Tag Archives: Volcano Theatre

Knickers In The Sun

5 May


The Sun Is Shining!!!! And it must be all of …. 20° Celsius. A Heatwave! And what happens here in the UK in a heatwave? People take their clothes off. That’s what. It doesn’t take much sunshine to get us to drop our inhibitions …. and our clothes.

So today was really busy, but in a nice way. Husb and I went to a brilliant talk at the Glynn Vivian Art Gallery about the artist Käthe Kollwitz, currently exhibited there. Then onto the Street Food festival at The Waterfront Museum. Nice grub. The Swansea Gay Pride event was also there and we ended the day at the opening of Alison Lockhead’s radical and moving installation at Volcano, on Swansea’s High Street. And managed a couple of family visits. In between, we sat on the grass in the sun, opposite a rainbow coloured police car, sipping cold drinks and watching the world go by. I had to have a scribble of course. A very short skirt, undulating thighs and red knickers caught my eye.


I drew into my small cloth-covered Laura Ashley sketchbook (above) with a Faber Castell Pitt drawing pen (size F) and added a flash of red knicker afterwards in Adobe Photoshop.

A Grand Night Out

23 Mar

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.





12 May

I’m going to be doing some street art with The Plebeian Scribblers and The Plebeian Printmakers as part of Volcano’s Troublemakers arts festival July 13th – 16th 2017. For the past two summers, The Plebeian Scribblers have been an integral part of “A FAB Intervention”, a one-day street event in Bath’s City Centre during the annual Fringe Arts Bath so it’s great that we can bring it back to our home town this summer. Here’s some of the drawings I did in Bath below.

FAB 5 6

I will be working with urban scribblers Chris Harrendence, Patricia McKenna-Jones and Melvyn Williams to deliver three sessions of 30 minutes of structured street drawings which will be digitally recorded and blogged.

FAB 7 8

But with an added twist, the following day we’ll be inviting local printmakers to join us to take prints from metal structures like manhole covers in High Street, inspired by the Berlin Raubdruckerin collective. I’ll be posting more as we get the plans firmed up ……


NAME OF EVENT: The Plebeian Scribblers

NAME OF ORGANISING ARTIST: Rose Davies / Rosie Scribblah

BRIEF DESCRIPTION: Following two years successful street drawing events at Fringe Arts Bath, these experienced street scribblers travel the length of High Street drawing what they see into their sketchbooks.

DATE: Saturday 15th July

TIMES:13.00 – 13.30 / 14.00 – 14.30 / 15.00 – 15.30

VENUE/LOCATION:Upper High Street / Mid High Street / Lower High Street

COST: No cost – street event


NAME OF EVENT: The Plebeian Printmakers

NAME OF ORGANISING ARTIST: Rose Davies / Rosie Scribblah

BRIEF DESCRIPTION: Inspired by Berlin’s “Raubdruckerin collective”, printmakers from Swansea Print Workshop will travel along High Street printing from metal structures like manhole covers and posting them in the new graffiti tunnel.

DATE: Sunday 16th July

TIMES: 13.00 – 15.30

VENUE/LOCATION: Along High Street and The Graffiti Tunnel

COST: No cost – street event


I have put my series of drawings en plein air of ancient Welsh monuments on Artfinder.  If you want to see more, please click on the image below or the Artfinder link at the top right of this page. So did you know that Elvis Presley is descended from the Welsh? This drawing below is the legendary grave of Saint Elfys (Elvis) in Pembrokeshire, not for from the Presceli Mountains. Elfys? Presceli? Elvis Presley? Coincidence? hhhmmmm

St Elvis

On The Spot

20 Apr


Last Saturday I did some ‘live’ drawing at an art event at Volcano in Swansea’s High Street. My young nephew posed for the best part of 2 hours but he was happy as Larry playing games on my phone. I worked inside the building and drew onto translucent drafting film with carbon, Bideford Black and white conte crayon. Meanwhile, passers by could see the drawing developing from the outside. When I went to take a look, the white conte was far more obvious than on the inside and looked much better in my opinion. The video shows the drawing in progress.


Nathan Volcano and Rose 2

I like the challenge of being put on the spot and drawing live, I’ve always been a bit of an adrenaline junkie and I guess that live drawing is my middle aged version of tearing around on motorbikes in my youth. What a buzz!

If you’d like to see some of my other artworks, please click here.

Making Mistakes

19 Apr



Nathan 4 small

I did something unusual at the weekend. Fellow artist Claudia Mollzahn was holding an art event at Volcano theatre in Swansea’s High Street and offered me window space to develop something over two hours. I’ve had some translucent drawing film on a roll knocking around the place for ages so I decided to stick it on the window and draw what I could see of the street behind it. Unfortunately I made the mistake of not trying it out first and when I put it up, it wasn’t as translucent as I’d thought, I couldn’t see anything through it. Then my young nephew came to the rescue. He was easily persuaded to sit in a chair playing games on my phone while I drew a massive portrait of him. It was great drawing on the inside of the window, loads of people passing by stopped to look at the drawing being developed from the other side.

Nathan 5

I tried out different drawing materials, some worked, some didn’t. I sketched the basic drawing with a graphite block and some white conte crayon, My home-made walnut ink was a wash out, it wouldn’t stick to the surface of the film at all, so I used Bideford Black to fill in the dark areas and carbon for the lines. Making a mistake often leads to something good.

Nathan 3

If you want to see some of my other artworks, please click here.




Ropes And Buckets

21 Feb


I caught up with an artist chum from way back when recently. Chris Bird-Jones and I were in Swansea Art College in the 1970s when the world was a very different place.  Chris recently came back from an artist residency at the University of Hawai’i where she had an exhibition of the art she created there. She works mainly with glass, from monumental and architectural to tiny hand-held pieces.

She has just installed a new exhibition at the Volcano Theatre Gallery on Swansea’s High Street based on buckets, lots of small buckets made from mirror glass; she is fascinated by the potential of the mirror bucket for collecting, visually, whatever you want to put in it. Chris had a public ‘Call Out’ for ropes to hang her mirror buckets on, I was one of the artists who responded and I made a simple rope from plaited tissue paper that I had decorated with golden graphite rubbings from a woodcut block.


I visited just after she’d finished and loved the diversity of ropes that different people had brought along, from simple rubber bands to complex sculpted pieces. The pieces were tied together visually by the two-dimensional glass buckets that hung from each piece of rope, twinkling and reflecting their surroundings.

Next Saturday Chris will be doing a talk at Volcano, sharing her experiences in Hawai’i, the work from her residency and how her practice has developed and she will introduce the work she is developing for her upcoming residency at Ruthin Craft Centre next month.

CHRIS BIRD-JONES | Glass Artist | Creative Wales Ambassador 2015.

Saturday 27th February, doors open at 3:30pm and the talk will begin at 4pm. Volcano Theatre Gallery, High Street, Swansea.

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