Tag Archives: Taliesin Arts Centre

A Bit More Cosi

24 Mar

cosi fan 2

Here are a couple more drawings I did at the opera the other evening, Cosi Fan Tutte at The Taliesin on Swansea University’s Singleton campus. It was very dark so I could hardly see the paper, an A4 brown paper spiral bound sketchbook. I used white and sanguine conté crayon, turning the white on its side to block in large areas and then scribbling with the sanguine.

cosi fan 1

My giant woodcut “Here Be Dragons” is going to be featured on Sky Arts TV channel on Tuesday 26th March at 9pm. If you’re a Sky TV subscriber or if you have NOW TV you’ll be able to see a short film of me going through the creative process, with lots about Swansea and footage of Swansea Print Workshop too. It’s part of a whole week of arts programming showing how artists across the UK have responded creatively to Brexit.

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The Pit And The Uniform

23 Mar

It was a new one for me last night as I went with my Mam-in-Law to the opera. I’ve never been before and to be honest, being an ageing headbanger and rock chick, it would never have occurred to me to go except that Husb joined a choir recently and had the chance to perform in the chorus of Cosi Fan Tutti at the Taliesin. He has a lovely voice which he’s never gotten out in public before and he also looked rather spiffing in his Hussar uniform! Of course, I had a scribble.

cozi fan 1

It wasn’t easy scribbling into my little cloth-covered red notebook as it was dark and I was surprisingly engrossed in the opera. I enjoyed it far more than I expected. It was good fun and I was impressed by the quality and skill of the singing. And there was an orchestra! In a pit! I never even knew that Taliesin had a pit!

I drew with a ballpoint pen, very quickly, unable to see much on the paper so it was a surprise when I looked at them. I wouldn’t mind seeing more opera, but the tickets are terribly expensive and if it comes down to a choice between opera and metal, I know which one I’d buy tickets for. (That’s metal, by the way).

 

 

Somewhere Special To Look At Mobile Phones

14 Aug

chalking 2

Husb and I just got back from Oriel Ceri Richard’s Gallery, at Taliesin Art Centre, which has been at the centre of protests in recent months because of plans by Swansea University to close it. It was opened in 1984 and named after Welsh painter Ceri Richards. It has showcased local, national and international artists, living and dead, over the past two and a bit decades. When we arrived, there was no art on the walls but lots of photos of artists who have exhibited there over the years; there I am above with the 15 Hundred Lives collective, fellow artists Graham Parker and Sylvie Evans.

chalking 1

Someone had brought some coloured chalks so I started scribbling, of course. It’s like being a kid again but without grown ups to tell you off 😀 Once I started drawing I was oblivious to anything else. The University wants the space for ‘an enhanced student experience’. The artist’s impression shows a playgroup-type space with lots of students sitting around on boxes looking at their mobile phones. Because they need somewhere special to look at their mobile phones, don’t they? It’s such a shame that a gallery with such a good reputation is being lost to the area. The University seems to have forgotten that the Taliesin Arts Centre, which houses the gallery, was mainly funded by Swansea’s local communities through a public Development Appeal Fund in the 1960s. And now the public is to be deprived of it.  Here’s a petition if you’d like to sign it.

 

 

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.

Cross And Purring

30 Nov

cross and purring

How can a cat look so cross and be purring at the same time? Husb and I went to see ‘Legend’, the new film about the Kray twins, this evening and when we got back, this is what greeted us. Sparta Puss looking furious but also purring like a train. I think she was really annoyed because we’d gone out for a couple of hours and weren’t there to pay her loads of attention but she was also glad to see us, well me as she seems quite hostile to all other life forms……

I had a quick scribble with my Faber Castell Pitt pen, size S, into my A5 “The Cat’s Meow Journal”. It took a couple of minutes. Sometimes the way cats sit, they look a bit like a Batman mask.

The film is excellent, gripping and so well acted. Tom Hardy, who played the twins, was absolutely brilliant. We saw it in our local independent cinema at the Taliesin Arts Centre. It’s a great venue, much nicer than the multiplex chains.

Popping Up

16 Sep

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This evening I did my third stint in a little pop-up studio at the Taliesin Arts Centre. I’m a member of an artist collective, 15 Hundred Lives, and we have an exhibition at Oriel Ceri Richards Gallery until the 26th of September. We’ve been given some space in the Taliesin foyer/bar to do live art, so I’m there on Wednesday evenings throughout the exhibition’s run and collagist Sylvie Evans is also doing some sessions. You can see her collaged sail installation hanging in the stairwell.

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I started when the bar was fairly quiet which gave me a chance to draw something other than people. I don’t like drawing architecture and interiors, really hard, much prefer to draw people and animals. So this evening was good practice for me. I used a double page from my A4 hardbound sketchbook that I’d prepared with brown wrapping paper glued in with Pritt stick. I drew with Faber Castell Pitt drawing pens, sizes S and F.

