Tag Archives: weather

The Same Thing Every Year!

15 Apr

herstory

It’s the same every year on our allotment (community garden). Husb and I resolve to do the correct thing and work on it for an hour, then two, then three and so on, building up the muscles that have atrophied over the deluge that passes for the British winter. Unfortunately, the deluge keeps on happening in this little corner of Wales and so whenever there’s a rare glimmer of sunshine, we rush down to the allotment and work for as long and as hard as we can to keep on top of the couch grass and weeds that thrive in our temperate wet climate. Yesterday was one of those days. We went down in the morning to do a “couple of hours” but ended up working through nearly seven hours of hard labour. It felt great at the time but today….!!!! I’d be on my knees if I could bend down, which I can’t.

Welfare poster

This afternoon was the launch of a group exhibition that I have some work in, at The Welfare in Ystradgynlais. Here I am with “Herstory”, the collaborative piece I did for International Women’s Day with graffiti artist Unity. I think I’m making a good job of disguising the fact that every muscle in my body (so it seems) has seized up! Oh, and it poured with rain. Again.

Gold Mine In The Rain

2 Apr

Dolaucothi

It’s the British Bank Holiday so of course, the rain was tipping down. Husb and I got fed up looking out of the window at the Easter deluge and took off up to Dolaucothi to have a look around the Roman goldmine. It’s a lovely part of the country and we had a good time, despite the torrential sky juice.

The mines were originally worked in pre-Roman times, then the Romans invaded and took them over. Then they fell into disuse until the Victorians had a go and they finally closed in the 1940’s so there was a lot of historical stuff to see on site. I had a scribble, sheltering in the engine house and sketching the industrial machinery and landscape outside, using white, sanguine and black conté crayons into my A4 brown paper sketchbook.

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.

Cold On The Beach

16 Feb

beach

Popped out for a walk along the beach yesterday and had a quick scribble into my A4 brown paper sketchbook with black, white and sanguine conté crayons. The sun was very bright in the sky but there were also loads of dark clouds massing between the horizon and the sun, which threw very strong highlights across the sea while the wind whipped rivulets of dry sand across the wetter sand beneath. And it was freezing. So I didn’t hang around.

 

 

Blowing The Cobwebs Away

28 Dec

beach Dec 28 2017

 

The weather was glorious today, chilly but very sunny, so Husb and I went for a walk on the beach to start to work off the excesses of the last few days and blow the cobwebs away. Of course I had a scribble into my tiny little cloth covered Paper Blanks sketchbook and a biro (ballpoint) pen. It was a very quick sketch but that’s okay, the important thing for me is to draw every day even if it’s only for a minute or two. It’s like a singer practising their scales.

 

beach 28 Dec

A walk on Swansea Beach

The Sky Caught Up With Us

27 Dec

crem

 

This time of year there are many family traditions being played out across the Christmas holidays and one in my own family is to visit memorials of those we have lost. Every year we go to the crematorium to lay flowers and clean memorial stones. I reflected on the ancient use of stone for graves and memorials which is still part of our culture. It makes sense really, stone lasts for aeons. The sky was strange today, brooding and heavy around the white crematorium chimneys. The sky caught up with us and it snowed heavily a few minutes after I did this very quick sketch. I used white, sanguine and black conté crayon into an A4 brown paper spiral bound sketchbook.

Punjab To Rhondda With Cake

20 Nov

Winter Woodland artist residencies Nov 2017 b

I’m doing a one-day artist residency at The Workers Gallery in Ynyshir this coming Friday so if you’re in the area, or fancy that trip up the Rhondda Valley that you’ve been promising yourself, please pop in and see me. I’ll make a cake. Maybe a Victoria Sandwich.

Victoria Sandwich

When I did a residency in Pakistan, at the Zaira Zaka Print Studio three years ago, I travelled from Rawalpindi to Lahore across the vast expanse of the Punjab through some incredible weather conditions including the most ferocious thunderstorm I have ever experienced. In the car, I did 50 very quick impressionistic drawings of the journey into a small Khadi sketchbook, and these have inspired a series of small monotypes. I have done 10 so far and I’ll be working on some more at my residency in Ynyshir.

I edited the 50 original drawings together into a short video with a soundtrack taken from the sounds around me during my month-long stay. Here it is….

Cash And Kudos

23 Oct

Helen Sears 2

 

Another scribbled head from my visit to the Glynn Vivian art gallery a couple of days ago, to listen to the talk by artist Helen Sear while Storm Brian raged outside. The Glynn Vivian is a fabulous gallery and reopened after a five-year refurbishment last year. It’s great to have it back, it’s an amazing gallery and the city council has had the guts to keep it open and thriving in the face of swingeing public sector cuts.

 

The gallery is part of an exciting artscene in Swansea and the city is in the shortlist for the UK City of Culture 2021 with three others. It’s a mad, quirky place that oozes culture of all sorts, not just highbrow stuff. It’ll mean a lot if we win the bid, this part of Wales has been run down for so long yet arts and culture and sport thrive here without the huge amounts of cash and kudos enjoyed by places like London. What we could do with just a fraction of that!

 

Storms Cissy and Ada?

22 Oct

Helen Sears 1

I’ve been out and about with a sketchbook recently, getting back to basics, drawing as much as possible, not for projects but simply as part of my routine practice. An artist’s practice is just that, practice.

I went to a talk at the Glynn Vivian Art Gallery by the artist Helen Sear, her work is currently featured there. I managed to scribble a few listening heads. I find that I can sketch and listen at the same time because I’m not concentrating on making “great art” so I don’t mind if it all goes pear shaped. This woman had the loveliest pre-Raphaelite hair, all fuzzy ringlets tied up in a loose knot, straight out of the late 19th century.

It was a terrible day outside the gallery, we were in the middle of Storm Brian and the gales were howling and the rain was lashing down. The Americans always seem to have quite posh names for their hurricanes – Ophelia, Katrina, but we have Storm Brian. I’m waiting for Nigel and Doris. Or Cissy and Ada maybe?

 

 

 

Cissy and Ada

The immortal Cissy and Ada

 

A Quick Head

21 Oct

Swansea Fringe 3

Here’s a sketch I did a couple of weeks ago at the Swansea Fringe. Husb and I went to the Swansea Storytelling event; it’s good for drawing faces because people are usually focused and concentrating. I used a 6B graphite pencil into my A5 lined notebook.

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