Tag Archives: people

A Slice Of Time

14 Jun

woollies pigeons

This screenprint represents a very specific slice of time. Some years ago, there was a Woolworths store opposite the Waterstones bookshop in Swansea. I used to sit in the window of the bookshop cafe up on the first floor, with a pot of tea, and scribble the pigeons that sat on the Woolworths signage opposite. It was large and red and stood out from the wall, giving the pigeons enough space to sit and groom themselves comfortably. It was also lit up day and night, which gave them warmth.

I found the pigeons hard to draw because they constantly fidget so I had to develop a quick impressionistic style to capture them. I wrote down my thoughts and combined them with some of the drawings to create the photographic silkscreen.

 

 

Sprogs In Sketchbooks

12 Jun

I’ve been flicking through some of my old sketchbooks again, finding things I’d forgotten about. There are quite a lot of drawings of sprogs.

23 sprogs 2

 

They’re weird little creatures to draw, looking simultaneously like aliens and cartoons.

A Cluster Of Heads…

8 Jun

I’ve been flipping through old sketchbooks, reminding myself of work I’d forgotten about. I came across a cluster of heads in one that I’d bought from the Tate gallery in London. Nice sketchbook. I like drawing heads and faces, but children’s faces are so difficult. The younger they are, the more they look like an alien life form. There’s a mixture of media here, graphite, charcoal pencil, Faber Castell Pitt drawing pen and biro (ballpoint).

New sketchbook, new sketching

20 Jul

My pal gave me a brand new sketchbook for a present the other day. It’s very tiny and has very rough hand-made paper which isn’t suitable for the usual fineline pens I use so I had to thnk how to use it. i decided to spend 10 minutes each day sitting in the window on the landing of uor studio block, sketching the people moving below with a lump of graphite. Challenging but good discipline. You have to be very quick and identify the most important features of the figures – no time to do any details – you have mere seconds.

Shopping, Compost and Donny Osmond’s Hat

23 Jun

I hate shopping. I don’t understand why people love it. I’m happy to spend hours browsing in art supplies shops and tool shops but general shopping, in malls and stuff, I loathe it. Husb is the same, so after an hour or so in the city centre earlier we bolted to the cafe in Waterstones bookshop and chilled out for a bit with a nice hot drink and a biscuit. Hot drink necessary because this is a British summer, so it’s cold and wet outside. Did my usual of scribbling away at the people around me. The young man on the left seemed to be a student studying hard while the man on the right was with his wife and child and sported the sort of outrageous hat I haven’t seen since the 1970’s – they were called Donny Osmond hats back then. The man below was immensely tall with huge hands that dwarfed his cup of tea.

Scribbled in a couple of minutes each with a Faber Castell Pitt drawing pen [size S] into an A6 leatherbound, recycled sketchbook. When I got back from town, I transplanted a couple of loganberry plants that had tip-rooted themselves in my rhubarb patch using the first of our home-made compost made in one of the council’s free compost bins. The plants are destined for the gardens of friends. I love loganberries, but the fruits don’t last long so I guess they’re not suitable for growing commercially.

Teacher, Artist, Great British Eccentric

12 Apr

Ink sketch: Pat's send-off.

Today was one of those days where I experienced the meaning of the word ‘bittersweet’. I went with many others to the funeral of Pat Briggs, a Swansea-based artist, printmaker and sculptor who taught me in my first year at Swansea Art College, on my Foundation year, almost 40 years ago. We both stuck around Swansea [apart from a few years I spent over the border] and I grew to know her as a fellow artist and great eccentric as well as a valued teacher and mentor. She was born in 1930 and was one of the very few women of her generation to gain a scholarship to study at the Royal College of Art, a great achievement and one of those amazing women that paved the way for my [and subsequent] generations of female artists. Her final illness lasted just a few months but before that she was still an active practitioner, making prints and drawings, using digital media and wandering around the city with her ubiquitous shopping trolley, collecting found objects for her witty and often bizarre sculptures. Here’s a link to the Swansea Print Workshop Facebook page, with Kara Seaman’s photograph of Pat making a print in her final year.

It may seem a bit odd doing a drawing at a funeral, but this is the second one I have done recently, both at funerals of artists. I feel it’s my way, as an artist, to honour their memory. I’d like artists to draw at my funeral. Here is the view from my seat at Swansea Crematorium earlier today. People of all ages came to pay their last respects, from babes in arms to octogenarians. Even the vicar is a former student of hers. It’s a great thing to have a good teacher, something our politicians should take note of. A good teacher will inspire you for life, not just cram you through exams and Pat, a VERY blunt Northerner who didn’t mince words, taught me in my first year at art college about the value of constantly criticising and reevaluating what I’m doing and I’ll always be thankful to her for that.Today was bitter because we’ll miss her but sweet to remember a woman who lived her long life to the full and achieved more than most could even hope for.

Pat Briggs. Artist. 1930-2012.

Old Friend @ The Etsy Shop.

11 Feb

Ink sketch.

This is my friend who has come to visit from England for the weekend; we’ve been friends now for over 30 years. We used to riot round the place, painting the town red, hanging out in clubs and pubs so disreputable that they wouldn’t be allowed to exist these days 😉 . Now we entertain ourselves by visiting the allotment, strolling by the sea and shopping on Etsy. Old age doesn’t come alone. It’s weird that in all these years, this is the first time I’ve drawn her. It isn’t a good likeness because it’s the first time I’ve really studied her for a drawing; it’s a very quick sketch; I have a rotten cold; and I got completely preoccupied with her designer cardigan, which is LUSH! Now I’ve broken my duck and done the first drawing, I must persuade her to sit for me again so I can get a better likeness – she has an amazing face. She’s doing a bit of browsing on Etsy, looking at some lovely etchings by a young printmaker, Ellie Snowdon, who has done a beautiful series based on some of Aesop’s Fables. I sketched with a Pilot V5 Hi-Techpoint pen size 0.5 into my favourite little ‘paper blanks fantastic felines’ sketchbook, around size A6.

 

 

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