a site sandwiched between two woodland glades and right behind the 12th century Oystermouth Castle in Mumbles. It’s an idyllic setting but the soil is poor, a heavy clay and very hard to cultivate. But it’s good exercise and we generally harvest a good crop of fruits. Most veg need a lighter soil so we’ve built some raised beds and we’ve had moderate success with leeks, chard, rocket, potatoes, runner beans and broad beans. I’m trying out some beetroot and peas this year. Brassicas are a non-starter; as well as the poor soil, everything eats them.

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Oystermouth Castle at twilight

 

If you would like to see some of my other artworks, please click here.

A Sky Full Of Opals

29 Aug

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Husb and I strolled along Swansea Beach this evening and I took some photos of the extraordinary sky – it looked like it was full of fire opals shimmering above us. The weather has been appalling throughout the so-called Summer, so maybe this is the harbinger of something better for the Autumn. “The sky at night, shepherd’s delight….” – fingers crossed 🙂

We walked along the Promenade, looking out to Mumbles, with its breast shaped islands and returned past the Brangwyn Hall which houses the famous Empire Panels, magnificent oil paintings, and Swansea’s Guildhall, an Art Deco building inspired by an Egyptian Temple.

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