Tag Archives: music

The Children’s Choir

19 May

Mayor 3

I did four sketches at the inauguration of the new Lord Mayor of Swansea a couple of days ago. I did a couple in ballpoint pen into an A6 hardbacked sketchbook and a couple of larger ones in conté crayon into an A4 brown paper pad. It’s challenging doing interiors with people, getting the perspective and proportions right and coping with people moving around all the time. There’s something to be said for working from photographs.

 

 

The main image shows a view of the choir of primary school children who performed three songs, including the beautiful Welsh language hymn, “Calon Lan“. It never fails to bring a lump to my throat, it’s so poignant.

A Bit More Cosi

24 Mar

cosi fan 2

Here are a couple more drawings I did at the opera the other evening, Cosi Fan Tutte at The Taliesin on Swansea University’s Singleton campus. It was very dark so I could hardly see the paper, an A4 brown paper spiral bound sketchbook. I used white and sanguine conté crayon, turning the white on its side to block in large areas and then scribbling with the sanguine.

cosi fan 1

My giant woodcut “Here Be Dragons” is going to be featured on Sky Arts TV channel on Tuesday 26th March at 9pm. If you’re a Sky TV subscriber or if you have NOW TV you’ll be able to see a short film of me going through the creative process, with lots about Swansea and footage of Swansea Print Workshop too. It’s part of a whole week of arts programming showing how artists across the UK have responded creatively to Brexit.

finished

 

 

The Pit And The Uniform

23 Mar

It was a new one for me last night as I went with my Mam-in-Law to the opera. I’ve never been before and to be honest, being an ageing headbanger and rock chick, it would never have occurred to me to go except that Husb joined a choir recently and had the chance to perform in the chorus of Cosi Fan Tutti at the Taliesin. He has a lovely voice which he’s never gotten out in public before and he also looked rather spiffing in his Hussar uniform! Of course, I had a scribble.

cozi fan 1

It wasn’t easy scribbling into my little cloth-covered red notebook as it was dark and I was surprisingly engrossed in the opera. I enjoyed it far more than I expected. It was good fun and I was impressed by the quality and skill of the singing. And there was an orchestra! In a pit! I never even knew that Taliesin had a pit!

I drew with a ballpoint pen, very quickly, unable to see much on the paper so it was a surprise when I looked at them. I wouldn’t mind seeing more opera, but the tickets are terribly expensive and if it comes down to a choice between opera and metal, I know which one I’d buy tickets for. (That’s metal, by the way).

 

 

Music And Mark Making

18 Feb

Rhodri Davies 2

Husb and I went to the “Gallery At Night” opening at the Glynn Vivian Art Gallery where artist in residence Rhodri Davies was performing on a range of strange instruments, including cymbals arranged on the floor (above) and adapted harps. I quickly got into the zone and scribbled automatically, allowing the music to dictate my mark-making. This is a recent development for me as I normally work in silence, not even listening to the radio. I drew these with a biro (ballpoint) pen into my small cloth-backed sketchbook (approximately A6 size).

 

Squished

12 Jun

squished

Our very last visit on our recent trip to Berlin was to the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial church, which is in fact 2 churches. The newer church, built around the ruins of the older, has a spectacular – and huge – statue of Christ, designed by Karl Hemmeter, dominating the space. I had a quick scribble but underestimated how much space I needed for the spread of the arms, so I had to seriously squish them to fit into my A4 brown paper sketchbook. There was an organ recital going on when we wandered in so we, Husb, two great-nephews and myself, sat in the awe-inspiring space and enjoyed some classical organ music. Lovely.

 

My Hero

7 Jun

Kathe

Husb and I went to Berlin for a few days last week and spent an intense few hours at the Käthe Kollwitz Museum. I love her work and her life is an inspiration, she never relinquished her belief in social justice despite the enmity of both the First and Third Reich. I took a few minutes to draw from one of her bas relief bronze casts, using black, white and sanguine conté crayons into a brown paper sketchbook.

