Tag Archives: music

Blue Stones

1 Sep

develop 2

Brushwork And Gravel

This is another cyanotype from my field trip earlier this week with colleagues from the FIRE Lab. When I prepared this sheet of Bockingford (300gsm) with the cyanotype chemical coating, I tried being a bit freer with the brushwork, instead of applying an even coat in a rectangular shape. And I used gravel from the bank of the River Tawe to make the image, something I hadn’t tried before. I hadn’t realised how varied it is, so many different grades. The name of the river, ‘Tawe’, might share its origins with a group of Celtic river names meaning “to flow”, including Thames, Tame and Tamar.

 

 

Fern And Raindrops

31 Aug

develop 3

Sploshed

Here’s another of the cyanotypes done a couple of days ago on a FIRE Lab field trip. I clipped the fern directly onto a piece of Bockingford paper treated with cyanotype chemicals. It was overcast and about midday so I estimated a 20 minute exposure time.

It started to rain and drops sploshed onto the paper.

Exposure 1

The FIRE Lab

I am currently artist in residence with The Fire Lab at Swansea University and have been going on field trips with scientific colleagues along the course of The River Tawe. This cyanotype experiment is our latest field trip.

 

Blue Wash

30 Aug

develop 1

Today I developed yesterday’s cyanotypes in the garden shed. Husb has been making the shed, from scratch, for about 3 years now and it’s nearly finished. He’s plumbed in an old Belfast sink which is big and deep enough to easily develop the pictures. I soaked them for 5 minutes under running water, then 20 minutes in a tray of still water with a spot of vinegar in it – apparently it increases the contrast.

 

More tomorrow……

Blue On A Grey Day

29 Aug

exposure 4

Out in the field

A scientist, an artist and a designer walk into a Country Park …… no it’s not a joke, it’s the second cyanotype field trip this week with colleagues from Swansea University’s FIRE Lab, up to the River Tawe as it runs through Craig-y-Nos. What can I say? It’s a glorious place and I feel so privileged to go out and be an artist in places like this. There’s a castle here as well, built for Dame Adelina Patti, the magnificent opera singer.

 

 

Grey Day

Unlike Monday’s field trip in blazing sunshine, today was rainy, cloudy and grey. We waited for it to dry up a bit and exposed the cyanotypes on the bank of the Tawe en plein air. On Monday I allowed 10 minutes exposure, which worked really well (see here) but today I had to guesstimate and allowed 20 minutes. I’ll develop them tomorrow and we’ll see if I guessed right. We created images of things we found around us, being careful not to damage anything and to put things back.

 

 

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.

%d bloggers like this: