Tag Archives: oil painting

Taking It Further….

24 Feb

towel small

Once I decide that a rough sketch is worth developing, I like to see how many different ways I can take it. This is a very small scribble I made in a life drawing session a couple of years ago in a sketchbook size A5. I drew the reflection of the model in a mirror.

Then I developed a small oil painting, size A3; I don’t often paint but I wanted to do some technical exercises with oils.

yellow towel small

Then I scaled up the drawing and used it as the basis for a full colour monotype, along with it’s ‘ghost’ below. These are A2 size.

yellow towel final small

yellow towel ghost small

And finally, back to A5 and a photopolymer plate etching.

24 towel

I wonder where I’ll go next with it? hmmmmmmmmm 🙂



Experiments On The Dark Side

21 Feb

Fragment of an experiment in oil on board.

I’m an unashamed printmaker and scribbler and I don’t paint. Don’t get it, don’t understand it, don’t like canvas and brushes. Give me squeegees and rollers and barens and presses any day. So I thought I’d enter an international painting competition. Yeah, I go looking for trouble. So I decided I’d try and construct a painting using printmaking tools, materials and techniques as much as possible.

I’ve been experimenting by coating smallish offcuts of thick mounting card with several layers of rabbit skin glue. When it dried, I used a squeegee to apply a layer of printing ink in Rhodamine Red, thinned down with linseed oil [Gerhard Richter often ‘painted’ with squeegees] and then I used the Direct Monotype technique to put drawings and text onto the surface and let it dry over several days. Today I applied a second layer of printer’s ink in Lemon Yellow, thinned with medium plate oil, again using a squeegee. I didn’t do it over the whole thing as I’m exploiting colour theory and I want to get different colour mixes by using transluscent glazes. While it was wet, I wrapped rags around my fingers and removed some of the yellow, exposing the pink below in areas of patterning.The Welsh painter Nicholas Evans used a similar technique, although he only worked in black and white [I think].

When the yellow area is dry, I will apply a coat of Pthalo Blue, again thinned out to make it easy to squeegee and so it’s translucent. I’m hoping for a similar effect to the 3 colour-separation monotypes I’ve been working on recently. Is it painting? Well, it’s not printmaking because a print is an image that has been taken indirectly from another surface, or matrix. This is being applied directly using pigment suspended in oil, which is the same as paint.

Watch this space ……….

Rocking’ The Arts And Goodbye The Brunz!

22 Jan

Today, husb and I took down our last exhibition at The Brunswick after three and a half years of curating! It seems like just a few months ago that we were putting up our first one with Mike Mainwaring and Kara Seaman. I looked through the list of artists who have exhibited during that time – 40 of us [plus a Lifelong Learning group show] and I thought ‘That’s a damn fine group of artists there!’ It’s been a blast working with them all and having the privilege of showing such a wide diversity of work, showcasing so much talent. It’s also been a pleasure to work with Allan, Helen and the staff at The Brunswick pub, who are genuinely interested in art and who put in a lot of behind-the-scenes work to make it happen. We think it’s Wales first, maybe only, serious art pub [there’s also fab real ale and home cooked food, live music and a pub quiz].

I took over the gig from artist Bruce Risdon, which makes it an amazing SEVEN years of exhibitions at The Brunz. When he first started it up, there were very few places for artists to exhibit in Swansea, unless they were very established or fitted in with the very narrow requirements of the few private local galleries. Now The Brunz, along with Elysium and Llysglas, Framework and Oriel Bach, Ex One Zero and Supersaurus, Artawe and Swansea Print Workshop are showing what it’s possible to achieve when artists take the lead and do it for ourselves.

I’ve handed The Brunz gig over to Tim and Lucy Kelly who will be continuing to showcase contemporary artists with original artwork and are keeping on the tradition of cake-fuelled opening parties! If you’re in the South Wales area this coming Wednesday [that’s South Wales U.K. not Australia lol], the opening party for Tim and Lucy’s first curated exhibition is on from 7pm – with cake!!!! I’ll be concentrating on making and exhibiting my own work now that I have finally taken the plunge to go back into the arts and have my own studio with Elysium Gallery Studios. It’s only 32 years since I graduated! I’m obviously a slow burner.
The poster is from the show we took down today, our last one. I put in some ‘skull attack’ block prints and a set of oil paintings of nudes. I rarely paint but when I took over my studio in May last year, I decided to do a series of technical exercises to bring my standards up to scratch and that included forcing myself to do some painting. This is one that I exhibited over Xmas.

Oil painting: The Yellow Towel.

 I’m lucky to be living in Swansea which is such a rocking place for art [and music, drama and writing].  There’s been a lot of debate in the professional arts press about how artists can survive during the recession and I think what’s happening in Swansea is an indication of hope for the future of the arts, with artists banding together and doing things collectively, with little or no public funding and bypassing the conventional gallery system. All power to us I say 🙂

Block print: Skull Attack.

I Don’t Often Paint But….

13 Nov

Oil painting on canvas: The Yellow Towel.

I don’t often paint as I have a printmaker’s brain which I think is wired differently to the painter’s brain. I prefer to draw and I get frustrated by dragging a bit of paint across a surface with a brush. This piece started as a small sketchbook lifedrawing which I then worked up into a large drawing in conte crayon, oil bars and compressed charcoal onto Bockingford paper. I used that as a template for a three-colour spearation monotype and then decided to push out of my comfort zone and try out some oil painting. It’s one of a series of nudes featured in the Winter show at The Brunswick, ‘Ex-Massive’, with eight other artists.It was interesting doing them, but I couldn’t wait to get back to drawing and block-cutting 🙂


Here’s a link below about Ex-Massive.



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