Tag Archives: @NowTheHero

The Starting Point

18 Aug

The Warrior Turns small

Yesterday I posted about the upcoming immersive art event in Swansea in September – Nawr yr Arwr / Now the Hero. I will be exhibiting some of the work I have been doing over the past decade with a young , now not so young, soldier who is also a life model. I’ve been looking through it all and it’s a big body of work. The starting point is life drawings, which I do most weeks at Swansea Print Workshop.

Warrior Turns print l

From the hundreds of drawings I have in sketchbooks and portfolios, I select some for development, usually into original prints. This one started as a pastel sketch on a canvas sheet and I developed it into a full-colour monotype (see my Techie section for how to do it). Very early on, I started to investigate the idea of The Warrior and this is reflected in the work I’ve done. This was done near the start of our working relationship and it’s called ,”The Warrior Turns To Face The Darkness“.

 

 

I Cried

17 Aug
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My monotype based on an original life drawing of my model, a young Welsh soldier

Swansea, September 21st to 30th 2018.

I’ve been involved in the expansive art project Nawr Yr Arwr / Now The Hero for some time and it’s all coming to a head in Swansea at the end of September. It’s part of a whole load of specially commissioned art projects from “14-18 NOW WW1 Centenary Art Commissions“, a nationwide programme of innovative and thought-provoking art events that commemorate – not celebrate- World War One.

Some of the highlights for me have been Cummins and Piper’s amazing gigantic installation of “Weeping Poppies” -I saw it at the Tower of London- and Jeremy Deller’s “We’re Here Because We’re Here“, commemorating those who died in the Battle of the Somme. I stopped in my tracks in the centre of Swansea as a group of VERY young men in WW1 uniform walked silently by. I cried. My grandfather was just 14 years old when he enlisted. He lied about his age.

 

Were-Here-Because-Credit-Eoin-Carey_01-Glasgow

Image credit: ‘we’re here because we’re here’ conceived and created by Jeremy Deller in collaboration with Rufus Norris, photo by Eoin Carey

I have been working with a life model, a young soldier, for 10 years and our working relationship – and the work I have produced – are a part of Nawr Yr Arwr / Now The Hero. You can see a short film of us below. As well as the film, many of the drawings and original prints I have made over the last decade will be exhibited at Swansea Print Workshop and Volcano – I’ll write a bit more about this over the next couple of weeks.

 

“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.”

nya

 

 

 

 

Ancient Welsh Poem

19 Jul

Gododdin

I joined a group of women Welsh learners at Ty Tawe earlier this evening. We’re practising to be part of the ‘Nawr Yr Arwr / Now The Hero‘ immersive art event in Swansea in September. We’ll be part of a group of one hundred female voices reciting a section from an ancient Welsh poem, Y Gododdin– please click on the link to hear it being recited by the excellent actor, Eddie Ladd. Of course, I had to have a scribble, sneaking a look around the table at my fellow reciters.

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.

Playing Around

4 Feb

crop

I’m planning a new silkscreen print from an original life drawing I did a while back. I want to include chine collé so I thought I’d have a bit of a play on Adobe Photoshop to try out some geometric shapes in different areas of the drawing. It’s a useful tool for doing a quick bit of design. Basically it means that I can do it on my laptop while I’m sitting on the settee with the TV on.

 

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.”

 

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