Tag Archives: World War 1

Silhouette

8 Jan

This is the second of a series of sketches I’m doing from photos I took of the war memorial in Kendal in the Lake District a few months ago. It was a bright day so the statue was silhouetted against the sky, wiping out any details on the statue. I’m using a ballpoint pen into an A6 hardbound sketchbook and making a lot of use of cross hatching.

A Chance To Own One Of My Artworks

I have some small screenprints for sale, inspired by my drawings of the antique taxidermy collection at Swansea Museum. I have given these vintage 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.

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

Foreshortening And Mark Making

7 Jan

I saw a bronze sculpture of a World War 1 soldier on a memorial in Kendal in the Lake District. He was on a tall plinth and towered above me at an interesting angle, so I took a few photos from different sides and then completely forgot about them until I was browsing today and thought, “Ah! I was going to do some sketches from these. Good foreshortening”. So I had a scribble, I’ll do a few more. It’s good practice to draw from a different viewpoint and to scribble lots of marks too.

A Chance To Own One Of My Artworks

I have some small screenprints for sale, inspired by my drawings of the antique taxidermy collection at Swansea Museum. I have given these vintage 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.

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

Faking A Yellow Cow

5 Jun

Friday’s Cheese and Wine Painting Club on Facebook was postponed until today, so lunchtime I started faking a painting by the 20th Century German Expressionist Franz Marc, The Yellow Cow. I still have a couple of hours work to do to finish it, I reckon.

This is from my all-time favourite period of art history, I can’t get enough of the Expressionists. Franz Marc’s life and career were cut tragically short by World War 1, he died at the Battle of Verdun in 1916. What a waste, what a waste.

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.

Moving….

12 Oct

last day

Time flies. It’s been a month since I started my residency at elysium studios, part of the ‘Now The Hero / Nawr Yr Arwr’ arts festival. And now my time is nearly up and I’ll be moving out this weekend. Aaaawwww 😦

But I’ll be moving across the road and starting a month-long residency, part of my Sky Arts ‘Art50’ commission on Swansea’s High Street on Monday. Yaaayyyy 🙂 Find out more here ….

 

 

 

 

The Finale: Sand And Monks

7 Oct

monks 1

There was a final chapter to the extraordinary art experience ‘Now The Hero / Nawr Yr Arwr’ last weekend. After three years of planning, around eighteen months of developing, and the best part of a year of delivering different aspects of the festival – the film of me and my model; the Graft garden; the printmaking workshops; the life drawing; the exhibitions; the installations and finally, the week of wonderful performances – the final day, on Sunday September the 30th, the group of Tibetan Monks who had spent a week painstakingly making an exquisite sand mandala painting, returned the sand to the beach in a formal and very beautiful ceremony.

monks 2

 

 

 

 

Boys Dying Slowly

6 Oct

boys 5

Some more sketches from the extraordinary performance, “Now The Hero / Nawr Yr Arwr” at Swansea’s Brangwyn Hall last weekend. A new requiem was commissioned by auteur Marc Rees, performed by the choir Polyphony, and in the red gloom of the hall, a group of young men, boys, the age of so many of those who lost their lives in World War 1, slowly, very slowly, died.

I didn’t realise what was happening at first as the lads strolled into the centre of the hall and stood around as young lads do, hands in pockets, then slowly they raised their hands and moved imperceptibly backwards and then I realised they were falling as if shot. But in painfully slow motion. I cried.

 

 

 

Inspired By Frank

15 Jun

Coming up in August – I’m running a weekend printmaking workshop inspired by Frank Brangwyn , one of my artistic heroes. An outstanding draughtsman, painter, printmaker, muralist who exhibited with the Viennese Secession but unlike Klimt and Schiele, Frank had the mis/fortune to live to a ripe old age and fall out of fashion; he’s due for a reappraisal and revival.

nya course flyer

I am involved in a large immersive arts project that’s climaxing in September called Nawr yr Arwr / Now the Hero, the brainchild of artist Marc Rees, which is centred around the magnificent Brangwyn Hall in Swansea, which houses the beautiful Brangwyn panels. As part of the lead up to the final act, I’ll be running a two day print course at Swansea Print Workshop, inspired by Frank’s panels and the remembrance of World War 1 (he was a war artist too).

