Tag Archives: women artists

Copying, Creativity, Cheese And Wine

18 Apr

I’m carrying on faking this Monet, “Cliffs At Grainval”, but it still needs more work. Not a lot, just a bit more faffing should do it. I started it on Friday with Ed Sumner’s Cheese and Wine Painting Club on Facebook. He’s been running it weekly since lockdown began over a year ago and it’s grown so much with hundreds of people joining in every week to copy a painting by a famous artist. I recently read an article in Artsy about how copying art actually increases creativity, which is good news. Here’s a link if you want to read it.

A Chance To Own One Of My Artworks

I have some small screenprints for sale, inspired by my drawings of the taxidermy collection at Swansea Museum. I have given these antique artifacts a modern twist by combining them with images of rubbish – old fruit nets, bubble wrap and plastic – highlighting the problem of human pollution and how it affects wildlife.

To buy my work on the Swansea Print Workshop site please click the image to the left and to see the complete image.

20 percent of the cost of each screenprint sold goes to support Swansea Print Workshop, which receives no public funding.

Friday Fakery

16 Apr

It’s Friday again so I joined in with the weekly Cheese and Wine Painting Club on Facebook at lunchtime. It’s run by painter Ed Sumner who has kept it going every week since lockdown started. Today’s fake is “Cliff At Grainval”, a painting from 1882 by Claude Monet. I’m about half way through.

A Chance To Own One Of My Artworks

I have some small screenprints for sale, inspired by my drawings of the taxidermy collection at Swansea Museum. I have given these antique artifacts a modern twist by combining them with images of rubbish – old fruit nets, bubble wrap and plastic – highlighting the problem of human pollution and how it affects wildlife.

To buy my work on the Swansea Print Workshop site please click the image to the left and to see the complete image.

20 percent of the cost of each screenprint sold goes to support Swansea Print Workshop, which receives no public funding.

Finally Finished Faking Frida

11 Apr

I finally finished faking Frida! I started this weeks ago on a Zoom tutorial with Ed Sumner of the Cheese and Wine Painting Club on Facebook. The original is a modern painting by an artist called Nettsch. I need more practice with foliage and birds, they were much harder than the figure. It’s painted in Liquitex acrylic onto stretched canvas.

A Chance To Own One Of My Artworks

I have some small screenprints for sale, inspired by my drawings of the taxidermy collection at Swansea Museum. I have given these antique artifacts a modern twist by combining them with images of rubbish – old fruit nets, bubble wrap and plastic – highlighting the problem of human pollution and how it affects wildlife.

To buy my work on the Swansea Print Workshop site please click the image to the left and to see the complete image.

20 percent of the cost of each screenprint sold goes to support Swansea Print Workshop, which receives no public funding.

The Making Of A Pandemic Painting

22 Mar

Here’s a short video, under 5 minutes, showing how I made this family Zoom painting, “18 people, 2 Dogs and a Cat”, from floundering at the beginning of lockdown in March 2020, through 9 months of faking famous paintings, to my first large scale original painting reflecting our family’s response to the pandemic. It’s subtitled as well. I hope you like it 😀

 

A Chance To Own One Of My Artworks

I have some small screenprints for sale, inspired by my drawings of the taxidermy collection at Swansea Museum. I have given these antique artifacts a modern twist by combining them with images of rubbish – old fruit nets, bubble wrap and plastic – highlighting the problem of human pollution and how it affects wildlife.

To buy my work on the Swansea Print Workshop site please click the image to the left and to see the complete image.

Inspired by drawings of the taxidermy collection at Swansea Museum. I have given these antique artefacts a modern twist by combining them with images of rubbish – old fruit nets, bubble wrap and plastic – highlighting the problem of human pollution and how it affects wildlife.

20 percent of the cost of each screenprint sold goes to support Swansea Print Workshop, which receives no public funding.

Käthe Kollwitz by Rosie Scribblah

25 Nov

Here is my first podcast.  It is about one of my favourite artists Käthe Kollwitz.  Here is a screen print I did of her.  To own one of my series of silkscreen portraits celebrating great but often neglected women artists please click here.

Please see below the transcript of the podcast.

Most of us have a hero and Käthe Kollwitz is mine.

She was a German artist born in the 1860s at a time when women were definitely not supposed to become artists. It was a very blokey thing to do. But she came from a radical and idealistic family and grew up with this very strong sense of social responsibility.

At first, her father was a lawyer but it really messed with his head and he gave up a comfortable middle class lifestyle and retrained as a stone mason.

