Tag Archives: Wales

Fun With The Family

2 Feb

glyn viv 2019

Husb and I took two young relatives to the Glynn Vivian art gallery in Swansea today. Every Saturday there’s a free, family-friendly art session with a resident artist who encourages people to draw and paint, inspired by artists in the gallery collection. This week focused on the artist Ceri Richards and the poet Vernon Watkins.

It was lovely doing art for fun. It rarely happens for me because it’s my profession and it’s usually a very serious thing but today it was great to chill out and have a play. Husb’s interpretation of the poetry managed to include the USS Starship Enterprise. Sometimes I wonder about him.

 

 

 

A Happy Accident

26 Jan

 

poster

Exhibition: “Female Expressions”, Saturday 2nd – Saturday 23rd February. Queen Street Gallery, Neath.

This is an etching of mine called “Ripples” made from an original life drawing, working with a professional model. It’s part of a series of etchings of the nude which I called “Rinascere” which relates to the word Renaissance because I based the etchings on Renaissance drawing techniques. I call it Ripples because of the ripples moving over her body which were an accidental effect of the process. I used a photosensitive etching plate from a drawing on tracing paper. It looked all right but after it had been exposed in the UV light box, I noticed ripples on the plate from the slight undulations on the tracing paper. They were there because I used wet media for the drawing. But I like it, a happy accident. It’s going to be in the “Female Expressions” exhibition.
ripples

 

 

 

Coming To Neath!

25 Jan

cushion crop

Saturday 2nd – Saturday 23rd February. This is a detail of “The Cushion”, one of my etchings that will shortly be in an exhibition called “Female Expression” in the lovely Queen Street Gallery in Neath.

It’s part of a series of etchings of the nude which I called “Rinascere” which relates to the word Renaissance because I based the etchings on Renaissance drawing techniques.

According to the exhibition’s curator, Jocelyn Prosser, this is…
An exhibition celebrating the female form. Each artist will give a unique and deeply personal expression of the female condition. Although diverse there is a bond in this exhibition that connects. It reveals the strength and fragility within the female psyche.”

 

The Re-Cut

6 Dec

dragon block 1

During the process of developing my recent commission for Sky Arts TV channel, as part of their Art50 programming, I did a number of test blocks to try out different combinations of wood, sealer, ink and paper to find the combo that worked best. It also gave me a chance to experiment with the carving, trying out different tools and cutting styles. Most of the blocks are disposable, just fragments of experimentation, but I took this one to a fairly finished level and I returned to it again today, doing some re-cutting to sharpen up the lettering and give greater definition to the symbolic eye and barbed wire. I’m thinking of printing it up in black on white with red chine collé.

 

sky-arts art 50 mash up

Relaxing

2 Dec

 

cake and jam

I’ve had a weekend off! It’s hard to do that when you’re self-employed so it’s a real treat when it happens. I saw lots of family and friends and I also did one of my favourite things when I’m relaxing, I did a load of cooking. I emptied the freezer of the last of our allotment fruit from the summer and I cooked up some preserves – apricot, damson and a cheeky jostaberry gin jam. And I made a chocolate buttercream sponge, topped with Maltesers, as a present for our niece who recently had a beautiful baby boy. She deserves it. Husb made the buttercream – he’s some sort of buttercream genius.

cawl

Then I cooked up a large pot of Cawl (a traditional Welsh stew) so thick I could stand the wooden spoon in it. I served it with suet dumplings, proper comfort food for the weather we’re having. Back to work with a vengeance tomorrow!

And Breathe!

30 Nov

So, after two and a half months of research, preparation, creative blocks, blood, sweat and a lot of hard work, I finally finished carving my very large block of wood and did the first print. And breathe! The block has been sealed with three coats of shellac and methylated spirits (mixed 50:50) and I am using a Japanese lightweight paper, Hosho, in white for the main print and mulberry papers in red and blue for chine collé. The ink is Caligo / Cranfield’s Safe Wash and I’m taking the print by hand with Japanese barens.

 

I inked up mostly in black with some words picked out in red that I did with a different roller. I also prepared and applied mulberry chine collé. Then Husb lent me a hand to put the Hosho paper onto the block and to rub the back with the Japanese barens.

5 first proof

And here it comes. The first proof. The rest will be revealed in the New Year 😀 This is a commission for the Sky Art 50 programming which is scheduled for March 2019.

 

sky-arts art 50 mash up

 

 

The Swansea Open

29 Nov

mari siglo

The Swansea Open, December 8th to February 2nd 2019, Glynn Vivian art gallery.

I just heard today that I have had 2 artworks accepted into the Swansea Open exhibition and I’m chuffed to bits as Swansea is full of talented artists and the competition is stiff. I submitted two monotypes of the Mari Lwyd, based on drawings I did in my sketchbook at the end of last year. The Mari Lwyd is an ancient Welsh tradition, where groups of revellers wander the streets and pubs accompanied by a life size puppet constructed around a decorated horse’s skull. It may hark back to the worship of the Celtic horse goddess, Epona and has links with Wassailing, May Day hobby horses and Yule celebrations..

Mari thumbnail

The two pieces are intaglio prints – an etching and a mezzotint – that I made during a weekend course with accomplished printmaker Andrew Baldwin at Trefeglwys Print Studios a couple of months ago. It’s a beautiful studio in an ancient building in Powys and I learnt so much from Andrew. He has developed an innovative low toxicity etching ground – B.I.G. – that can be used in both traditional and inventive ways. You can find out more about it here.

Drawing Blood!

25 Nov

cut 3

I draw lots of things. Today I drew blood! I’m back to reality after our short break to Italy and cracking on with carving my large woodcut (80 x 120 cms), a commission from Sky Arts TV channel. One of the occupational hazards of carving blocks for relief printing is the razor sharp tools that I use. I keep them in good condition with a leather strop and abrasive wax (below).

strop

My attention slipped for a split second, the tool slipped for a split second, and blood spurted out of one of my fingers. Oh well, could be worse. I’ve almost finished carving and it’s my first injury, so I’m not doing too badly.

 

sky-arts art 50 mash up

 

 

It’s All A Bit Zen.

13 Nov

cut 1

 

The carving begins! The final drawing has been transferred in reverse onto the MDF block in compressed charcoal. Then I redrew everything with a brush and walnut ink. And now I’m cutting. After all the rush and stress of the past few weeks, it feels a bit Zen to quietly carve into the wood, carefully scribing the lines and curves with nothing but the sound of my breathing to accompany me. It’s very meditative.

 

cut 2

This is a large woodcut commissioned by Sky Arts television channel for ART50. You can read more about what I’m doing here.

 

 

sky-arts art 50 mash up

 

 

 

 

A Head In The Gallery

16 Oct Male portrait showing character

artist

Another face scribbled in the gallery the other evening…… always good practice to draw when I’m in an audience ….. using a ballpoint pen into a small notebook …..

 

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