Tag Archives: Swansea

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.

 

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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

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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.

The Same Thing Every Year!

15 Apr

herstory

It’s the same every year on our allotment (community garden). Husb and I resolve to do the correct thing and work on it for an hour, then two, then three and so on, building up the muscles that have atrophied over the deluge that passes for the British winter. Unfortunately, the deluge keeps on happening in this little corner of Wales and so whenever there’s a rare glimmer of sunshine, we rush down to the allotment and work for as long and as hard as we can to keep on top of the couch grass and weeds that thrive in our temperate wet climate. Yesterday was one of those days. We went down in the morning to do a “couple of hours” but ended up working through nearly seven hours of hard labour. It felt great at the time but today….!!!! I’d be on my knees if I could bend down, which I can’t.

Welfare poster

This afternoon was the launch of a group exhibition that I have some work in, at The Welfare in Ystradgynlais. Here I am with “Herstory”, the collaborative piece I did for International Women’s Day with graffiti artist Unity. I think I’m making a good job of disguising the fact that every muscle in my body (so it seems) has seized up! Oh, and it poured with rain. Again.

Crazy Hair, Don’t Care

29 Mar

crazy hair dont care

I’ve been working on this painting for a little while, I rarely paint but this is a birthday present for my dear young nephew, just turned 14 and the owner of some very unruly hair. I painted this from a photograph which I particularly like for its typical teenage insouciance.

I used Liquitex Heavy Body acrylic thinned with water into translucent glazes, which I overlaid, rather like painting with watercolour. It’s painted onto a stretched, gessoed white canvas.

More BogArt

28 Mar

ew knows

More BogArt! The interesting and quirky Cinema & Co in Swansea is more than just a place that shows films, it is a space for comedy, music and art as well. The exhibitions in the main cinema change monthly but there is a great bit of exhibition space in the cinema’s two toilets (also known as the Bogs in British slang). So owner Anna Redfern offered me the space to curate BogArt and I jumped at the chance. It’s a captive audience for the art, after all. The one above is a mixed media piece, based on an original life drawing, called “I Knows ‘Ew Luvs Me Cos ‘Ew Buys Me Chips” which is a bit of a joke here in Swansea….

holocaust

And the one in the smaller bog is an ink drawing on Mylar film, inspired by my wintry visit to Berlin in the snow, where I saw the Holocaust Memorial under a layer of soft whiteness.

Crafty Cat

27 Mar

Sometimes I want to do something, keep my hands occupied, but I’m arted out, so I settle down to do a bit of crafting. Art is hard work for me, crafting, like baking, is very relaxing. I made a stack of origami lilies which will end up on a string of LED lights as fairy lights. I got the instructions from the new BBC series, MAKE! Craft Britain where this guy demonstrated a couple of different origami models. Just after I photographed them, Sparta Puss threw them on the floor. Because that’s what cats do.

Layering

24 Mar

detail 3

I’ve been carrying on painting, I don’t normally paint but this is for a special someone. I don’t really know how to approach paint so I’ve come at it from the point of view of the printmaker that I am and I’m adapting a technique I use for monotypes, where I layer translucent glazes of yellow, red and blue, creating all the colours from the interplay of these colours on top of each other, adapted by the intensity of the brushstrokes. I think, if I remember correctly, that the Impressionists did something similar, they didn’t mix their colours before application to the canvas.

The monotype technique I use was taught to me by USA-based artist/printmaker Vinita Voogd, if you want to see how I do it please click here to my Tecchie section.

A Grand Night Out

23 Mar
Kathe

Image: Käthe Kollwitz (1867-1945), Self-portrait with hand against cheek (before July 1906) © The Trustees of the British Museum

So this evening, Swansea was buzzing with crowds of arty types milling between no less than 5 galleries opening exhibitions on the same night. I dropped into the effervescent Galerie Simpson to start with, then up to the magnificent Glynn Vivian Art Gallery for the opening of “Portrait Of The Artist – Käthe Kollwitz”. I’ve been desperate to see this show, which had been at Ikon in Birmingham last year, in partnership with the British Museum and supported by the Dorset Foundation. She is one of my heroes and I love her work so much. I’m a total fangirl.

According to the gallery, “Kollwitz’s unique artistic talent, her technical prowess and intelligence, and above all her humanity, can be seen in this exhibition. There is much about the life and work of Kollwitz that instils hope, that is inspiring and life affirming, despite the burden of hardship and sorrow carried by so many of her figures and by herself. Her emphasis was often on what was distinctive about women’s experience, including the fundamental nature and potency of maternal love. She believed that art could be a force for good in society.”

And there’s a book! I had to have it. The exhibition carries on until the 17th of June and I might be running a weekend printmaking masterclass there, linked to the exhibition……. It’s worth a trip to Swansea to see this and the other shows on at the moment at Galerie Simpson, Volcano, Mission Gallery and Elysium, but not on Mondays.

 

 

 

Off And On

22 Mar

collage 1

Sometimes the ideas flow and I don’t have enough hours in the day to get them down onto paper, other times I struggle for inspiration, ideas fall flat and I find it hard to do any artwork. Like many other artists, I have strategies to try and get through these lean times. One is to do lots of sketchbook work and another is to have something creative that I can pick up and put down. I’ve been working on this collage, off and on, for a few months now. When the ideas really dry up, I just get absorbed in this, it’s on a piece of A4 card and the visual matter is mostly from old landscape calendars and National Geographic magazines, ripped and stuck down with Pritt stick glue. It relieves the pressure of constantly trying to be creative.

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