Tag Archives: Pakistan

Returning Children

23 Jul

afghan-refugee-children

I usually work from drawings done from life, only occasionally from a photograph and this is one of the rare original prints, a monotype, done entirely from a photo. I took the original image on a digital camera when I first visited Pakistan back in 2007, an amazing, life-changing journey. We travelled up the Khyber Pass, with an armed guard, and I saw this refugee family returning to Afghanistan. The security situation was much better then and I often wonder what happened to them, whether they were able to stay or whether they had to leave their home again. If you want to see how this monotype technique is done, click here….  I’m also running a short course in it at Swansea Print Workshop, please check on the right …..

Talk Turned Geeky

17 Apr

SONY DSC

Husb and I had a teatime visit from friends today and, as one of them is a fellow printmaker, the talk turned geeky. She noticed a number of my blockprinted portrait heads on the wall and we chatted about materials and techniques. Instead of the traditional lino or wood, or even modern vinyl, I used signwriters PVC foam sheet called Foamex. Lots of signwriters around here use it and chuck away the offcuts so it’s easy to get hold of them for free and recycle it.

flotex head

It’s not easy to cut with conventional tools, it works better if you incise the surface. I used screwdrivers, chisels, ballpoint pen and a four-inch screw which I used to incise lines against a steel rule. Then I cut around the edge with a junior hacksaw and printed it up with black litho/relief oil-based ink onto Zercoll 145gsm paper using the Colombian Press at Swansea Print Workshop.

If you want to see more of these portrait heads, which I based on drawings I made during my first visit to Pakistan, please click here.

A Happy Accident

11 Apr

accidental

I’ve been doing some experimental printmaking onto some donated vintage paper the past few days and when I was cleaning up after the first day, where I used yellow ink, I rolled my roller onto a large piece of paper to get the excess ink off. The next day, when I used red ink, I used the same paper to dab off some bubble wrap that had red ink on it. I liked it. So when it was time to clean the roller, I ripped a few strips of newspaper and put them onto the paper before I rolled the roller onto it. I really like it. I get my roller clean enough to wash AND I have some nice paper to work on. A happy accident.

 

Nooks And Crannies

10 Apr

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This morning I carried on with my detour into randomness, overprinting yesterday’s yellow lino cuts with red (Caligo Easy Wipe in Process Magenta mixed 70:30 with Extender).

Because I had a moment of madness and ripped the paper with my bare hands instead of using a nice steel straight edge it was a bit awkward to take the prints with a Japanese baren, especially around the rough edges, so I used a smooth marble egg to get into the nooks and crannies.

red d

I saw marble eggs and spheres being used for hand printing when I did a residency in Pakistan a few years back, where there is a traditional marble carving industry. It works really well for small areas. The eggs are quite expensive so I’ve gotten into the habit of buying them from charity shops and car boot sales.

 

Workers’ Mates

27 Nov

2017 Punjabi Storm

I’m a gallery artist at the excellent Workers Gallery in Ynyshir where up to 20 invited artists are selected annually to have a square metre of permanent exhibition space and to work with the gallery to develop the exhibition programme and run regular residency and demo days. The Workers’ focuses on art made in Wales but also has a special programme of international artists throughout the year. It’s a lovely gallery, worth visiting.

Supporters of the gallery often become ‘Workers Mates’ for an annual contribution of £20 and in return they receive special exhibition opportunities, offers and VIP invitations. It’s an interesting model of working as it embeds the gallery in the local community through the Workers’ Mates scheme and also gives artists an opportunity to curate their own exhibition area.

I just visited last week and changed my ‘square metre’ to show these fairly new monotypes that haven’t been exhibited before. They’re based on impressionistic drawings I did during my last visit to Pakistan while I was travelling through The Punjab, and I used the 3-colour reduction technique with Caligo Safewash relief inks onto BFK Rives paper. See my Techie section for more about the technique.

 

 

Punjab To Rhondda With Cake

20 Nov

Winter Woodland artist residencies Nov 2017 b

I’m doing a one-day artist residency at The Workers Gallery in Ynyshir this coming Friday so if you’re in the area, or fancy that trip up the Rhondda Valley that you’ve been promising yourself, please pop in and see me. I’ll make a cake. Maybe a Victoria Sandwich.