Kathe’s family recognised her incredible talent when she was a child so they paid for her to have drawing and printmaking lessons from a local engraver, which was very unusual at that time. I mean, she was a girl.

And then, when she was 18, her family sent her to art school in Berlin, which was very radical, a teenage woman on her own away from home, in those days.? And while she was in art school she got involved in socialist and feminist politics.

She finished her course and when she was 24 she married a socialist doctor, Karl Kollwitz, who was very principled and although they could have had a very comfortable lifestyle, instead Karl ran a clinic in a working class area where people paid a little bit every week, a kind of medical insurance. Kathe often helped him in the surgery and saw for herself the terrible effects of poverty.

Queen Victoria

This was at the end of the 19th century – Queen Victoria was on the throne over here and the lives of working class people across Europe were short and hard. Just think of the books written by Charles Dickens – the poorest people had awful lives.

Kathe was so talented – she could have made loads of money painting portraits for rich people but instead, she decided to become a printmaker, mainly doing etchings and lithographs.

That decision was because of her politics. Two reasons, one was because you can make lots of prints from an etching plate, so you can sell them far more cheaply that the cost of one painting, so it meant that people who were not very wealthy could afford to buy her art.

And the second reason is that there’s a long tradition of political printmaking and that suited her – she could bring her radical political beliefs into her work.

And what sort of things did she make art about?

Well, lots of political prints about the struggle of working people but also she did lots of portraits of working men and women. Now bear in mind that at that time, having a portrait done was something that only the wealthiest people could afford, and here was Kathe, drawing and making etchings of the ordinary working people who came to her husband’s surgery. That was radical.

The other subject she did a lot of work about was death. There was no medical insurance, nothing like the NHS. Medical science wasn’t all that advanced. There were no antibiotics and masses of people died from infections that wouldn’t bother us now. And lots of women died giving birth. And huge amounts of children died when they were babies and toddlers. Even in better off homes. As the wife of a doctor she was surrounded by death.

Now because her work was so political, she was very unpopular with the rulers of Germany, the First Reich, Emperor Wilhelm, Kaiser Bill, who started World War 1. He was violently opposed to any political art, he called it gutter art.  But despite that, her art very well thought of at home and abroad.

When World War 1 started, her much loved youngest son, Peter, volunteered to join the army. His father didn’t want him to but he persuaded Kathe to let him go. Unfortunately he was killed in battle just a few months later, when he was 18. Her grief was terrible and she couldn’t do any art for some years. Like so many parents across Europe she struggled with her personal tragedy.

The Great War

The Great War ended in 1918 and Germany was a defeated and broken country, sons and husbands and fathers died in the trenches and left a nation of women and children, which happened in the other the allied countries as well.

At the end of the day, there were no winners, only losers.

By this time the First Reich was gone and the Weimar Republic came into power. They thought a lot of Kathe and she had loads of major exhibitions and awards, she became a Professor and she was the first woman ever to be elected to the Berlin Academy of Art.

Then in the 1920s she made a series of incredible and very upsetting prints, woodcuts. I think during this time she was working through the grief of the war and losing her son.

She did one image called “This is The Sacrifice” and it’s obvious that her anguish comes through the way she has hacked the wood away to reveal the painful image underneath, a primeval image of the tragedy of motherhood, giving birth to beautiful baby boys only for them to be swallowed up as sacrifices in war. It’s so painful and so different to traditional depictions of war which glorify cruelty and heroism.

Her son Peter was butchered along with hundreds of thousands of sons, lovers, husbands, fathers, uncles and nephews by a stupid aristocratic family quarrel. The German royal family lived in comfortable exile after the war, while the working classes, devastated by WW1, struggled to find work, food, warmth. Again she does loads of art about this, usually showing the situation from women’s point of view.

Hitler and the Nazis

But these were desperate times and although there was a huge anti-war feeling after World War 1, as the 1920s went on and people lived in terrible conditions in Germany, that anti-war feeling was starting to change, and Hitler and the Nazis were on the rise.

They came to power in 1933 and established The Third Reich and Kathe’s work becomes even darker, facing the horrors of her country’s descent into fascism with horrific images, very Gothic and disturbing.

Many artists suffered under the Nazis, labelled degenerate, some killed themselves, some disappeared into concentration camps, some went into exile. Nobody was safe but Kathe’s style in the last years of her life became very free, almost abstract, because she couldn’t be political in her work anymore, because she would have been killed.

Self Portraits

So she did a whole load of self-portraits in these last few years. And you can see the sadness in her face. Germany was about to start another World War.  She’d lost her young son Peter in World War 1 and then her young grandson, also Peter in World War 2 and, now in her 70s, she withdrew from public life and into her own inner world.