Brangwyn-13

One of Brangwyn’s magnificent paintings

 

Here’s a short film about me, my model, my monotype and Nawr Yr Arwr / Now The Hero

And if you want to see more about the monotype technique I use, please visit the Techie section of my website, here.

An Extraordinary Face

31 Jan

Eddie Ladd

I know I’ve been banging on about Nawr Yr Arwr / Now The Hero, but it’s a big deal for me and I was beside myself when I went to the official launch last week. There I was , a scruffy urchin from a council estate, hobnobbing with the great and the good in the arts and it was a bit overwhelming, to be honest. One of the many highlights of the day was sitting opposite the wonderful Welsh actor, Eddie Ladd. It turns out that she and I have been Twitter chums for some time, but we use different names so I didn’t realise until the day of the launch. Of course, I couldn’t resist having a scribble. I didn’t have much time and it’s not the best likeness, but practice makes perfect, eh? Eddie has an extraordinary face and I hope to draw her again, but with a bit more time.

Here’s a brief film of the commissioned work I have done for Nawr Yr Arwr / Now The Hero.

The Essential Elements

30 Jan

WW1

 

I went to the launch of ‘Nawr Yr Arwr / Now The Hero’ last Friday. I was besides myself with excitement! But I still had a scribble. I usually do. This young actor, Mathew Prichard, in World War 1 uniform stood to attention throughout the launch. I drew him in my A4 brown paper sketchbook from Seawhites of Brighton using black and white conté crayons. It was tough getting the hat right, hats are hard! But I’m pleased with the result, I worked very quickly, capturing the basic details of the face, the essential elements.

 

 

 

The launch event featured a short film about me and my model, David, by filmmaker George Morris, here it is below…..

 

 

“Nawr Yr Awr \ Now The Hero is an immersive theatrical experience that will take the audience on an extraordinary journey through three intertwining narratives of war; from Celtic history, the First World War, and today’s conflicts. 

Drawing on an epic poem, some rejected paintings, and an intimate portrait of a Swansea soldier serving today,  Marc Rees’ bold production brings the stories of war to life, but counterpoints the tragic telling with hope.”

The Ghost

29 Jan

Darkness 2 ghost

I work a lot with a three-colour monotype technique that produces a full colour unique artwork on a sheet of paper (BFK Rives 250gsm). Then I put a second sheet of paper onto the plate and put it through the press again to take a second print with the ink (Caligo Safe Wash) that’s left to give a fainter ‘ghost’ monotype. Apparently the artists Degas and Monet used to work over their ghost monotypes with oil pastels, but I generally leave mine as they are because I like the way the oil-based inks break up in a very Impressionistic way. I also like the contrast with the full colour first proof.

blog snippet 2

Detail from a ghost monotype

This is the ghost of “The Darkness”, a work commissioned as part of Nawr Yr Arwr / Now The Hero….

“…. an immersive theatrical experience that will take the audience on an extraordinary journey through three intertwining narratives of war; from Celtic history, the First World War, and today’s conflicts.

Drawing on an epic poem, some rejected paintings, and an intimate portrait of a Swansea soldier serving today, Marc Rees’ bold production brings the stories of war to life, but counterpoints the tragic telling with hope.”

Nawr Yr Arwr / Now The Hero was launched last week and will culminate at the end of September in Swansea with a festival weekend in and around the historic Brangwyn Hall.

The gestation of this work is the subject of this short film by George Morris and it shows the process from initial drawing to finished monotype via the fascinating vintage printing presses at Swansea Print Workshop.

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