Tag Archives: trees

A Big Box Of Pencils

13 Jan

 

tracing 3

I did a bit more work on my next woodcut today, making a tracing from my original drawing to transfer the image onto the wood block. I used a thick charcoal pencil for the tracing because I have to turn the tracing paper over to reverse the image onto the wood. Once the reversed image was in place, I drew over the thick charcoal lines using a smaller 2H pencil which gave a fairly fine line. Finally I took the tracing paper off the MDF and went over the faint trace lines with a B pencil, which gives good definition without being too smudgy. I have a big box of pencils. It’s really nice.

tracing 5

I bought the box at a very reasonable price from the Derwent Pencil Museum in Keswick in The Lake District. It’s a fabulous little gem of a museum, so informative and a great place for graphite geeks to hang out. Just outside Keswick is an old graphite mine, which is why the pencil industry took root there. And it has a factory shop, with cut-price pencils and boxes!

From left to right: tracing over the original drawing; the tracing reversed onto the block of MDF; going over the faint trace lines with a darker pencil.

A Glutton For Punishment

8 Jan

block prep 4

 

So did a couple of hours teaching today and loads of admin- the glamorous life of an artist eh? And a little bit more work on my preparatory drawing for a woodcut. I worked out where the dark areas are to be and started to think about the cutting and registration of the final block. Tomorrow, I’ll trace and transfer to the sheet of MDF in reverse. I’ll probably do a reduction print, or the “suicide method” as we printmakers call it, as it results in the destruction of the block and there’s no room for error. I’m a glutton for punishment.

 

 

A Bit Each Day

7 Jan

tree stage 2

It’s easy to get precious about making art, I’m guilty of that! I spend so much time agonising about what to do that I almost get creative paralysis at times. One of the things I do to overcome this is to start working on a process and just do a bit every day. Sometimes you can work flat out on a piece of art for 7, 8, 9 hours but other times it’s just not possible. So a bit each day is good enough as it gives time to think about it, and thinking time is really important. I carried on redrawing from an original drawing, scaling it up and thinking about the technical problems I’m going to have to work out to develop this into a three-colour woodcut print. I’m using conté crayons in black and sanguine over graphite.

 

 

 

Draw, Redraw And Tidy Up

6 Jan

 

block prep 2

Today I had a good clean out of my working space, sorting out cupboards and boxes, clearing desk tops and shelves, filling recycling bags and setting aside things to give away, a new start for the new year. Then I began to so some preliminary work for a new woodcut. I did a drawing en plein air of a stricken tree back last year that I’ve fancied developing into a print for some time now. I grabbed a piece of drawing paper the size of the piece of MDF I’ll be using to make the woodcut and I started redrawing from my original sketch. I could have just scanned a copy of the original and enlarged it, but by redrawing a few times, I give myself the time and space to work out how I’m going to develop this as a three colour woodcut. The process isn’t easy but I find that this practice of redrawing helps me to focus on the technical details.

 

 

Root And Branch: Gwreiddyn A Changen

3 Jan

banner.jpg

Coming up February 16th and 17th, I’ll be running a 2 day printmaking masterclass at Swansea’s Glynn Vivian Art Gallery inspired by the forthcoming exhibition PHYTOPIA.

The creative imagery of the tree is rooted in the ancient oak forests of Britain, growing through the ages to branch into the present. From ancient Druidic and Celtic art to present-day fractal pop imagery, the concept of the tree rooting, growing and branching has inspired artists, designers and craftspeople for thousands of years.

If you fancy coming along, I’ll be using two printmaking techniques, with additional chine collé and watercolour, and exploring the Phytopia exhibition, to produce a small edition of drypoint etchings and at least one monotype inspired by the history and influence of trees in our culture.

The course costs £80 for the weekend and includes all the materials. Pre-booking is essential as there are not many places. Please click here to book. Hope to see you there.

yew tree

The Defynnog Yew from the petition set up by Janis Fry

And if you like trees, please sign this petition here to get protected status for Britain’s ancient yew trees which currently are unprotected. Thank you.

