Tag Archives: prehistory

The Book Covers

5 Jul
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The front cover, printed and bound

Last weekend I did a short course in making a screenprinted book and part of the process was the covers. I did the designs with black acrylic paint brushed onto acetate and then scratched into the surface with a nail when it was dry. The hand lettering was done with a Faber Castell Pitt drawing pen.

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The book front cover design in negative

The design on the acetate was transferred to a photo-sensitive silkscreen and printed in white onto a dark cloth. Then the cloth was cut to size and glued to pre-cut boards before being glued onto the concertina screenprint to form the book.

The gluing process on the left and the finished back cover on the right.

Absolutely Shattered!

1 Jul
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Four ‘layers’ printed, two to go plus the covers…..

It’s the second day of the weekend screenprint book course at Swansea Print Workshop, headed up by Kelly Stewart, and I’m absolutely shattered. We did the drawings and design for it yesterday and today we printed, working at a fast pace in a heatwave!

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My work station ready to begin

Yesterday, I produced 6 drawn images on acetate for the interior, plus two for the covers. We started today by setting up our work stations, then mixing inks – Daler Rowney System 3 acrylic paint mixed 80:20 with screenprinting medium and a little water to loosen it to a soft dropping consistency, like a Madeira cake mix, I thought.

Then the printing started, beginning with the background ‘layers’ and working through to the foreground ‘layers’. But before screening onto the prepared book paper (Somerset 250 gsm) I printed each image onto newsprint to check the colour and clarity of the images. I’ll show you the rest tomorrow……

 

 

Out Of My Comfort Zone!

30 Jun

Today! Right out of my comfort zone!

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Designing the book cover

 

I’ve been at Swansea Print Workshop on day one of a weekend course with the excellent printmaker Kelly Stewart. I’m learning how to make a hardbacked screenprinted concertina book inspired by my drawings.

I started with a group of mixed media drawings of Neolithic Standing Stones I had done some time ago, a series I called ‘Yr Helfa / The Hunt‘, done en plein air across South Wales. But it’s often a problem trying to develop work from one genre to another because no matter what ideas you have, you are constrained by new techniques and materials that you haven’t experienced before.

It was hard work and by midday I was almost ready to throw in the towel and leave. But I persevered with Kelly’s encouragement and eventually came up with six drawings / motifs that will be printed and overprinted to form the book’s interior and designs for the front and back covers. I photocopied them onto acetates and Kelly transferred them, via the ultraviolet unit, onto prepared photoscreens. All set for tomorrow now.

Suffering For My Art!

11 Jun
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Me and my unruly hair talking about my work on ancient standing stones.

 

I had a fab evening out last week, up The Workers, a lovely gallery in the village of Ynyshir in the Rhondda Valley. On the first Thursday of each month, they host an evening of Words, Arts and Music (WAM) and I was part of it this month. I did a talk about my work, mainly the en plein air pieces I did in collaboration with prehistorian Dewi Bowen, who’s been researching his new book, and filmmaker Melvyn Williams.

 

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Some of the mixed media drawings in my series ‘Yr Helfa’.

 

Dewi did an illustrated talk about ancient monuments in the area around Rhondda and Melvyn premiered the new film he’s made of me and Dewi on our creative journey across South Wales. Here’s the film below. People in the audience seemed to find it funny, especially the bits of me suffering for my art!!!

 

W!A!M! At The Workers

31 May

WAM night June 2018

Coming up fast – Thursday June 7th at The Workers Gallery, Ynyshir from 7pm. There will be art (from me), film (from Melvyn Williams), prehistory (from Dewi Bowen), cake, chocolates (from Afan Vale) and there may even be music. All free. How can you miss this? If you haven’t visited this little gem of a gallery before, then make this your first time. It’s run by artists for artists and it’s just awesome and it’s Trip Advisor’s number 1 attraction in the Rhondda Valley and yet receives NO public funding. So please come and support it. The W!A!M! evenings are on the first Thursday of every month and are brilliant. Seriously. And I’m not just saying that because I’m in the next one. Honest 😉

Here’s a tiny preview of what to expect from Melvyn’s film ….

