Tag Archives: Walcot Chapel

Renaissance In Bath

3 Jul

Rose Davies drawing Rose Davies etching

Next week I’m exhibiting some work in Bath with an artist collective, Commensalis. I’m showing a group of drawings and photopolymer plate etchings based on the concept of Rinascere, which is an Italian word meaning ‘to be reborn’ or ‘to revive’. I chose it because I have been deliberately working with Renaissance techniques and materials for some time and the word ‘rinascere’ is the root of the word ‘renaissance’. I also identified with it’s meaning ‘to revive’ in the light of the current art trends which have moved away from traditional skills such as drawing and etching. I’m using those traditional techniques in my drawings and then adapting the drawings, done from life (as Renaissance artists did), into intaglio prints.


So if you fancy a day trip to beautiful Bath next week, we’re opening with a party on Monday evening and there will be an artist-in-residence each day demonstrating our techniques. On the final Sunday, from 3-4, there’s tea with the artists with lashings of tea, scones and Victoria Sandwich. The Walcot Mortuary Chapel dates from the 1790s and it’s along Walcot Road, about 10 minutes walk from the railway station. It’s in the artisan area, with very old architecture and loads of antique shops, building salvage yards, vintage clothes and foodie places. It’s gert lush and a nice day out.


Pies And Leftovers

15 Jul

So we’ve taken down our exhibition in Bath and arrived home, very tired but not much time to rest because next thing is hanging the ‘Leftovers II’ miniature print exhibition that’s come over from the USA, from Wingtip Press in Boise, Idaho. The show opens Tuesday evening at Swansea Print Workshop (7pm if you’re in the area and you’re very welcome) so we’ll be frantically hanging it over the next two days.

We had a lot of kindness shown to us in Bath; we received sponsorship from the local wine merchants and the furniture hire firm and because the gallery, an old mortuary chapel, doesn’t have a toilet, the staff at the ‘Made By Ben‘ pie cafe down the road let us use their facilities. Most welcome. And their home made pies are gorgeous too. Husb and I had a few hours doing the tourist bit on Friday and stopped off at the pie cafe for a spot of brunch. I did this drawing from the window at the back of the snug little tearoom into my A6 recycled, leather-bound sketchbook.

Rain, Reflections And RSI

14 Jul

I was ‘babysitting’ our ‘Commensalis‘ exhibition in Bath on Thursday, sitting opposite one of the old chapel windows and looking at my reflection against the torrential rain outside. During the quieter moments I sketched what I could see. It wasn’t easy because the layers that you see in a reflection are all squashed together. Does that make any sense? It isn’t the same as looking out across the real view. The depth of field is different, so I had to come up with lots of different marks to differentiate between the different layers of what I could see and to try and make sense of the drawing. One of the nice things about being an artist is that you stop and look for much longer than most people and the more you look, the more you see. I like the way the reflections merge into each other and some bits disappear and give way to others. This is drawn with a Pilot V5 hi-tecpoint 0.5 pen into my recycled A6 leatherbound sketchbook.

I haven’t had much time on the computer because of the exhibition and my RSI has improved a lot, but it’s still there, niggling away so I’m going to have to be a bit careful for a while. I’d rather do less on Twitter and Facebook than do less drawing and art.

The exhibition runs until 4pm on Sunday and there’s storytelling from Amanda Rackstraw during the afternoon.  If you’re in the area, please do call in 🙂

Friday The 13th!

13 Jul

I’m up in Bath and it’s a lovely morning, sun shining and birds singing. Poured down yesterday when I was invigilating our exhibition, Commensalis at Walcot Chapel, but I guess that encouraged people to come into the dry. I did this drawing from the inside looking out. Drawing architecture is challenging because I don’t want it to look like an architect’s drawing so, like with drawing plants, I have to develop a shorthand of marks and a distinctive style. When I was a kid and tried drawing in my own style, some teachers and older relatives used to tell me off because I wasn’t drawing ‘properly’, which meant drawing as copying, using academic techniques.

The Walcot Chapel is an early eighteenth century mortuary chapel in one of the older parts of Bath. In the past, many sick people came to the city to take the waters at the spa. Some didn’t make it and died here. Walcot was one of the mortuary chapels where they were laid out and buried. The small steeply sloping grounds are crammed with old, worn gravestones and tombs. I’m doing an artist-in-conversation here this evening at 6.30 – it’s Friday 13th. That’s going to be a bit spooky!

But before all that, Husb and I are having a day out in Bath with a nice brunch and a visit to the amazing Baths. We found this excellent guide book yesterday – it’s fascinating and also very witty so we’ll let it guide us round the city today. The author has the marvellous name of Gideon Kibblewhite.

Art, A Mortuary and Beautiful Bath

10 Jul

Yesterday was incredibly busy and tiring; I’m part of a group of six artists from Swansea who travelled to the lovely city of Bath to put up and launch our exhibition, Commensalis. We started packing the car at 7.00 am and arrived back home just before midnight. PHEW! It’s on until Sunday evening and includes poetry, storytelling and Swedish Jazz/Folk, along with two artists in conversation (I’m one of them) and it’s all FREE. So if you’re anywhere in the area please look in – the programme is on the website.

Just before we opened I sloped off outside for a quick scribble. The venue, Walcot Chapel, is an extraordinarygothic mortuary chapel dating back to the 1840’s. At the front is a massive porch so I sat outside for a few minutes, looking through the archway on my right, sketching the old, yellowy Bathstone buildings across the graveyard. Bath is such a lovely city and one of my favourite places in the UK. I was given a copy of a marvellous book of photographs and quotations, Beautiful Bath: A souvenir in words and images that marries gorgeous photography with pithy quotes from the last 1000 years. Lovely.

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