Tag Archives: sculpture

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.

Drawing At An Exhibition

7 Feb

feb 07 a

Husb and I braved the atrocious weather yesterday and drove down to Narbeth, a delightful small town in Pembrokeshire where the excellent Oriel Q Gallery is hosting a new exhibition from Swansea artist Keith Bayliss, “Swsana And The Elders“. We attended an ‘in conversation’ between Keith and Sally Moss. Keith’s work is made up of drawings, paintings and sculptural pieces in a site-specific installation with a soundscape. It’s fantastic and runs until February the 27th. It’s worth taking the trip down, Narbeth is a lovely place to visit with several galleries and a great pottery.

I was so engrossed that I didn’t do any sketches but here’s a drawing I did from a piece in a previous exhibition by Keith in the Mission Gallery in Swansea.

50 Shades Of Brown

8 Nov

workers 2

Yesterday, Husb and I went to the launch of the latest exhibition, Of Site And Song, at the lovely Workers Gallery in Ynyshir. This gorgeous venue recently celebrated its first birthday. It used to be the village library but it was closed down because of austerity cutbacks and artists Gayle Rogers and Chris Williams reopened it as a charming gallery, sculpture workshop, studio and art shop. They have also created a reading area for local people to drop in and browse art books. Chris is a sculptor and he created The Rhondda Tunnel in cardboard as the centrepiece of the new exhibition.

We drove back across the mountain but instead of our usual route  via Maerdy and Aberdare, we went through Treorchy and Pontrhydyfen. Whichever way you go the views are spectacular and during the Autumn the hills are burning with 50 shades of brown. Glorious.

workers 5



Caffeine And Pasties

4 Jun


I’ve just got back from 2 days in Bath, invigilating the group show I’m in with the Commensalis collective at The Octagon on Milsom Street, which is venue number 8 at Fringe Arts Bath. We’re sharing the gallery with another group and I drew one of the artworks, a felt sculpture by Mazy Bartlett. It’s beautifully made, colourful and witty. The number of visitors has been pretty good, averaging a hundred a day. The shifts were pretty long but I got through with plenty of coffee, Diet Coke and pasties. 4 pasties in 2 days. I’m pastied out!

Drawn with my Samsung Galaxy Tablet Note 8 using the free Markers app.

Käthe Kollwitz- The grieving parents

4 Feb

I’m reblogging this because it is a moving and beautifully written blog about Kathe Kollwitz’ sculpture, The Grieving Parents. It’s in a military cemetery in Flanders and I hope to visit it later this year.

Käthe Kollwitz- The grieving parents.

An Exploding Corpse In Charcoal

27 Feb

Charcoal and pastel drawing.


Today I was forced right out of my comfort zone. I normally scribble away in tiny ink pens into tiny sketchbooks but this morning I enrolled onto a creative drawing workshop led by Keith Bayliss, whose exhibition, The Enclosed Garden is at Mission Gallery in Swansea. After some warm-up exercises on A1 paper using nothing but charcoal and our hands, Keith set us the task of drawing one of his beautiful, ethereal sculptures, using charcoal and chalky pastels, again onto A1 paper [it’s actually bigger than that as I added another half a sheet to complete it]. About as far from my comfort zone as it’s possible to be.

I really got into the challenge, although after an hour I realised that opting to sprawl on the floor to draw was not a good idea with my aged arthritic knees – serve my own right for tearing round on motorbikes in a miniskirt in my wild youth. It’ll get you in the end. Or in the knees in my case lol.

I like the result, although it looks like an exploding corpse, not at all like Keith’s  delicate gentle soul. It says a lot about me. That’s a bit worrying 😉


The Artist Speaks And Wales Wins

25 Feb

Ink sketches: heads at the gallery.Above: Scribbled heads and notes on installing artworks in a three dimensional space and how it alters them.

Husb and I visited the Keith Bayliss exhibition at the Mission Gallery again today for a talk by the artist. It was a good opportunity to scribble plenty of faces as well as to listen to a very experienced artist explaining his work and his art practice. Keith is a warm, practical and very dedicated artist who has moved away from his usual practice as a painter to create a site-specific installation combining painting with sculpture and sound collage.

The interviewer sits in front of one of Keith’s wall-mounted sculptures.

I often find installations very hit or miss, but Keith’s expertise and artistry have created a work of beauty, serenity and exceptional craftsmanship. He spoke with humour and humility about the exhibition and the experience of being an artist, emphasising the need to draw every day, because drawing is the artist’s ‘writing’, it’s how we express ourselves. He also cautioned against becoming complacent, “When you think your pencil drawing looks really good, stop and switch to charcoal.” I find it’s too easy to stay in my comfort zone when I’m drawing and book onto drawing courses because other artist / teachers force me to try out different drawing methods and it always benefits me.

 A Bayliss sculpture in the foreground, some avid listeners and a Bayliss painting behind.

There were several large moustaches in the audience. More than you’d normally see at any one time. Then we came back for the Wales vs England rugby match. Very tight game and England played very well, but Wales won in a nailbiting finish. Husb is a happy man!

Sprogs, Sculptures And Sketchbooks

17 Feb

I babysat three young relatives today and I’m absolutely shattered. How do parents cope? Kudos, parents. I took them to see Keith Bayliss’ exhibition, The Enclosed Garden, at Mission Gallery. After I threatened them and they stopped running round and being loud, we all settled into the lovely contemplative ambience of the exhibition and absorbed the beauty of the sculptures. I settled the littlies down with their sketchbooks and some pens and they sat on the floor for the best part of an hour, drawing quietly. The drawing above is by Owain aged 7 and the one below by his sister, Rhiannon, who is 5.  Without prompting, Owain drew the male figure and Rhiannon the female one. I thought that was interesting.

The male figure has a bowl on his head and the female figure has a bird. Nathan, their cousin, also 7, drew the male figure as well. His is the drawing below. He also included a lovely little sculpted bird that was on the wall above the figure. It’s great to see the completely different styles between the three of them.

They like working in their sketchbooks and they’re very careful to sign and date their work, like proper little artists. I tried sketching them sketching, but even when they’re doing something quiet, they fidget and wriggle and change position all the time, so I didn’t get much that I was happy with and now I’m way too tired to do any more drawings. I’m off for a bath and an early night once I’ve blogged – they’ve worn me out lol 🙂


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