Victoria Sandwich

When I did a residency in Pakistan, at the Zaira Zaka Print Studio three years ago, I travelled from Rawalpindi to Lahore across the vast expanse of the Punjab through some incredible weather conditions including the most ferocious thunderstorm I have ever experienced. In the car, I did 50 very quick impressionistic drawings of the journey into a small Khadi sketchbook, and these have inspired a series of small monotypes. I have done 10 so far and I’ll be working on some more at my residency in Ynyshir.

I edited the 50 original drawings together into a short video with a soundtrack taken from the sounds around me during my month-long stay. Here it is….

Awkward Little Object

8 Oct

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So it’s now day 7 of the 40 Day Drawing Challenge organised by Green Olive Press in Morocco and I’m working my way through individual objects to draw still-life studies. Today’s was an awkward little thing, a small marble pestle and mortar that I bought in Pakistan about 3 years ago when I was on an artist residency near Rawalpindi. I stood it on a jazzy coaster and drew onto my Samsung Galaxy Note 8 with a free Markers app. The marble was a pain to draw and doing this challenge is giving me so much more respect for artists who work with still-life, it’s not easy.

From Pakistan To Pentre Ifan: Art, Cake And Neolithic Wales

26 Jun

My solo show, “Yr Helfa / The Hunt”, is now on at Swansea’s quirky artspace, Cinema & Co throughout July and we’re finishing with a fabulous event on Monday July 31st from 5.30 pm featuring a film from Melvyn Williams, an illustrated talk from Dewi Bowen and I’ll be launching a new edition of a lino print made especially for the event.

I am exhibiting a series of drawings made of ancestral Bronze Age and Neolithic monuments in the field – mostly muddy fields – drawn on my journey across South Wales over the past 18 months with prehistorian Dewi Bowen and filmmaker Melvyn Williams. This body of work has its roots in a life-changing journey I made to Pakistan some years ago, where I became fascinated by rock carvings over 10,000 years old.

 

Back in February 2016 I started trudging through mud and slurry, fording turbulent streams and climbing over brackish hilltops through hail, rain and snow with Dewi and Melvyn to hunt down Neolithic and Bronze Age burial chambers, ceremonial circles and standing stones that lie scattered across the landscape of Wales. Coming face to face with these ancestral symbols both of a long lost culture and of continuity in a rapidly changing world has had a profound impact on me.

Please check Cinema & Co’s Facebook page for opening times during the exhibition.

 

 

For a limited period I am putting a new drawing of an ancient monument on my Artfinder gallery every day.  If you’d like to check them out, please click on the image below or the Artfinder link at the top right of this page.

 

 

 

Taking It Further….

2 Apr

I’ve been thinking about how artwork develops from my original sketches.

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I always carry a sketchbook and have dozens and dozens stuffed into cupboards with thousands of sketches done over the years and most stay locked away. But occasionally I find something that inspires me to use some of them as the basis for new work, usually some form of printmaking. About 3 years ago I was fortunate enough to visit Pakistan for a month as a resident artist at the Zaira Zaka Print Studio near Rawalpindi. On a crazy car journey from Rawalpindi to Lahore on my birthday in the worst storm I’ve ever seen, I sat in the back of the car and scribbled with my Daler Rowney pastels into a Khadi handmade paper sketchbook, capturing speedy impressions of the ever-changing atmospheric landscape as we drove. When I came back I edited the drawings into a video (below).

 

I also took the sketches into the studio at Swansea Print Workshop and started to work on small full-colour monotypes; if you want to find out more about my technique, please click here.

 

 

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.

St Elvis

Blast From The Past….

29 Mar

elephant

Another blast from the past, from The Bagpuss Window, a semi-derelict artspace set up by Melanie Ezra and myself about 18 months ago. It only lasted 3 weeks but we, and lots of other artists and performers, did loads of arty stuff. Swansea Print Workshop lent us a portable etching press so I got stuck in with some paper drypoint plates and produced a small edition based on a little sketchbook drawing I did during my residency in Pakistan a couple of years ago.

Filmmaker Melvyn Williams made some short videos of what we got up to – here are a couple …..

First off, performance poet Rhys Trimble jamming with gong artist David Pitt.

 

And a quick blast of me…..

 

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.

St Elvis

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