Tag Archives: Swansea

Cockle Shells And A Labyrinth

15 Aug

labyrinth

Thirty one years ago I was working on a local environmental programme, The Rosehill Quarry Project, a community-led scheme to clear and renovate an old quarry near the city centre and turn it into a nature reserve and leisure area for local people. One of the things we did was to work with Welsh prehistorian, Dewi Bowen, to cut a Cretan labyrinth into the turf and line it with cockle shells, a local resource from the Gower Peninsula cockle industry. Over the years, people have gathered to maintain the labyrinth and there was a work group just a week or so ago.

labytinth martin slucutt

The labyrinth after last week’s renovation. Photograph by Martin Slucutt.

 

I did the drawing above onto newspaper with pastels, charcoal and chalk, from the first viewing point on the path up to Pantycelyn Road.

 

 

A Tea And Cake Party

25 Jun

Jay 1949

And here’s the third of the cohort of lifelong friends and Baby Boomers who came to Swansea for me to draw them over the weekend. Thanks to them I’ve almost finished drawing one hundred Baby Boomers. It’s taken over three years so far but I hope to draw number one hundred in July and then we’ll have a great big tea and cake party! Which is perhaps a bit tame considering the lifestyles most of us had in our youth (and some are still having today) but hey ho, we’re all getting on a bit and to be honest, a nice cup of tea is my limit these days. And once the tea party is over, I’ll have to think about what to do next. I’ve had some deep conversations with most of my Boomers which have created a rich pattern of experiences and images that I think could inspire some very interesting work and possibly a new direction artistically. But first I have to draw number one hundred! There are two contenders. Which one can I get to first?

The Generations

24 Jun

Linda 1949

Carrying on with my self-imposed task to meet with, chat to and draw one hundred Baby Boomers, I was lucky enough to ‘capture’ three in one go yesterday, three lifelong friends at the upper end of the Baby Boom, a research term that covers those born between 1946 and 1964.

The other generations are:

  • The Silents, or alternately The Traditionalists (I prefer The Silents, it’s like something from Doctor Who), born 1945 and before,
  • Generation X, 1965 to 1976,
  • The Millennials, 1977 to 1995,
  • The Centennials, born from 1996

According to researchers, generations share similar characteristics because they had similar experiences at more or less the same stage in life.

Nearly There

23 Jun

Just over three years ago I decided to draw one hundred people from my generation, the Baby Boomers. “It’ll be over by Xmas” I thought. Famous last words, But I’m nearly there and today drew number ninety seven. Oh yes!!!

 

Kathryn 1949

It’s a big demographic, starting in 1946 and continuing through to 1964, which is a big gap, not just in terms of age but also life experience and culture too. It’s been fascinating listening to people talk about their lives.

 

Inspired By Frank

15 Jun

Coming up in August – I’m running a weekend printmaking workshop inspired by Frank Brangwyn , one of my artistic heroes. An outstanding draughtsman, painter, printmaker, muralist who exhibited with the Viennese Secession but unlike Klimt and Schiele, Frank had the mis/fortune to live to a ripe old age and fall out of fashion; he’s due for a reappraisal and revival.

nya course flyer

I am involved in a large immersive arts project that’s climaxing in September called Nawr yr Arwr / Now the Hero, the brainchild of artist Marc Rees, which is centred around the magnificent Brangwyn Hall in Swansea, which houses the beautiful Brangwyn panels. As part of the lead up to the final act, I’ll be running a two day print course at Swansea Print Workshop, inspired by Frank’s panels and the remembrance of World War 1 (he was a war artist too).

Brangwyn-13

One of Brangwyn’s magnificent paintings

 

Here’s a short film about me, my model, my monotype and Nawr Yr Arwr / Now The Hero

And if you want to see more about the monotype technique I use, please visit the Techie section of my website, here.

Drawn To Monotype

5 Jun

sleeping woman

I’ve been searching through my older work today. I do it from time to time because I find it helps me to analyse what I’m doing now. And also it reminds me what I have tucked away in my plans chest, often things I had forgotten.

SONY DSC

These two reminded me how crucial drawing is to my art practice. The first was done during the weekly life drawing session at Swansea Print Workshop. I liked the composition so much that I used it to develop this monotype, a technique I often use when I want to work in colour. I’ve never been particularly interested in painting, I’d rather use a printmaking process any day. You can find out more about this process in my Techie Stuff section here.

