Tag Archives: travel

Little World In The Woods

27 Jun

I’ve been on holiday, visiting relatives in the North of England, a lovely break from the pandemic routine and the first time I’ve seen my family in about 18 months – too long but there we go. My littlest relative took me to see his special place in the local woods. He calls it Garlicville because it’s covered in wild garlic in the Spring. There’s a little stream running through the tall, dense trees and he’s been building a bridge across it with sticks he’s picked up from the ground.

He carried on building his little bridge and I sat on a moss covered trunk and sketched him. Not a particularly good sketch, I had promised myself I’d take a week off doing any art – it was a holiday after all – but I couldn’t resist quickly drawing him making his little world in the woods. I used white, black and sanguine conte crayons into a brown paper spiral bound sketchbook.

A Chance To Own One Of My Artworks

I have some small screenprints for sale, inspired by my drawings of the taxidermy collection at Swansea Museum. I have given these antique artifacts a modern twist by combining them with images of rubbish – old fruit nets, bubble wrap and plastic – highlighting the problem of human pollution and how it affects wildlife.

To buy my work on the Swansea Print Workshop site please click the image to the left and to see the complete image.

20 percent of the cost of each screenprint sold goes to support Swansea Print Workshop, which receives no public funding.

Been On Holiday

24 Jun

Husb and I have been on holiday, visiting relatives in Cumbria, the Lake District. We spent some time in Ulverston, one of our favourite places, almost 750 years old and the birthplace of the comedy actor Stan Laurel. We came across these two, masked up, in an alleyway in Ulverston, close by the town’s Laurel and Hardy Museum. Ulverston also has the BEST pie shop in the country, in my opinion, Irvings Butchers. We bought some pies to fortify us on the journey home. And some for tomorrow 😀

It was a nice rest and wonderful to see family that we haven’t seen in the real world since 2019. It’s been a long time, too long. Back to work tomorrow, I have two paintings to finish and some printmaking ideas to start working up into designs.

Africa In Madeira

4 Apr

 

Madeira 2

Husb and I spent a few days in Madeira, an amazing place, and we went and explored the Monte Palace Tropical Gardens and Museum in Funchal, after a crazy ride up the mountain in a cable car swinging wildly in the wind.

Madeira 4

 

There’s a fabulous permanent exhibition, “African Passion” from sculptors from Zimbabwe in the 1960s.  I had a scribble with some conté crayons in white, sanguine and black onto grey tinted handmade paper. The two beautiful sculped heads that I drew are by Boira Mteki (1946-1991).

Madeira 3

 

It’s rare to be able to see so many, over 1,000, artworks from Africa from many artists, and the effect is extraordinary and the tropical gardens surrounding the museum are also spectacular.

A Bit Of A Lift

3 Apr

Husb and I have spent a few days in Madeira, a gorgeous mountainous island in the Atlantic. The climate is wonderful so we set out with a picnic and drawing materials to climb and explore the upper reaches of Camara do Lobos. The little terracotta tiled houses are scattered higgledy piggledy up the steep slopes, reached either by winding roads snaking their way up precipices or via incredibly steep footpaths and steps that are almost vertical, and in places quite terrifying, but much more interesting as they lead to all sorts of nooks and crannies.

It seems that every spare scrap of land is cultivated and we passed papayas, tangerines, figs, bananas, dates, custard apples, avocados and fruits we weren’t familiar with, possibly loquats and tamarillo. But above all, grape vines, millions of them. We stopped to eat our sandwiches and I had a scribble onto handmade paper tinted grey, using Daler Rowney soft pastels. When I got back to the hotel, I thought the drawing needed something to lift it a bit so I touched up the wooden struts supporting the vibes using a white pastel. I think it’s made the world of difference.

Peace And Pies

1 Mar

laurel museum

Husb and I have had a busy couple of months so we took ourselves off to the Lake District for a few days to stay with some of our favourite people and have a rest. I didn’t do any art at all! We were staying somewhere with very poor Internet and mobile access as well so we were really cut off. We just chilled out and had fun with no work to do, lots of peace and quiet. We’re both crazy about Laurel and Hardy and we went to their museum in Ulverston, Stan’s birth place. It’s lovely, one of those old fashioned, personal museums that has been obviously painstakingly put together by a real enthusiast. If you’re ever passing that way, treat yourself to a visit. It’s a town with great pies , proper old-fashioned pies with a pastry bottom as well as a lid, from Irvings Butchers. The cheese pies are good too, if you’re not a meat eater.

Saint, Sunlight And Scabby Exterior

28 Nov

 

St Christopher b

I did more sketching towards the end of my recent holiday in Italy, in Bologna, than earlier in Florence, mainly, I think, because making art is my profession and drawing while I’m on vacation feels like work. But after a few days I had itchy fingers and started to scribble in my sketchbook again. We visited some magnificent churches and cathedrals; this one below is the Basilica of San Petronio. The outside façade was left unfinished and in quite a rough state, which is in complete contrast to the fascinating interior, allegedly because the architect wanted to rival St. Peter’s in Rome and once the Pope got wind of it, he put pressure on to stop the project from being completed.

 

church b

One of the many beautiful things inside is a gorgeous painting of Saint Christopher. I managed a very quick sketch which doesn’t do it justice at all. Another fascinating thing is the longest meridian line in the world, marking out a calendar on the marble floor. We stayed and watched it in action just after noon, where a large dot of sunlight appeared alongside the date shown on the floor. It was very exciting!

 

The holiday was arranged by New Scientist magazine and focused on Renaissance art, architecture and science, expertly led by Andrew Spira.

 

Gold Mine In The Rain

2 Apr

Dolaucothi

It’s the British Bank Holiday so of course, the rain was tipping down. Husb and I got fed up looking out of the window at the Easter deluge and took off up to Dolaucothi to have a look around the Roman goldmine. It’s a lovely part of the country and we had a good time, despite the torrential sky juice.

The mines were originally worked in pre-Roman times, then the Romans invaded and took them over. Then they fell into disuse until the Victorians had a go and they finally closed in the 1940’s so there was a lot of historical stuff to see on site. I had a scribble, sheltering in the engine house and sketching the industrial machinery and landscape outside, using white, sanguine and black conté crayons into my A4 brown paper sketchbook.

Impression Of Heat

21 Dec

hot earth 2

I did some quick, impressionistic sketches while I was walking around on my visit to Portugal a couple of weeks ago. The earth is stratified, horizontally and vertically and made up of bright hot colours, reds, oranges, yellows and browns which contrast so vividly with the brilliant blue of the sky and sea.

I used Daler Rowney artist quality soft pastels into a 15cm square Khadi paper sketchbook, The paper is lovely, very textured, heavy and deckle-edged. I think it’s worth paying out for really good quality materials because a little goes a long way. These pastels have lasted me ages and there’s plenty more pigment left.

Balanced Rocks

17 Dec

stones 2

Exploring the local beaches around Albufeira last week, Husb and I found a cove full of balanced rock sculptures. It was a small sandy cove with a rock pavement jutting out from the base of the deeply fissured cliff and it was covered with little cairns. I drew this one with black, sanguine and white conté crayons into an A4 size brown paper sketchbook.

Hot Earth

14 Dec

hot earth

 

Here’s another drawing I did into my little Khadi sketchbook last week on the coast of Portugal. The colours were incredible, bright blue sky and sea and hot red and orange earths veined with dark greys. Extraordinary geology. There were also a lot of rock balancing sculptures in a little cove just to the east of Praia de Oura. It only just occurred to me that I should have tried drawing with the coloured earths! I’ll just have to go back.

 

rock stacks 1

 

 

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