A Rare Self Portrait

25 Feb

working-on-me

I don’t often draw myself, mainly because I don’t like looking at myself; I rarely wear make up so I don’t spend much time looking in mirrors; I have always hated having my photo taken so there are no photos of me around the house. This is a rare self-portrait that I did as part of a much larger piece of ephemeral drawing back in Autumn 2015 when my fellow artist Melanie Ezra and I took over a semi-derelict shop in Swansea’s High Street and opened it up to other artists to see what happened – we called it ‘The Bagpuss Window’. I’m going to post some of the videos made of ‘The Bagpuss Window’ by Melvyn Williams over the next few blogs because I want to show some of the fab artists who came along and did art …….

 

Here’s the first one featuring musicians David Pitt and Shey Edlington ……..

 

 

I am putting my series of drawings of ancient Welsh monuments on Artfinder.  If you want to see more, please click on the image below or the Artfinder link at the top right of this page.

St Elvis

Sunpan Scribbles

7 Jan

sunpan

I think it’s important to draw. It underpins my artistic practice. I know a lot of people who find drawing demoralising because they can’t do it “right” but it’s a hard thing to do, like playing a musical instrument and you can’t expect to turn out a perfect drawing each time, or even for the majority of times that you draw. It’s the act of drawing that’s important because you learn something from doing it.

Today I was down at The SPace in Swansea’s High Street and artist and musician Sharon Edlington Douglas popped in with her Sunpan. She played it – beautifully- to the appreciation of the knot of people in the SPace. I scribbled her. She was moving and it was a quick sketch and it’s no great work of art and won’t make it into any exhibitions, but it’s still important to do these speedy scribbles, to try and capture movement and to be in the moment. I think so, anyway.

Here’s Sharon playing her Sunpan a while back at The Bagpuss Window, with Gong musician David Pitt.

The SPace is a short-term pop-up gallery and artspace, a partnership between Swansea Print Workshop and Coastal Housing Group. It’s open 11.30 – 5.00, Wednesdays to Saturdays until mid-February at 217, High Street, Swansea SA1 1PE.

Sunpan And Gong

10 Dec

The Bagpuss Window, a semi-derelict anarchic artspace, flashed into existence for three short weeks in September (2015) and then ended as abruptly as it started as the wrecking crew moved in to demolish the building. Fellow artist Melanie Ezra and I took it on at very short notice from developers Coastal Group and opened it up for artists, musicians and poets to see what happened. It was fabulous. Creative people from across Swansea and beyond wandered in and used the space to develop new work, ideas and collaborations. Film maker Melvyn Williams and I recorded what was going on and Melvyn has been editing the footage into short videos to show what happened.

Here’s the first, featuring Sharon Edlington-Douglas and David Pitt who bumped into each other one day and started playing their instruments, Sharon with a Sunpan and David with gongs. The door was open into the High Street, we were having a glorious Indian Summer, and the extraordinary sound reverberated along the road. I became absorbed in the music as I drew on the wall of the decrepit old shop and people wandered in to walk a labyrinth made from bark chippings by David and local archaeologist Dewi Bowen.

wall l

Dewi has written a book about ancient stone monuments in Siluria, South Wales, you can find out about it here. David is involved in keeping alive the Mari Lwyd in the Swansea and Gower area – you can read more about this fascinating tradition here.

Walking The Labyrinth

26 Sep

Here’s 3 minutes of my feet walking the lovely labyrinth made from chipped bark by archaeologist Dewi Bowen and musician David Pitt in The Bagpuss Window this week. The feet are not interesting at all, except it looks like I have my shoes on the wrong feet, but the accompanying gong music from David is wonderful. Go with the flow…….

Dewi has written an excellent book about Siluria, now South-East Wales, and its ancient standing stones, burial chambers, cairns and stone circles. Well worth a read and dead cheap.

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