 

Mae delweddaeth greadigol y goeden yn deillio o goedwigoedd derw hynafol Prydain, gan dyfu drwy’r oesoedd i oroesi hyd heddiw. O gelf y Derwyddon a’r Celtiaid i ddelweddaeth ffractal y presennol, mae’r cysyniad o goeden yn cael ei gwreiddio, yn tyfu ac yn brigo wedi ysbrydoli artistiaid, dylunwyr a chrefftwyr am filoedd o flynyddoedd.
Gan ddefnyddio dwy dechneg gwneud printiau, yn ogystal â chine-collé a dyfrlliw, a chan archwilio’r arddangosfa Phytopia, byddwch yn gweithio gyda’r artist/printiwr Rose Davies i gynhyrchu argraffiad bach o ysgythriadau sychbwynt ac o leiaf un monoteip wedi’u hysbrydoli gan hanes a dylanwad coed yn ein diwylliant.

Cadwch eich lle’n gynnar i osgoi cael eich siomi. Rhaid cadw lle £80 am ddau ddiwrnod Dosbarth Meistr Gwneud Printiau. Darperir yr holl ddeunyddiau. 16+

 

 

Pollards And Barns

14 May

pollards

Husb and I took a walk around Avebury village over the weekend. There are a few medieval barns, thatched of course and lots of trees, quite a lot had been pollarded. The older barns are a bit higgledy piggledy, bent and sagging with age. I had a scribble. Of course!

barns

Before The Deluge

30 Mar

aberdulais 1

It’s a Bank Holiday and rain is forecast so Husb and I got out of the house before the deluge started and went off to Aberdulais Falls for a bit of a walk, some historical instruction and to do a quick scribble or two. I used white, sanguine and black conté crayon into my spiral bound A4 brown paper sketchbook from Seawhites of Brighton. I worked very quickly as it is still quite cold, just getting down the basic details of the scene. Then off to the cafe in the old schoolroom to warm up and have a cup of tea and slice of bara brith.

Coming Full Circle

10 Mar
b in

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… 

Drawing 3

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.

d in

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.

a out

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.

 

A Delicate Tracery

28 Feb

Drawing 3

 

I spent an hour or so making drawings of the same tree during my visit to Dinefwr Park last Sunday. I’ve never tried drawing a single tree before and certainly hadn’t done several studies. It was interesting moving around the tree and drawing from different angles and also varying my use of drawing media. In this, my final drawing, I used my home-made walnut ink  and a brush to block in the tree that was lying prone on the ground. Then I drew the strong lusty new growth in sweeping upward strokes of white conté crayon. Finally, with a sanguine conté I made jagged marks in the walnut ink while it was still wet and then sketched a delicate tracery of shadows on the white tree trunks. I’ve never worked like this before, the experience has given me a creative boost.

 

I joined a group of creative women just last Sunday, a women’s circle brought together the artist Fern Smith, a recipient of a Creative Wales Award who has organised “Seven Sundays in Spring: All The Women I’ve Ever Met“. This, the second, was in the 18th century landscape of Dynefor Park in Llandeilo.

 

INVITE

Reaching Lustily Skywards

27 Feb

Drawing 1

I joined a group of creative women just last Sunday, a women’s circle brought together the artist Fern Smith, a recipient of a Creative Wales Award who has organised “Seven Sundays in Spring: All The Women I’ve Ever Met“. This, the second, was in the 18th century landscape of Dynefor Park in Llandeilo. We walked in silent contemplation in the medieval Deer Park which was idyllic in the cold but bright Spring sunshine. I spent quite a bit of time drawing one tree. It had fallen and lay prone on the ground covered in moss, just a fraction of its original root system still anchoring it into the ground. But out of the twisted body of the fallen tree sprang large, strong trunks reaching lustily skywards.

I had taken a pot of my home-made walnut ink and some brushes, it seemed appropriate to draw the tree with ink made from the fruit of a tree. The ink is lovely to use, like drawing with liquid silk. I drew in sweeping broad strokes, capturing the essence of the shapes before me, rather than the detail in them.

 

INVITE

 

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