Tag Archives: Swansea Museum

City Centre Thug

7 Nov

city centre thug

 

This image has had quite a lengthy journey. I did the original drawing (below) of a seagull, or city centre thug around these parts, at Swansea Museum weeks ago, working with Edinburgh-based printmaker Kelly Stewart, sketching antique taxidermy birds and bugs from the Museum collections.

 

 

Then I created a transparency to transfer the drawing onto a photosensitised screen. When it was exposed, developed and dried I tried out a load of trial prints onto cheap newsprint paper, using Daler Rowney System 3 acrylic paint, black with a hint of purple, and some printmaking medium.

And finally I printed an edition of 6 onto Fabriano Rosapina paper (285gsm) with one Artist Proof and one leftover, which is a reject. Fabriano paper comes from the Italian town of Fabriano which has been a centre for papermaking for nearly eight hundred years.

 

Who Ate All The Pies?

31 Oct

scourge the seagull

Who Ate All The Pies?

I spent the afternoon down at Swansea Print Workshop, working alongside other artists, heads down, printmaking. I worked with two others, preparing silkscreens with Azicol photosensitive solution. I’m going to make a photoscreen from a drawing I did recently, of a seagull during a drawing day at Swansea Museum.

 

screen gull

 

I drew a stuffed seagull from their collection of antique taxidermy. There are loads of seagulls around here. They steal people’s food from their hands. They’re getting bigger. And more intelligent. One day they will take over the world!

OUCH!

27 Oct

wip 6

 

I’m carrying on with my painting of the Swansea Devil but the work is painfully slow, literally! I was over-enthusiasitic on my allotment a few weeks ago and wrenched my right arm. I thought it would go after a couple of days but it’s still painful, not getting any better and I’m having real trouble drawing, painting, even getting my coat on and off.

I’m trying to use my left arm as much as possible and it’s okay for painting larger areas but no good where I need fine details. I often do drawing exercises including drawing with my left hand, it’s good practice and has improved how much I can do with my left hand, but it’s still very limiting.

 

wip 7

 

I’m going to try and get an appointent with a physiotherapist to see if they can sort something out, but for the next week or two I’m going to have to give my right arm a rest and use my left a lot more. I did a fair bit of the underpainting today with my left hand and very quickly sketched the facial details in with my right, but I could only work on it for a few minutes. The Liquitex Heavy Body is great, very fluid and easy to use and I’m building it up with layers of thin glazes to give me rich, vibrant colours and dynamic brushwork.

Carrying On …..

23 Oct

painting 4

So I’ve been carrying on painting the Swansea Devil’s portrait today, in between loads of other things. One good thing about painting with acrylics is that it’s bitty, I can do a bit then go off and do something else while it’s drying. When I’m drawing or printmaking, I spend hours, even days working on a piece so it’s quite relaxing really to be doing an acrylic painting. After a chequered career, the Swansea Devil now lives at Swansea Museum. He likes visitors.

Diawl Abertawe / The Swansea Devil

22 Oct

painting 3

 

I did some sketches from the Swansea Devil recently, down at Swansea Museum. Today I drew him onto a piece of prepared MDF board and started painting in a Pop Art style. I like Pop Art and I think it suits him because he’s got that sort of look about him. The sculptor has hewn and painted the wood very simply and boldly.

 

 

I prepared the board with a couple of coats of acrylic gesso and I’m using Liquitex acrylic paints which I’ll build it up in thin glazes.

 

 

I love drawing and I really enjoyed doing these sketches; painting, to me, is a bit like colouring in, the artistry for me comes in the drawing and the concept.

The Scourge Of The City

8 Oct

scourge the seagull

I did this drawing of a seagull a couple of weeks ago at Swansea Museum from a stuffed seagull in the Museum’s stores. I think it’s a herring gull (but I’m not sure). If it is, then it’s on the conservation danger list, which surprises me because there are thousands of them around here. They’re the scourge of the city’s bin collectors as they rip open black bags and raid them, spreading rubbish all over the street. It’s a spectator sport in the city centre, watching them snatch food from people ambling along, eating in the street.

chocolate all in one sponge

 

Talking of eating, I was having visitors round earlier so I baked a cake. A quick and easy chocolate all-in-one sponge, flavoured with freshly grated orange rind and iced with chocolate buttercream, which I make with Welsh salt butter, icing sugar, cocoa and a splash of vanilla. I kept it well away from seagulls.

Beginning To End

3 Oct

snipe

I started with an ink and wash sketch of a snipe (using my homemade walnut ink at Swansea Museum) drawn with brushes.

 

a

Then, at Kelly Stewart’s screenprinting session at Swansea Print Workshop, I redrew it onto cellophane with brushes and black acrylic paint. These are the transparencies I used to create photoscreens.

 

work station

And then I screened them onto different papers, Fabriano and Somerset, with Daler Rowney System 3 Acrylic paint, mixed with Screenprint medium in an 80:20 paint to medium ratio.

 

That’s it from beginning to end.

Birds And Bugs, Rubbish And Rugby

29 Sep

full set

I’ve just finished an exhausting three days working with Edinburgh-based Australian artist Kelly Stewart to develop a boxed set of small screenprints based on drawings we did from the Swansea Museum archives – taxidermy birds and invertebrates. I also included some imagery based on rubbish – the sort that ends up in our rivers and seas. I wanted to link the two types of images together.

 

Kelly took the group of us through the demanding technical challenge of producing so many multi-layered pieces in a relatively short time. She’s the consumate professional, and a really good sport. She wasn’t at all put out by Wales beating Australia in the Rugby World Cup as we worked. She had tea and Welsh Cakes to console her.

Birds And Bugs

28 Sep

bird 3

 

I spent yesterday drawing at Swansea Museum with a group of artists led by Edinburgh-based artist Kelly Stewart. It was arranged by Swansea Print Workshop who worked with staff from the Museum stores to select antique taxidermy specimens from their collection – a range of birds and bugs. I drew herons, a hawk, cockchafers and beetles.

 

 

I used different papers – Khadi hand-made, Winsor & Newton watercolour, Daler Rowney cartridge – and drawing materials – conté crayons, carbon and my home-made walnut ink.

 

bugs 1

 

Today our group moved to the print workshop to do a two-day screenprint session with Kelly. I took my bugs and birds and the Gelli plate monotypes I did recently and developed the drawings into designs, made them into transparencies and then onto photosensitised silkscreens ready for printing tomorrow. That’s a lot of work done and a lot more to come……..

 

I’m currently artist-in-residence at the FIRE Laboratory in Swansea University, a scientific research project examining the ecology of the River Tawe. If you want to find out more about local freshwater fauna, check this out ….

The Swansea Devil

3 Sep

 

sketch 3

 

I popped down to Swansea Museum today to do some sketching. It’s a lovely museum with loads of interesting stuff to draw and it’s served generations of Swansea people. I sketched the Swansea Devil, a local legend.

 

Two quick sketches to start

Two quick sketches to start ….

 

He was recently rehomed to the Museum because after a chequered history he was in pretty poor condition – he’s made from wood- and the Museum is able to look after him under the controlled conditions he needs.

 

sketch 1

I did a few sketches in Faber Castell Pitt drawing pen and one with walnut ink wash and a brush. Today I wanted to get a feel for the sculpture before I develop some more complex work. I find it difficult to draw other people’s art as I keep wanting to put my stamp on it.

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