Tag Archives: painting

Warts And All

11 Oct

HopeI’m working part-time for a charity, running arts sessions for people who have housing problems. Some of the people who come along are experienced artists and enjoy a few hours in a warm, safe place to get absorbed in their art. But some have very little experience of making art and I often hear, “Oh no. I can’t draw” and panic when I get out a bit of paper. It’s a pity that this is ingrained into so many adults – children are usually much more willing to have a go. I think that one of the reasons that people are so fearful of drawing is because they think it’s innate, god-given, a born talent rather than years and years of practice and striving.

I think that we artists have become disassociated from our craft. People see perfectly formed artworks in tasteful frames on pristine gallery walls and it’s easy to buy into the idea that these magnificent objects spring forth from a bottomless pool of artistic genius. WRONG! They’re the result of blood, sweat and tears …. and endless mistakes …. and frustration! That’s one of the reasons I do a lot of art in public, en plein air, in streets, shop windows, anywhere that people can see art being made … warts and all.

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When someone said to me today that they couldn’t draw, I said, “It’s not drawing, it’s writing”. That made it better. I asked the people I’m working with to think of one positive word, then write it down, then start playing with different ways of making the letters, colouring them, adding patterns. Then we redrew our words onto a roll of primed canvas and started painting a banner.

I work alongside them so they can see my mistakes and the bits that are rubbish and hopefully understand that making a drawing or painting is a process that starts small and builds and builds over time into a finished piece ….. and that they shouldn’t judge themselves so harshly. More next week…..

 

 

A lot of my artwork is available on my Artfinder gallery.  If you’d like to have a look, please click on the image below or the Artfinder link at the top right of this page.

As Dark As It Gets

11 Sep

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This started as a very pale watercolour landscape that I uploaded onto my Samsung Galaxy Note tablet into a free Markers app. I’ve been making it darker and darker with cross-hatching and scribbles but I think this is about as dark as I can go with it.

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The slides show the process from the original little painting, Winsor & Newton half pans onto St. Cuthbert’s Mill watercolour paper, through to the final, rather Gothic, drawing of darkness. I don’t normally work like this, it’s been good for me to break out of my comfort zone.

 

 

A lot of my artwork is available on my Artfinder gallery.  If you’d like to have a look, please click on the image below or the Artfinder link at the top right of this page.

Gors Fawr, near Mynachlog-ddu in the Preseli mountains, a lush green bog fringed with glowing hills.

 

Getting Somewhere

5 Sep

I started this little watercolour a couple of weeks ago, when I was in Ceredigion, using Winsor & Newton half pans onto St. Cuthbert’s Mill watercolour paper. I’m not used to watercolours and the scene before me was very pale and misty and I was a bit disappointed by it, to be honest. So I photographed it into my Samsung Galaxy Tablet and started experimenting with a free Markers app, building up layers of black crosshatching over the pale paint. I’m getting somewhere at last.

 

A lot of my artwork is available on my Artfinder gallery.  If you’d like to have a look, please click on the image below or the Artfinder link at the top right of this page.

Gors Fawr, near Mynachlog-ddu in the Preseli mountains, a lush green bog fringed with glowing hills.

 

Getting Darker

29 Aug

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I’m carrying on drawing experimentally on top of a little watercolour sketch I did en plein air a couple of days ago. I uploaded it onto my Samsung Galaxy Note 8 tablet into a free Markers drawing app and I’m working over it with cross-hatching and scribbling. The version I did yesterday is better than my original, which was very wishy washy and mundane, but today I took it a few stages darker and I’m liking it more. I’m going to keep working over it to see how dark I can go before I lose the subject all together.

I think it’s an important part of the creative process to take time out to experiment, to play with no pressure to meet deadlines or conform to the brief of a commission. I’m not keen on using either watercolours or digital drawing apps, but they’re good as a means to an end, trying out new ideas that might lead somewhere.

 

 

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

St Elvis

Wishy Washy

28 Aug

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I’ve been having a go at watercolours recently, since I won a really nice St. Cuthbert’s Mill Saunders Waterford glued watercolour block in a Facebook competition. I’m not really into painting but this is lovely paper and there’s a lot of it and, frankly, waste not, want not, as my Nana used to say. Husb and I stayed over in Lampeter yesterday, a mini staycation, and there was a lovely view from our room, but I’m always a bit stumped where to start with landscape so I decided to just block in areas of colour without being too worried about details. I used Winsor & Newton half pans. It was a very overcast and misty morning today and the colours were very soft and muted and to be honest, way too wishy-washy for my liking.

