Tag Archives: Wales

Making A Start

18 Apr

 

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I’ve got a few ideas to develop and I’m at the starting point, doing some research. I want to do something with figures in very classical, strong poses so I’m flicking through my art history books to analyse how artists in the past have done it. Here are some scribbles of a classical Egyptian statue. It’s a deceptively simple stance that was very hard to draw but it’s giving me an inkling of how to proceed.

The Difference

17 Apr

 

double drop 3

Preparing an etching plate or a wood block or a silk screen is just the first stage of creativity in making an original print. The second creative input comes with the actual printing – the inks, papers and special effects you use. I printed the one above using the ‘double drop’ technique, printing the plate first in Vermilion and secondly in Prussian Blue. Although it’s quite monochromatic, it has a richer, more intense colour than the print below, which was just printed once, in black ink.

single drop .jpg

Metal Marbling

15 Apr

 

marbling

I’ve done marbling onto paper before but this is marbling onto an etching plate. I spent the weekend at a masterclass in etching at Andrew Baldwin’s Trefeglwys Print Studio in Powys. We covered quite a few processes and I’ve wanted to see this one for a while. Andrew marbles a metal plate with his B.I.G. (Baldwin’s Ink Ground) and bakes it to harden it up and then etches it. The results are gorgeous. Here he’s just poured some of the B.I.G., thinned out with lavender oil, onto a solution of vinegar and water and is dragging a stick through it to enhance the marbled effect, just before dipping a prepared aluminium plate onto it.

All About Eve…

12 Apr

Last night, Husb and I went to our local cinema to see a link up with National Theatre Live in London broadcasting a performance of the play All About Eve, directed by Ivo van Hove and starring the superlative Gillian Anderson, whose performance was outstanding. The whole cast were tremendous and the set design was brilliant. Of course I had a scribble. Just before the lights went down, the TV presenter Kirsty Wark did an introduction and there was just enough light to do a quick sketch of her looming above us.

all about eve

Not a flattering look for her though. The play is wonderful and it’s great to be able to see it locally without the expense of travelling to London.

 

En Plein Air

7 Apr

extinction 2.jpg

There was an interesting demonstration in the city centre yesterday from Extinction Rebellion, raising awareness of climate change. Of course, I had to have a scribble en plein air. Not easy when everyone is moving a lot…

An International Bunch

1 Apr

workstation

A Temporary Print Workstation. This is how I print small blocks at home. I use the top of my plans chest but you can use any surface – desk, table, kitchen work surface… Cover the area with old newspaper (or similar) stuck down with masking tape.

Left to right:

  1. Registration sheet (I blogged about this 2 days ago)
  2. Printing area – where you actually rub the paper onto the inked block – I use Japanese barens
  3. Gluing area – for preparing the chine collé (I use Pritt stick – always use really good glue). Click here to find out more about chine collé.
  4. The inking area – see yesterdays blog for more on this.
  5. At the back I’ve put the stack of pre-cut printmaking paper and the prepared chine collé papers.
  6. I use Cranfield Caligo Safewash relief ink (made in Wales); Hosho Japanese paper for the print; and for the chine collé I use Indian hand-made recycled sari paper. I’ve used vinyl for the block, inked with an excellent roller from Intaglio Printmaker in London. And chine collé is a French term translated as China collage. An international bunch.

 

Next Steps

27 Mar

Phew! Finally, my commission for Sky Arts TV channel’s UK-wide arts project, ART50, ended tonight with the broadcast of the visual arts films, including the one about my artwork, “Here Be Dragons”. And now I have to decide what my next creative steps will be. I liked working with giant woodblock and text and chine collé so I think I will develop some ideas that have been popping up in my head from out of the ether, I might develop a text piece in Welsh. I’ve been playing with my original on Photoshop, cutting, pasting and redefining segments to make a new image. I might bring this, or something similar, into the real world.

Dragon eye 2

And I want to pick up my figurative work as well. I haven’t done any formal work with nudes for well over a year but now I have some very definite ideas based around a particular model. Time to get back in the saddle and make some new art!

June 5

Andraste – The Warrior

So Excited!

25 Mar

I’m getting excited now. The Sky Arts TV project I started working on what seems like aeons ago …. about 9 months …. is finally being aired tomorrow, Tuesday March 26th, along with the other visual arts projects from 9pm.

 

I was commissioned to create a new flag for Britain – that’s opening up a can of wurms as I’m Welsh and we Welsh have never been represented on the Union flag. The film shows my creative process, how I researched and developed what eventually turned out to be a massive woodcut print. It’s called “Here Be Dragons” which not only reflects the dragon on the Welsh flag, but it’s also an ancient phrase that used to be written onto maps to mark “dangerous and unknown territory” which is where I feel we are in the UK now.

 

Here Be Dragons small

 

“Here Be Dragons” also works as a spoken word piece, read aloud and the colour is a combination of chine collé and specific inking. If you subscribe to Sky TV or NOW TV, please drop by tomorrow at 9 and have a look at it.

 

A Bit More Cosi

24 Mar

cosi fan 2

Here are a couple more drawings I did at the opera the other evening, Cosi Fan Tutte at The Taliesin on Swansea University’s Singleton campus. It was very dark so I could hardly see the paper, an A4 brown paper spiral bound sketchbook. I used white and sanguine conté crayon, turning the white on its side to block in large areas and then scribbling with the sanguine.

cosi fan 1

My giant woodcut “Here Be Dragons” is going to be featured on Sky Arts TV channel on Tuesday 26th March at 9pm. If you’re a Sky TV subscriber or if you have NOW TV you’ll be able to see a short film of me going through the creative process, with lots about Swansea and footage of Swansea Print Workshop too. It’s part of a whole week of arts programming showing how artists across the UK have responded creatively to Brexit.

finished

 

 

The Pit And The Uniform

23 Mar

It was a new one for me last night as I went with my Mam-in-Law to the opera. I’ve never been before and to be honest, being an ageing headbanger and rock chick, it would never have occurred to me to go except that Husb joined a choir recently and had the chance to perform in the chorus of Cosi Fan Tutti at the Taliesin. He has a lovely voice which he’s never gotten out in public before and he also looked rather spiffing in his Hussar uniform! Of course, I had a scribble.

cozi fan 1

It wasn’t easy scribbling into my little cloth-covered red notebook as it was dark and I was surprisingly engrossed in the opera. I enjoyed it far more than I expected. It was good fun and I was impressed by the quality and skill of the singing. And there was an orchestra! In a pit! I never even knew that Taliesin had a pit!

I drew with a ballpoint pen, very quickly, unable to see much on the paper so it was a surprise when I looked at them. I wouldn’t mind seeing more opera, but the tickets are terribly expensive and if it comes down to a choice between opera and metal, I know which one I’d buy tickets for. (That’s metal, by the way).

 

 

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