Tag Archives: @swanseacreativebubble

A Concentrated Arty Area

22 May

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It’s degree show time at Swansea Art School, or University of Wales Trinity Saint Davids to give it the official name. Husb and I have two arty relatives graduating this year, one from the computer games design degree and the other from the Foundation course. So we took ourselves off to the opening night.

The last time I played a computer game I was in a pub in the 1980s, shooting space invaders and I wasn’t keen to try out a new one but I dutifully donned a Virtual Reality helmet and waited for my nephew to put some thingys (I think that’s the technical term) in my hands that became guns in the virtual world. And to be honest, I had a good time trying and, mostly, failing to shoot down deadly killer scrapyard robots. The exhibition is in the Creative Bubble artspace in Union Street and it’s set up like an arcade. Just walk in off the street and give it a go. It’s open Monday to Friday, 10.00 – 16.00 until June the 2nd.

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Then onto Chaos, the Foundation end-of-year show at the building known as Alex. It was a blast from the past for me as I studied for my Diploma in Art there over 4 decades ago. Where does the time go? Any way, the Foundation show is lively, quirky and so well done. I particularly liked the little biographies next to each exhibit, saying where the student had come from and where they were going to, with the majority going on to degrees. It’s only just up the road from Creative Bubble, opposite the Glynn Vivian Art Gallery. All the UWTSD shows run until June 2nd so go grab yourself some culture.

Between the Glynn Vivian, the two art school campuses (Alex and Dynefor), Creative Bubble and the Tapestri artist studios next to Alex, this is a highly concentrated arty area and one of the most interesting bits of the city centre.

Home Comfort

21 Mar

Sparta 2018

In times of stress and worry, I retreat into my home. It’s my cave, my fortress, my refuge and my comfort. I close the door on the bad old world outside and batten down the hatches to weather any storms that life throws at me. My chubby cat, Sparta Puss is an integral part of my home comfort. She sits and purrs and brings a feeling of peace and calm and normality.

I work part-time for the homelessness charity, Crisis, as a fine art tutor and I really appreciate how lucky I am to be able to go to my own home which is safe and secure and warm and dry. I am lucky that I don’t have to endure living in a war zone or a refugee camp. The insecurity and stress of not having anywhere to call your own, not being able to close your door onto the outside world and feel safe, it is awful.

To find out more about the work done by Crisis, please click here.

The Cat Sat On The Cupboard

14 Mar

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Still tired and not done any new art this week, so here’s one from the archives (that’s a posh way of saying the big cupboard upstairs that my sketchbooks are in). Here’s Sparta Puss hanging out on top of a cupboard, likes cats do. Sparta is a naughty Tortie. A very naughty Tortie.

Coming Full Circle

10 Mar
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The triptych from the inside

A few weeks ago I was privileged to join one of Fern Smith‘s women’s circles, part of her ‘Seven Sundays In Spring’, walking through the beautiful deer park in Dynefwr, Llandeilo, drawing an extraordinary wintry tree in my sketchbooks, here’s one of the sketches below… 

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One of my original sketchbook drawings

I have thousands of sketches and dozens of sketchbooks locked away in cupboards and I only choose a few to develop into another piece of work, and this is one of those times. I was invited to do a pop-up drawing at the Women4Resources event for International Women’s Day at Creative Bubble today. I decided to do a triptych onto detail paper that I taped to the window, so that people outside could see the drawing developing without coming in – it’s a democratic way of doing art because it reaches out to people, not everyone is comfortable coming into an artspace.

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I started out with my home-made walnut ink, blocking in the base of the tree and working into it with sanguine conté crayon to develop a texture. Then I brushed in the upright trunks.

 

Then I switched to white gouache and brushed in another layer of uprights, trunks and branches. And finally, I used a black conté crayon to work tiny marks into the area of the sky behind the branches.

The work looks different from the outside, with the white branches much more prominent and the black sky almost invisible. I guess that if I ever exhibit it I’ll have to consider framing them with glass both sides.

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The triptych from the outside

And so full circle, from the drawing en plein air to the triptych in the window, from Fern’s creative women’s circle to International Women’s Day, it feels complete.