Eventually the bar filled up with people come to see this evening’s film and I had some great conversations with those interested in what I was doing. I took along some completed sketchbooks for browsing. It’s a good opportunity to publicise my work, hand out business cards and direct people downstairs to the gallery to see the exhibition. Only one more pop-up studio session to go, but I’m going to be doing an artist walk-and-talk around the exhibition on Saturday the 26th. More about this soon.

Here’s a short video about our exhibition showing the three of us doing our art and you get to hear me speak.

Popping Up

2 Sep

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Earlier this evening I did my first ‘pop-up studio‘ at the Taliesin Arts Centre. My latest body of work, a collection of almost 30 pieces called ‘Er Gof’, is being exhibited in Oriel Ceri Richards Gallery and we (the art collective 15 Hundred Lives) have set up a temporary studio upstairs in the cinema foyer/bar. Two of us are taking turns doing a pop-up studio for a couple of hours before feature films throughout September, until our exhibition finishes on the 26th.

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I sat and worked on a piece of vintage paper that I’d prepared with a layer of gold translucent silk screen ink, applied with a squeegee (but no screen). Continuing with the theme of the work in the exhibition, I did some intuitive drawings of heads using willow and compressed charcoal and carbon. It’s nearly finished, maybe another hour or so. It was great drawing in public. The first couple of hours was quiet but 4 people came in to sit down and talk to me. I like having conversations about art. The last hour was much busier as the cinema-goers arrived for a pre-film drink. Not so many conversations but lots of people hovering and looking at what I was doing.

The cinema is also showing our short video before each film this month. Here it is, showing the three of us and how we do our work.

Naked Man On A Stool

28 Aug

Alan on stool

Here’s another one from the archives. I still have a rotten cold and I haven’t done any drawing today because I’m wallowing in misery and grumbling for Wales! I went through a phase of doing these life drawings in watercolour and pens a while back, using Winsor & Newton paints, sable brushes and Faber Castell Pitt pens onto Cotman watercolour paper. I like to use the paints in this choppy, psychedelic fashion, getting away from realism. Now that I’ve revisited them, I really like the technique and I’m going to do more. When I get rid of this filthy lurgi. 😡

This model has been working with our artist group at Swansea Print Workshop for some years now. He’s an older man and a very experienced model. People think that it’s easy, just sitting around while people draw you, but it’s not. I’ve done it – it’s tougher than it looks.

Here’s a short video with me and some of my art, and two of my fellow artists. It’s showing alongside our current exhibition at Taliesin Arts Centre and it’s only 4 minutes. Just about bearable. And I don’t grumble once in it. Honest.

 

Popping Up

27 Aug
The Taliesin Foyer

The Taliesin Foyer-Bar

I’ll be popping up at The Taliesin Arts Centre in Swansea throughout September with my fellow artist, Sylvie Evans, from the 15 Hundred Lives art collective. Our exhibition, People And Place”, with painter Graham Parker, is downstairs in the Oriel Ceri Richards Gallery, running until September the 26th and we’ve been given space in the upstairs foyer-bar, just outside the theatre, to have a pop-up studio where visitors will be able to see us doing what artists do, making our art. We’ll be there for a few hours before some of the films and plays in the September programme.

Our little pop-up studio

Our little pop-up studio

I’ll be there on the following Wednesdays from 4.30-7.30 pm:

September 2nd / September 9th / September 16th / September 23rd

And collagist Sylvie Evans will be there on Fridays from 4.30-7.30 pm:

September 4th / September 11th / September 25th

Some of Graham Parker's painting studio

Some of Graham Parker’s painting studio

We’ve installed some of Graham’s painting studio and Sylvie will be working on her collages when she’s there and I will be doing live-action drawing. Would be lovely to see you 🙂

Sun, Storm And A Nude

22 Aug

 

A watercolour nude

A watercolour nude

After the excitement of last night’s opening of our group exhibition, ‘People And Place’, Husb and I had a lazy day. We went for a walk in the sunshine and treated ourselves to lunch in a lovely local restaurant, Mosaic. It seems like I haven’t had a day off for ages. It’s not just making the artwork – over 2 dozen new pieces – but there’s all the framing, labelling, publicity, inviting, marketing………

So today I’m blogging another one from my archives, a life drawing in watercolour, using Winsor & Newton half pan artist watercolours onto Cotman watercolour paper with Faber Castell Pitt drawing pens for the linework.

Now we’ve battened down the hatches because there’s supposed to be a storm on the way; today’s sunshine was short-lived and tomorrow it’s back to work. Not much rest for the self-employed.

If you want to find out more about my current exhibition, here’s a short video about it.

 

“People And Place” – The Video

19 Aug

Rose 2

Here’s a short video about the art collective I’m in. It shows the 3 of us, a painter, a collagist and a scribbler / printmaker, at work. We’re called “15 Hundred Lives” and we have our first major group exhibition, “People And Place” starting tomorrow (Friday 21st August, 6-8pm) at Oriel Ceri Richards in the Taliesin Arts Centre and running until September the 26th. The Taliesin cinema will be showing our video as a short before their feature films while the exhibition is on.

Here’s our video on YouTube, I’ll be uploading it to Vimeo soon……

It’s got some great footage of the antique Columbian Press I use down at Swansea Print Workshop.

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