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When I got home, I photographed it onto my Samsung Galaxy Note tablet and loaded it into my free Markers app and started scribbling over it. I feel a lot happier with the overlaid cross hatching and scribbled textures, but I think I need to go further; I think I need to work over it again and make it really dark and Gothic with just some tiny flecks of colour showing through. Something to do tomorrow.

 

 

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

St Elvis

A Last Little Quickie

11 Aug

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And here’s the last of the very quick watercolour sketches I made recently, sitting in the sunshine on the clifftop in Southgate overlooking the sea. I concentrated on capturing the flow of the colours before me, rather than recording details. I’ve never been particularly into land / seascape art so I don’t have any hard and fast rules to influence me. I’m just hanging out doing my own thing. I used Winsor & Newton half pan watercolours with a glued block of Waterford watercolour paper from St. Cuthbert’s Mill.

 

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

St Elvis

Proper Old School

4 Apr

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I dropped by the studio of fellow artist Carys Evans today and we talked about how we work from drawings and preparatory sketches of models – proper old school. I don’t often paint but I have a go now and again and here’s one I made a start on a while back. The original drawing was done in my sketchbook at a life drawing session at Swansea Print Workshop and I’ve finished transferring the image using a thin black oil wash onto a canvas sheet that I’d tinted with a sepia-ish colour. I suppose I’d better finish it then.

 

I have put 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. This one is the legendary grave of Saint Elfys (Elvis) in Pembrokeshire, not for from the Prescelli Mountains. Elfys? Prescelli? Elvis Presley? Coincidence? hhhmmmm

St Elvis

Drawing At An Exhibition

7 Feb

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Husb and I braved the atrocious weather yesterday and drove down to Narbeth, a delightful small town in Pembrokeshire where the excellent Oriel Q Gallery is hosting a new exhibition from Swansea artist Keith Bayliss, “Swsana And The Elders“. We attended an ‘in conversation’ between Keith and Sally Moss. Keith’s work is made up of drawings, paintings and sculptural pieces in a site-specific installation with a soundscape. It’s fantastic and runs until February the 27th. It’s worth taking the trip down, Narbeth is a lovely place to visit with several galleries and a great pottery.

I was so engrossed that I didn’t do any sketches but here’s a drawing I did from a piece in a previous exhibition by Keith in the Mission Gallery in Swansea.

One From The Archives 20: Spiky Purple Hair

5 Oct

The first time I blogged this image was a turning point for me, as can be seen here. This painting featured in the last ever exhibition I curated at The Brunswick in Swansea. It is based on a drawing of one of our more colour coordinated life models.

Oil on canvas: Purple Hair [detail]

Oil on canvas: Purple Hair [detail]

He had a habit of matching his contact lenses with his hair colour which made for a very striking look. He was also able to get into quite dramatic poses and hold them for as long as necessary.

In this painting I have echoed the brush work on the figure with that in the background. Almost the only thing separating the two is the thick, dark outline of the model and the shock of purple hair flowing behind him.

Sometimes it is good to just play with the surface of a work and push the paint around to create effects. Most of the piece was done using oilbars and rags wrapped round my fingers.  It can be the subtlest of differences in the direction of the paint and colour that lift a subject and make it three dimensional.

The Painting “Spiky Purple Hair” is available for sale on Artfinder and if you’d like to find out more, please click on the link here to go directly to it or click on the top right of this page to see other works for sale.

Popping Up

27 Aug
The Taliesin Foyer

The Taliesin Foyer-Bar

I’ll be popping up at The Taliesin Arts Centre in Swansea throughout September with my fellow artist, Sylvie Evans, from the 15 Hundred Lives art collective. Our exhibition, People And Place”, with painter Graham Parker, is downstairs in the Oriel Ceri Richards Gallery, running until September the 26th and we’ve been given space in the upstairs foyer-bar, just outside the theatre, to have a pop-up studio where visitors will be able to see us doing what artists do, making our art. We’ll be there for a few hours before some of the films and plays in the September programme.

Our little pop-up studio

Our little pop-up studio

I’ll be there on the following Wednesdays from 4.30-7.30 pm:

September 2nd / September 9th / September 16th / September 23rd

And collagist Sylvie Evans will be there on Fridays from 4.30-7.30 pm:

September 4th / September 11th / September 25th

Some of Graham Parker's painting studio

Some of Graham Parker’s painting studio

We’ve installed some of Graham’s painting studio and Sylvie will be working on her collages when she’s there and I will be doing live-action drawing. Would be lovely to see you 🙂

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