 

Graffiti Tunnel 2

27 Sep

Graff 2

Here’s the second drawing I did at Swansea’s graffiti tunnel a couple of days ago. I like it a bit better than the first one I did. I think the composition works but I still don’t like the effect of the charcoal and chalks on the brown paper. I should have used black paper, so it’s a return visit for me …… when it stops pouring with rain.

Graffiti Tunnel

26 Sep

Graff 1

I did some sketching en plein air at the graffiti tunnel off Swansea’s High Street. I used a brown paper sketchbook with compressed charcoal, chalk and soft pastels. I’m not happy with the sketch, it’s clumsy and tentative. I think I need to go back with some black paper to draw on.

Digital Playing

24 Sep

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I did this drawing some time ago and I want to do some digital work with it so I photographed and uploaded it to my Samsung tablet and started having a play, using a basic pen app to start colouring in. It’s weird working over an existing drawing, it somehow doesn’t feel like it’s my own.  I’m hoping to develop the original image into a simple animation, but for now I’m enjoying colouring in. This is an older model I’ve been working with for some years and I’m developing a digital piece about her for an exhibition in London next month.

Starting To Play……

13 Sep

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I took digital photos of the large work I did with oil bars (Winsor & Newton) onto paper (Fabriano Accademica) last week and downloaded one into a free Markers app on my Samsung Galaxy Note 8 tablet. I’m starting to find it quite useful to download artwork in this way, to have a play without having to get out loads of materials and risk spoiling the original. I started drawing with a fine white line, to see what would happen, with no planning and a figure has started to emerge. I wonder where this will take me?

 

 

 

A lot of my artwork is available on my Artfinder gallery.  If you’d like to have a look, please click on the image below or the Artfinder link at the top right of this page.

Gors Fawr, near Mynachlog-ddu in the Preseli mountains, a lush green bog fringed with glowing hills.

Artes Mundi

12 Sep

Husb and I were at g39 in Cardiff this evening at the announcement of the Artes Mundi shortlist. This is an internationally focused arts organisation that “identifies, recognises and supports contemporary visual artists who engage with the human condition, social reality and lived experience.” It’s possibly best known for its biennial international Exhibition and Prize which awards a £40,000 prize to the winner.

Of course, I had a scribble…..

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Then my pen ran out …..

 

A lot of my artwork is available on my Artfinder gallery.  If you’d like to have a look, please click on the image below or the Artfinder link at the top right of this page.

Gors Fawr, near Mynachlog-ddu in the Preseli mountains, a lush green bog fringed with glowing hills.

 

Lefty!

9 Sep

Day 2 d

I carried on working today at the Creative Bubble artspace in Swansea’s Cradock Street with fellow artist Patricia McKenna Jones. Patricia has taken the space for a few days to develop some new work and invited other artists to join her. I thought I could do with a few days experimenting so I stuck a huge piece of Fabriano Accademica paper on the wall, about 1.5 x 2 metres and started making intuitive marks, first with compressed charcoal and then with Winsor & Newton oil bars.

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Patricia making monotypes based on her sketchbook drawings

The mark-making I’m doing isn’t anything new, the Abstract Expressionists were at it throughout the 1940s and 1950s but it’s new for me. I normally work quite formally from life, drawing from things in front of me. It’s a departure for me to work without subject matter, without realism and without an ultimate aim. It was hard on the first day but now, on day 2, I’m relaxing into it.

From the left, today starting with what I did yesterday, mostly compressed charcoal with some streaks of scarlet and a little Alizarin Crimson, then Yellow Ochre, more Alizarin Crimson and finally Hooker’s Green.

Oh …. and I decided to work entirely with my left hand today (I’m right handed) and it made such a difference, I am much more relaxed and intuitive, the marks more varied.

 

 

A lot of my artwork is available on my Artfinder gallery.  If you’d like to have a look, please click on the image below or the Artfinder link at the top right of this page.

Gors Fawr, near Mynachlog-ddu in the Preseli mountains, a lush green bog fringed with glowing hills.

 

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