Kathe died in 1945, shortly before the war ended.

Why isn’t better known? Well she’s a woman! That speaks volumes. And she’s German and Germans were not popular for decades after World War 2. But over the past few years her work has reached beyond Germany and she’s finally getting credit for being one of the great artists of the 20th century.

Finally, Kathe and her wonderful work is being loved again. I hope you look her up online and that you get to love her as much as I do.

Käthe Kollwitz

Well, that’s the story of Kathe Kollwitz. If you want to look her up, her name is spelled K. A. T. H. E.  K. O. L. L. W. I. T. Z.

I hope you enjoyed my first podcast. The next one is going to be about another artist that inspires me …. Frida Kahlo. In the meanwhile, look out for me on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. I’m Rosie Scribblah. Hwyl Fawr.

Hanging With Camille Claudel

11 Nov

Camille

I’m exhibiting at “The Uncredited Woman” at Llanover Hall in Cardiff CF5 1FH until December 8th. Here I am at the opening of the Women’s Arts Association annual show, with the work I submitted, a screenprint of the French sculptor Camille Claudel. I used the liquid stencil method to prepare the screen, working from one of my drawings of her. If you want to find out more about the process, please click here.

 

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In The SPace

5 Dec

Space 1

Swansea Print Workshop has a temporary artspace, The SPace, in the heart of the city and one of the benefits is that it gives our members a pop up gallery. Here are my series of screenprinted portraits of women artists who inspire me and four of my drawings of ancestral burial sites in Pembrokeshire – I drew them in the rain a few weeks ago. There’s also a collagraph fox by Kara Seaman and a drawing by Hannah Lawson.

The SPace is open to the public Wednesdays to Saturdays, 11.30 – 5.00 until the middle of February.

Eight Women Finished!

11 Jun

SONY DSC

Favourite women artists

 

 

Here’s the complete set of silkscreens of 8 of my favourite artists that I have been working on for the past few weeks. I’ve done each of them as editions of 25, except for Frida Kahlo, I did 50 of her. I’m not sure why, I just really liked the brushwork on her screen. It was the last one I did and I was getting much bolder and less anal about applying the liquid stencil. I’ve got the bug now and I want to do more.

I was going to do some of my favourite male artists in this first tranche but when I researched images of them, most of them looked alike – they were mostly middle aged bearded Victorian men in black coats and white collars. Apart from Egon Schiele. So it’s back to the drawing board with the men. The artists above are Paula Modersohn-Becker, Kathe Kollwitz, Suzanne Valadon, Hannah Hoch, Camille Claudel, Gabriele Munter, Broncia Keller-Pinell and Frida Kahlo. I used a lovely vintage paper, handmade and deckle-edged by T. H. Saunders, sadly no longer made. They’ll be launched at the London Art Car Boot Fair in Brick Lane on Sunday. Please drop by if you’re up London way 🙂

Registration. Registration. Registration.

10 Jun

registration 1

Registration on the silkscreen frame

 

Registration is critical for a printmaker and when you start as a callow student it’s difficult to get your head around it, but eventually it becomes second nature. It also makes use of some of the boring maths I learnt in school. I did one tabletop registration for all eight of my recent silkscreens on women artists and fitted the registrations on the different screens to it. I used thin masking tape for the registration marks on the tabletop and the screen frames and wide masking tape to mask the edges of the mesh so that the ink didn’t squeeze through onto the paper except where it was supposed to.

It isn’t glamorous, but it’s important and it’s worth spending time to get it right. This screen has four of my women artist stencils on it: Hannah Hoch, Gabriele Munter, Camille Claudel and Broncia Koller-Pinell. The stencils were created with Speedball Diazo Drawing Fluid and Filler. The finished prints will be going to the London Art Car Boot Fair this coming Sunday. Please call in if you’re passing by Brick Lane 🙂

Warts ‘N’ All

9 Jun

frida

Here’s the last of my series of 8 silkscreen portraits of women artists that I’m launching this coming Sunday at London’s Art Car Boot Fair in Brick Lane. My final edition is of the iconic Frida Kahlo. I’ve really enjoyed doing these editions; I hadn’t done any silkscreens for about 8 or 9 years and it’s been great to get back into the technique. I’d forgotten how many things can go wrong, but doing all these over the past few weeks has brought it all back to me, warts and all. So tomorrow, signing, titling and numbering the editions, packing them in bags and getting everything sorted to take up to London.

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