Tag Archives: recycling

New Old Thing

6 Oct


Day 5 of the 40 Day Drawing Challenge and I scribbled this little ceramic mustard pot that I picked up for a £1 in a second-hand shop earlier this week. I drew this on my Samsung Galaxy Note 8 tablet with a basic free app called Markers. I saved the drawing several times as I went along and the slides below show the different stages.

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At The Bus Stop

7 Mar


I had a bit of a scribble when I was waiting for the bus yesterday. I had 10 minutes or so to kill and that’s enough for a bit of street drawing. A while back I finished all the pages in my leather steampunk sketchbook so I replaced the pages with scraps of paper left over from other art projects. The paper here is a piece of Somerset that I’d initially squeegeed with a browny grey acrylic screenprinting medium the screenprinted in with some of my sketchbook drawings and photographs. I use these papers for mixed media work but this bit was left over and too good to throw away. I drew the street scene with a black Faber Castell Pitt drawing pen, size F.

Random Faces In Random Places

17 Nov


It isn’t glamorous, being an artist. It’s a constant slog. Underpinning my art practice is a daily routine of just that, practice. And at the heart of that practice is simple drawing, usually in sketchbooks. I draw anybody, anywhere, at every opportunity. Random faces in random places.


I have a new piece of art in this exhibition in Cardiff. Please drop by if you’re in the area 🙂


Recycled Sketchbook

9 Nov


I’ve had this handmade leather Steampunk style sketchbook for ages and used up all the paper a while ago. Its simple design meant that I could remove its innards and replace them with new (old) paper. I have loads of bits of paper left over from drawing or printmaking projects, some plain, some covered with ink or some sort of print or even squeegeed acrylic or cyanotype. I cut the leftovers down to fit and reassembled the sketchbook. Bob’s your uncle!


I did some scribbles en plein air at an event in Swansea’s Castle Square, the city meeting place, a few weeks ago. It was organised to offer positive support to refugees in the area.


The grey/white pages on the right are recycled bits of Somerset paper that had been squeegeed with Daler Rowney acrylic screen-printing medium and overprinted with a photoscreen image in white. I’ve been trying out some new UniBall pens – Uni Pins – and they work really well on the plain white paper, but a bit less so on the bits squeegeed with acrylic which dragged a bit.


I have a new piece of art in the Womens Arts Association exhibition, opening on Saturday 11th November. Please pop by and take a look if you’re in Cardiff🙂

Pasta Print Perfect!

2 Jul
Repurposing and recycling an old pasta machine into a portable printing press

Pasta Maker Printing Press

The tabletop pasta maker had it’s first trial as a mobile printing press today. RESULT!!!!! It worked beautifully. It’s taken ages to renovate because we had stored it in a really damp cupboard and it was badly rusted, but WD40, patience and elbow grease did the job.

Here’s how I recycled it…………….


First, I cut a piece of Intaglio Printmaker’s paper drypoint etching plate and then I redrew a little drawing of a hare onto it, from one of my sketchbooks, using a Faber Castell Pitt drawing pen, size S. Thirdly, I scratched over the linework with my drypoint tool, just breaking the surface of the plastic coating. Then I cut and soaked some small pieces of Bockingford before removing the pen drawing with a very lightly dampened piece of cotton wool. Finally I cut some pieces of felted wool to be used as tiny blankets for the pasta press.

Inking up the drypoint plate ………..


I put a blob of Intaglio Printmaker’s Drypoint Mix oil–based etching ink onto my inking block (a recycled bit of marble from an old fireplace) and picked some up with a mini rubber squeegee. I squeegeed the ink across the little drypoint plate then removed the excess, firstly with the edge of an old business card and then with a piece of tissue paper, taking care not to take too much off. Finally I wiped the edges with a rag, cleaned my hands and blotted a piece of the soaked Bockingford paper.

Making a blanket sandwich …….


On top of one of the first blanket I laid a clean piece of tissue paper, then the blotted Bockingford and then placed the drypoint plate, inky side down, then another layer of tissue and finally the second blanket.

Taking the print ……..