 

WAM night June 2018

Just a reminder about this night coming up fast in the Rhonddda Valley

Kollwitz, Drypoint And Woodcut. What A Weekend!

31 May
Kollwitz stamp

A stamp based on a screen print I made from an original drawing of Kathe Kollwitz

Coming up, June 16th and 17th, I’ll be running a printmaking masterclass at Swansea’s gorgeous Glynn Vivian Art Gallery. Over the weekend we’ll focus on two print techniques, drypoint (intaglio) and woodcut, linked to the fabulous Käthe Kollwitz exhibition. Book now if you want to come as tickets are selling out fast….

 

1524256724565-896303689.png

A digital drawing I did based on Kathe’s woodcut, The Widow.

On Day 1….

We’ll start with my illustrated talk about Käthe Kollwitz’s life and art (I’m a huge fan) and then we’ll go into the gallery to look at Käthe’s specific pieces that support drypoint and woodcut, the exquisite line of her etchings and the drama, chiaroscuro and simplicity of her woodcuts. We’ll make some quick sketches of her techniques.

After a tea break, off to the studio to look at individual work and start to transfer drawings to the drypoint plates and / or wood blocks and start cutting the images.

After lunch, we’ll continue cutting and prepare the paper for the next day and get our materials ready. This will be a chance for artists to chat about ideas, ask questions, get familiar with new materials and machinery.

 

On Day 2 ….

It’s all about the printing…. We’ll soak paper the paper, ink the plates and/or blocks, print a small edition for each artist and put them to dry. We’ll learn about ways of doing these print techniques at home; about signing and numbering an edition, why and how; and there will be handouts designed to help you to continue printmaking afterwards.

And all in the surroundings of the beautiful Glynn Vivian Art Gallery….

 

If you want to book onto the course, please click here … and if you want to read a bit more about Käthe, please click here and here.

Building Blocks

8 May

volleyball 3

It was a lovely evening after a cold, grey day so Husb and I took advantage and went for a walk on the beach. There were a lot of people doing the same thing and some groups playing sports on the sand. I saw these four playing volleyball. So I had to have a scribble, didn’t I? This was speed drawing at its speediest, barely a couple of seconds to get something down, which really forced me to focus on the basic details and to keep my eye on the subjects.

As far as I’m concerned, although these sketches don’t look like much, they’re the building blocks of my art practice. They refine my linework and help me to gain a greater understanding of form. I used a Faber Castell Pitt drawing pen size F into my tiny flowery sketchbook.

sketchbook

 

Inspired By Käthe

3 May
WAA exhibit

My three-dimensional form made from cut and stitched Shiohara paper, with hand writing and Kathe Kollwitz stamps developed from an original screenprint.

 

In June, I will be running a two – day masterclass at the Glynn Vivian art gallery, linked to their excellent Kathe Kollwitz exhibition.  Exploring her life and political activism through her drawings and printmaking, I will be covering two techniques, drypoint and woodcut, drawing inspiration directly from her magnificent work and using the exhibition as a catalyst to create small editions over the weekend.

 

1524256724565-896303689.png

A digital drawing I did based on Kathe’s woodcut, The Widow.

 

I love Käthe’s work, I have admired her for decades, I’m so chuffed that she has her own exhibition in my local gallery.

Please click here if you want tickets for this masterclass.

Ripped From The Darkness

20 Apr

1524256724565-896303689.png

Our local art gallery, The Glynn Vivian, is showing a fabulous exhibition of drawings and prints by the formidable German artist Käthe Kollwitz. I have admired her work and life for so many years, I’m beside myself to see this exhibition so close to home. I like to study artists I admire and copy from the great mistresses and masters. This is a digital study I made today from her woodcut “The Widow” from the early 1920s. She is very sparing with the cutting tool, there are surprisingly few cuts which I think increases its impact, the sense that the image has been ripped from the surrounding darkness.  I didn’t finish it, there’s another hand in the original. I can never resist a good book and I bought the exhibition book as a birthday present to myself, it’s “Portrait Of The Artist: Käthe Kollwitz” by Frances Carey and Max Egremont, published by The British Museum and IKON.

I drew this with a, now ancient, Samsung Galaxy Note 8 tablet using a free app called Markers. I laid a black ground down and drew with white lines.

%d bloggers like this: