Tag Archives: portraits

Africa In Madeira

4 Apr

 

Madeira 2

Husb and I spent a few days in Madeira, an amazing place, and we went and explored the Monte Palace Tropical Gardens and Museum in Funchal, after a crazy ride up the mountain in a cable car swinging wildly in the wind.

Madeira 4

 

There’s a fabulous permanent exhibition, “African Passion” from sculptors from Zimbabwe in the 1960s.  I had a scribble with some conté crayons in white, sanguine and black onto grey tinted handmade paper. The two beautiful sculped heads that I drew are by Boira Mteki (1946-1991).

Madeira 3

 

It’s rare to be able to see so many, over 1,000, artworks from Africa from many artists, and the effect is extraordinary and the tropical gardens surrounding the museum are also spectacular.

A Bit Of A Lift

3 Apr

Husb and I have spent a few days in Madeira, a gorgeous mountainous island in the Atlantic. The climate is wonderful so we set out with a picnic and drawing materials to climb and explore the upper reaches of Camara do Lobos. The little terracotta tiled houses are scattered higgledy piggledy up the steep slopes, reached either by winding roads snaking their way up precipices or via incredibly steep footpaths and steps that are almost vertical, and in places quite terrifying, but much more interesting as they lead to all sorts of nooks and crannies.

It seems that every spare scrap of land is cultivated and we passed papayas, tangerines, figs, bananas, dates, custard apples, avocados and fruits we weren’t familiar with, possibly loquats and tamarillo. But above all, grape vines, millions of them. We stopped to eat our sandwiches and I had a scribble onto handmade paper tinted grey, using Daler Rowney soft pastels. When I got back to the hotel, I thought the drawing needed something to lift it a bit so I touched up the wooden struts supporting the vibes using a white pastel. I think it’s made the world of difference.

Commemorating The Peace March

28 Aug

peace 1

 

Yesterday I went on a journey, leaving Swansea by coach at 8.30 am, heading to Cardiff to commemorate the start of the Women’s Peace March to Greenham Common, way back in 1981. Organised by Women’s Archive Wales, there were speeches and songs in Alexandra Gardens and we took a walk around the area with some of the gorgeous embroidered banners. Then back onto the coach to Chepstow, where we were greeted with tea and sandwiches and Welsh cakes ….. aaahhh ….. Welsh cakes …. and more speeches and talks from some of the women who had been on the original march and historians. Then we walked through some woods and emerged onto the old Severn Bridge, which was spectacular! More on that tomorrow ….

 

tinkers cakes

Here’s a drawing I did a while back of Welsh cakes cooking on the griddle….. mmmm …. Welsh cakes …. mmmm ….

 

 

 

A Long Day

27 Aug

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I had a long day today, it was good but tiring so I’ll tell you about it tomorrow. Here’s one of the drawings I did, this one is a digital drawing on my Samsung Galaxy Note 8 using a free Markers app.

 

 

Resting On My Knee

26 Aug

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This is the eleventh of my “Up Yer Nose” series of digital drawings. I start by taking a digital photo of my victims …. er …. volunteers …. then I look at the photo on my phone, resting on my knee, while I draw freehand into my Samsung Galaxy Note 8 using a free Markers app. I don’t download the photo into the app and then draw on top. I tried that once, years ago, and it looks weird. It takes away my interpretation and my style and just looks fake. And it doesn’t really teach me anything or give me valid practice. Drawing from scratch takes a lot longer but it’s more satisfying and I prefer the result.

 

 

Daisy Dawg

25 Aug

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Greetings apes. Sparta Puss here. The she-monkey that I share my house with has been cheating on me with a dog called Daisy. A DOG! They’re as smelly as apes and even more stupid.

 

 

The Laughing Squirrel

24 Aug

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Hello Bald Apes. Sparta Puss here. Those lazy trained monkeys of mine have left the pooter box alone AGAIN. They’re too busy watching the noisybox in the corner with stuff running around inside it. Sometimes there are squirrels inside the noisybox. I like that, but by the time I get around to taking a swipe at them, they’re gone. I look behind the noisybox for them, but they’re never there. I don’t know how they do it but the she-monkey said that squirrels are meant to be very intelligent. The man-ape disagrees. He got bit by a squirrel once and he hates them. She-monkey says it was his own fault. He offered a peanut to a squirrel and didn’t throw it on the floor, he kept hold of it and the stroppy squirrel bit his finger and he dropped the peanut and the squirrel grabbed the nut (it was a monkey nut coincidentally) and ran off. He said it was laughing and punching the air. I’m not sure that I believe him. He’s an idiot.

 

Up Yer Furry Nose

19 Aug

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Greetings Hairless Apes. Sparta Puss here. My trained monkeys have left the pooter box unattended so I thought I’d give you the benefit of my wisdom. Even though I know it won’t be of much use, you’re just a bunch of simians, after all.

The idiot she-monkey, the one who does the scribbling, has been doing drawings of other monkeys, but at an odd position, up their noses. That’s how I see you lot most of the time, so it’s not odd to me. So she just did this one of me. I must say, I look much better from this angle than you bald monkeys. Here are the other ones she’s done so far, the ginger one’s making a decent attempt at growing fur….

Drawn with a Samsung Galaxy Note 8 using a free Markers app.

 

 

Gazing Darkly

17 Jun

Rose woodcut

Today I printed up the woodcut I carved out earlier in the week. I used Intaglio Printmaker’s Caligo Easy Wash Relief ink mixed 50:50 with Extender and took the print by hand on Hosho paper using a Japanese Baren. This self-portrait was inspired by the late, great Käthe Kollwitz, an artist who produced loads of self-portraits during her long career. That’s a very dark gaze I’ve got going on there!

 

process 2

 

bamboo baren

A Japanese bamboo baren

 

A Wooden Selfie

10 Jun

process 1

I started a selfie today, a self portrait woodcut, using a piece of plywood. I transferred my drawing onto the wood and commenced hacking away with my Flexcut tools, they’re pretty good but plywood is quite tough and takes some effort.

I did a rubbing, with tracing paper and a graphite block, as I cut, to keep tabs on how it was progressing. Tomorrow I’ll do a first proof print to see exactly what’s going on and then finish the cutting, if necessary.

 

 

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