Tag Archives: Swansea Bay

We’ve Got Palm Trees

17 Jul

palm 1

Yes, we have palm trees all along the beach front and in many parks. They grow well here because the Gulf Stream swirls up around our coast and into Swansea Bay. It means the temperatures are pretty warm for this latitude but it’s also very damp as well. Husb and I went for our regular walk on the beach and I stopped to scribble this little clump of palms with the twin islands of Mumbles in the background.

palm 2

I drew into my A5 leatherbound sketchbook with a Faber Castell Pitt drawing pen size S. It’s an exercise in markmaking really,  moderating my pressure, line and patterning for different areas. The specimen bush that the palm is growing out of was the most fun, lots of random scribbling.


I have been travelling across South Wales with Rhondda-born archaeologist Dewi Bowen and Swansea film maker Melvyn Williams, hunting the wild megalith, accompanied by my portable drawing board, portfolio of Fabriano paper and a bag full of assorted artist’s materials.  Dewi is researching his latest book on Neolithic monuments and Melvyn is making a documentary film of our literary and artistic adventures. All the work I’m doing will eventually be featured in a solo show in The Worker’s Gallery in the Rhondda Valley in September. If you want to know more, please click here.

If you want to see some of my other artworks, please click here.



Cool Sea. Hot Sky.

21 Jun

2016 Midsummer


Husb and I went out to look for the Midsummer sunset this evening from the top of one of the city’s hills. I had a bit of a scribble, looking South West across Swansea Bay. The still sea was misty and smudged into layers of pale cool blues interspersed with pinky-purply smears. I drew into my Daler Rowney ‘Ebony’ sketchbook with Daler Rowney artist pastels,


I turned around to face North West and just had time to take a couple of photos of the sun setting over the hill, throwing fire across the sky. And from now on, the nights will be drawing in again. Ho hum.


I’ve been travelling around South Wales with archaeologist Dewi Bowen, who is researching his new book on Neolithic / Bronze Age monuments. His previous book on the stones of Ancient Siluria (South East Wales) can be found here. Also with us  is film maker Melvyn Williams, recording a documentary about our experiences. Some of Melvyn’s short films can be seen here. If you want to see some of my other artworks, please click here.

Soupy Sea

30 Jun

beach hat

Beautiful weather and a gorgeous evening so Husb and I strolled down to the beach for a paddle. The sea was warm and soupy, it was really nice to sink my feet into the gloopy sand and squish it between my toes. There were loads of people sunning themselves, lots of dogs and a couple of horses. I did some very quick outline sketches and worked into them a bit when I got home.

A Little Like Lowry

24 Jun

June beach

These long evenings are great for late walks and sketching. Husb and I strolled down to the beach an hour or so ago and I stopped for a quick scribble. I’ve done very little drawing en plein air recently as I’ve been so busy on other art projects but I have missed my daily sketch, I think it ‘s good practice, like a musician doing their scales or chords.

When I’m doing quick drawings in public, I’ve noticed that the people often end up looking a bit like figures by Lowry, the distant bodies, drawn at speed, easily resemble stick figures. When I’m working fast, there’s not enough time to focus on details, rather I concentrate on the mark making, to try and produce something that’s a bit different. I drew this with a Faber Castell Pitt drawing pen into my A5 black bound sketchbook.

Standing In The Sun

7 Apr


The sun is out, people are flocking to the beach and there are plenty of subjects to draw. This chap was standing on the sand absorbing the heat. I drew him with a graphite stick into my A5 hardback sketchbook.

Beach Life

6 Apr


The sun was out today and, typically British, crowds flocked to the beach, sunbathing in vests and shorts, even bikinis and a brave few took a dunk in the oh-so-cold sea. Not me! I stayed well covered, but that’s because I burn in the sun. It probably wasn’t more than 20 degrees Celsius, maybe not even that, but that’s good enough for us hardy Brits. And it’s great for scribbling too. I did these very quick sketches into my A5 hardback sketchbook with a graphite stick.


15 Mar

2015 beach 1

It’s day two of my self-imposed exile from the Galaxy Samsung Tablet and digital drawing. I took my Khadi handmade sketchbook to the beach at twilight with some carbon and chalk. I had prepared the book with a sponge and Indian ink which gives a varied surface on the heavily textured paper. The drawing isn’t an exact copy of what was there but an impression, an interpretation, combining what was in front of me with what was already on the page. That’s a departure for me as well, I rarely work from my imagination. It’s interesting to do this and to see what develops. I think it’s an important part of my practice to push out of my comfort zone and try new things.


Dark Expressions

21 Feb


There have been some very high tides for the last couple of days so Husb and I went down to the beach earlier this evening for a look. I took my little hand made Khadi paper sketchbook that I’d prepared with an Indian ink wash, rubbed on with a small natural sponge. I sat in the dark and captured an impression of the darkness and the rough sea with compressed charcoal that I used side on. When I got home I splashed some white ink onto it with a very stiff hog hair brush.

Drawing in the dark isn’t easy, I don’t think there’s any point in trying to do detailed drawings, it’s an ideal situation to just cut loose and get free and expressionistic.

Beach Dog

16 Feb

beach dog

On the beach. A dog. And its trained monkeys. This afternoon, in glorious Spring weather, walking with Husb and little nephew along the promenade in Swansea Bay. It was beautiful and sunny and I snapped this little group at the water’s edge and scribbled from the drawing this evening with graphite into my A5 Tate Gallery sketchbook.


15 Feb

Has sprung!



Husb and I had a long walk around Swansea Bay earlier, it was glorious weather, crisp and sunny. The prom and beach were full of action, cycling, boarding, skating, running, jogging, walking, dog walking. We stopped for a pot of tea at Blackpill Lido and I scribbled this family at a nearby table, with Faber Castell Pitt drawing pens sizes S and F into my A5 Tate Gallery sketchbook.

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