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Movement And Proportion

10 Dec

waterstones 6

So a few more quick scribbles from a local café, Waterstones, which is on the first floor so I could look down into the street and draw people going about their Xmas shopping. It was getting dark and it had been raining so the roads and pavements were wet and shiny. This chap was squatting down next to a bench, chatting, and stayed long enough for me to get some of the reflections in.

 

 

It’s harder to sketch people on the move, with just a few seconds to get the essence of the figure onto the paper. I drew with a ballpoint pen into my tiny fabric covered sketchbook, it’s about 5 inches by 3 inches. Although the scribbles were very quick, they help to refine my eye and practise drawing movement and proportion.

 

 

 

Big And Baggy

9 Dec

waterstones 2

 

Husb and I stopped for a cuppa in Waterstones café yesterday, having a break from the mid-winter gloom. We sat in the window overlooking the street where Woolworths used to be which is now Poundland, it’s a good vantage point for drawing people going about their business. It was getting dark and everywhere was wet so people came and went very quickly. It’s a good exercise to draw quickly, if you only have a few seconds you have to get the main features down and there’s no time to be distracted by details.

 

Everyone’s in big, baggy winter clothes at the moment, but when the rain eases off, the big fluffy hoods come down.

 

 

Millionaire’s Shortbread

8 Dec

waterstones 1

Had a busy day in town today and stopped off for a nice cuppa in the café in Waterstones bookshop .… lovely. Husb had Millionaire’s Shortbread with his tea. It was one of the best he had ever tasted. Lots of the people there read their new books while they drink their tea. I had to have a scribble, didn’t I?

 

 

Living Legend

8 Dec

Living legend small

Husb and I went to a talk at Swansea Art College featuring living legend artist Sir Peter Blake, one of the original Pop Artists and still practicing at the age of 86. He’s a fascinating character and it was great to hear him talking about the examples of the work shown. I managed a scribble, even though I was sitting far away and could only glimpse him between lots of other people. Sir Peter has an exhibition of his work opening at the Glynn Vivian art gallery tomorrow (December the 8th) and he’s also doing the official opening of the Swansea Open as well – it’s at 2.30pm so if you’re in town, call in …..

 

 

 

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

The Nights Draw In…

5 Dec

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More digital kitty. It’s nice drawing the curtains on the dark as we rapidly approach the longest night, it’s dark around teatime now. Sparta Puss likes hanging out with us, dozing on her pouffé with a crocheted blanket. It’s an easy option to scribble her while she snoozes. I’m using my Samsung Galaxy Note 8 tablet with a free app called Markers.

Digital Kitty

4 Dec

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It’s cold and dark outside and the curtains are drawn and Sparta Puss has settled down to do some grooming in comfort. So I grabbed the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 tablet and did a quick scribble using a free Markers app.

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.

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