 

Cool Places

1 Jun

I haven’t blogged for a few days because I’ve been adventuring in Berlin, just a short break with family. Cool place, had a great time and I even did some drawings. I just got back, about an hour ago and it’s 10pm so I’ll just post a quick drawing I did a couple of weeks ago, when I was last out with prehistorian Dewi Bowen and filmmaker Melvyn Williams.

Sweynes Howse 3

Here’s a second sketch I did at another cool place, the Neolithic Sweyne’s Howes burial site at Rhossili,  this is the ruined southern Howse. I used black, sanguine and white conté crayons into an A4 brown paper sketchbook.

Sweynes Howse 6

 

Stuffed

25 May

Tonya and owl

I can only manage to get to life drawing at Swansea Print Workshop for the second half on Thursday nights so the sessions are already well under way. Tonight, I wandered in and saw that our model was flanked by two stuffed birds, an owl and a jay. It was tough drawing two different creatures side by side, the scale is so very different as well as the anatomy. But at least neither of them moved much, the model because she’s very experienced and the owl because it’s stuffed.

 

I have put my series of drawings en plein air 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. So did you know that Elvis Presley is descended from the Welsh? This drawing below is the legendary grave of Saint Elfys (Elvis) in Pembrokeshire, not for from the Presceli Mountains. Elfys? Presceli? Elvis Presley? Coincidence? hhhmmmm

St Elvis

Ruinous

24 May

Sweynes Howse 2

A warm but foggy morning wasn’t ideal for megalith hunting but off I went anyway, with prehistorian Dewi Bowen and filmmaker Melvyn Williams to visit the Neolithic Sweyne’s Howes burial site at Rhossili. This is the ruinous southern Howse. I enjoyed drawing in the thick mist, so atmospheric, although it was a challenge to draw the mistiness onto the paper. I used black, sanguine and white conté crayons into an A4 brown paper sketchbook.

Neolithic Metropolis

17 May

Green Cwm 2

From the burial chamber near the magnificent beach at Three Cliffs, we headed inland to Parc le Breos to visit another Cotswold Severn tomb. It’s much more complex than most of the tombs we’ve visited, it’s quite big really, almost a metropolis and it was difficult to work out where to start my sketch. So I decided by finding the most comfortable place to sit and drawing what’s in front of me. I drew with black, white and sanguine conté crayons into my A4 brown paper sketchbook.

Green Cwm 1

 

 

I have put my series of drawings en plein air 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. So did you know that Elvis Presley is descended from the Welsh? This drawing below is the legendary grave of Saint Elfys (Elvis) in Pembrokeshire, not for from the Presceli Mountains. Elfys? Presceli? Elvis Presley? Coincidence? hhhmmmm

St Elvis

The Other Side

16 May

Penmaen Burrows 3

I often draw things several times from different angles and this is around the other side of the Cotswold Severn tomb I scribbled the other day. It was also an excuse to sit down on fresh springtime grass peppered with bluebells. For over a year now, I’ve been going out with prehistorian Dewi Bowen and filmmaker Melvyn Williams to find Neolithic and Bronze Age stone monuments linked to the tale of The Boar Hunt, Y Twrch Trwyth, from the Mabinogion, the ancient book of Welsh legend.

Penmaen Burrows 4

This burial chamber is in Penmaen Burrows, just off the beaten track down to Three Cliffs bay.

 

I have put my series of drawings en plein air 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. So did you know that Elvis Presley is descended from the Welsh? This drawing below is the legendary grave of Saint Elfys (Elvis) in Pembrokeshire, not for from the Presceli Mountains. Elfys? Presceli? Elvis Presley? Coincidence? hhhmmmm

St Elvis

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