I picked up the blanket sandwich very carefully and firmly, making sure none of the layers slipped and rested the bottom edge onto the rollers in the pasta press. I turned the handle with one hand while keeping a tight grip on the blanket sandwich with the other. Once it was through, I peeled away the layers and voila! A teeny little etching.

These paper drypoint plates make an edition of 10 or so etchings before wearing out. I think I might try some hand colouring on these little hares, with my Winsor & Newton Artist’s Watercolours.

Tiny Fragments

26 Jun



Trying something different today. Normally I work directly from life but I started drawing intuitively, using tiny fragments of lovely papers. Most of them had been prints that hadn’t worked out so I am recycling them. I don’t know where it will lead but that’s what doing art is about, constantly pushing and trying to do new things. I’ve made a start on these little papers and I will carry on working on them tomorrow.  If they don’t work out, I can gesso over them and start again.

Hare Today

17 Jan

17 hare 2

*Groan*. Another hare pun 🙂 . Today I was at the Creative Bubble artspace in the city centre, with my colleagues Sylvie Evans and Graham Parker from the 15 Hundred Lives art collective, running another of our monthly public art events. We were joined by guest artist Patricia McKenna-Jones.

17 hare 3

Using the theme ‘Recycle’ we reused materials to create new artworks from scratch. I stuck loads of newspaper sheets together on the wall and practiced wildlife drawings with charcoal, chalk, carbon and oil pastels.

17 hare 4


I drew boxing hares today. They throw some amazing shapes when they’re fighting. Apparently it’s the female whacking the male to fend off unwanted amorous attention in Springime.



17 hare 5

We’re back again tomorrow, so if you’re in the area, please call in to Creative Bubble to have a chat, or maybe join in and do a bit of artwork. Today is Art’s Birthday and Husb and I are off out now in a minute to some of the arty birthday celebrations.

Recycled Head

29 May


I’ve been rummaging through the drawers in my studio and finding loads of prints, cyanotypes and drawings that didn’t make the grade, so I’m reusing them. It’s a pity to waste the paper because it’s good quality. This is a piece of Bockingford, around A3 size, with a cyanotype that didn’t work out. I did a quick scribble of Husb as he was working on his laptop, using black and white conte crayons and a carbon stick. I don’t like working on a pristine white surface, it’s too intimidating; working on top of old art is much easier.

Gallery, Students, Tip.

16 Feb

Ink sketch at Elysium


I had a very bitty day today and it wasn’t satisfying at all. Started off with admin and stuff to do on the computer, took AGES to book some train tickets online. It would have been quicker to walk to the station and back again! Then Husb and I took a load of rubble from the studios to the recycling tip. Fascinating :$. But now I know where to put old fluorescent tubes. And this afternoon was my stint sitting the current exhibition at Elysium Gallery. I generally volunteer for the 2.30 – 5.00 slot on Thursdays so if anyone’s passing, drop by and say hello 🙂

This afternoon, thirty students from the local Art College turned up with their tutor who gave them a lecture based on the work in the gallery. I thought it was an excellent idea. They should do it more. While she was teaching, I scribbled a couple of the students listening – they all had to sit on the floor. I didn’t – I have old knees. Actually it’s not just my knees. The students looked ridiculously young to me, as do policemen these days. Let’s face it, I’m a mad old cat lady lol 🙂

Didn’t get much art work done, apart from this sketch in Faber Castell Pitt pens sizes F and B in my little cat-themed sketchbook.

Printmakers – the Misers of the Artworld?

24 Sep

Drawing on recycled paper: The Yellow Towel.

All the serious printmakers I know never ever throw anything away. Left-over ink is carefully wrapped in cling film, prints that haven’t worked out are recycled for drawing or collage, paper stencils are carefully peeled off screens and applied to a background sheet as a unique monotype/collage, old bits of wooden furniture and offcuts of signwriters foamboard are used for blockprints and scraps of paper left over from editioning are used for proofing. It goes without saying that newspapers, old clothes and plastic bags all play their part in the endless cleaning up that is the lot of printmakers.

This drawing was done onto a large piece of Bockingford 250gsm that had been discarded by someone after a cyanotype course. It’s around A2 size and worked up in compressed charcoal, black conte crayon and white and yellow oil bars. The original is a much smaller ink drawing in one of my sketchbooks, which I did at life drawing group.


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