Sunday, 23 January 2022

ESTUARYLAND

Rosie and I have just returned from a good walk down to and along our estuary. Almost every day we gaze across the water and land and marvel. Every day it is different, changed by the weather and the weather’s constant companion, light.


Black Scar at low water 49 x 65 cm


At low water the mud flats and retreating waters leave their swirling impressions. 

 

From the base of Laugharne Castle we cannot be more than a mile from the opposite shore. In times gone by farmers would row across for an evening drink at The Three Mariners or The Fountain Inn. 

 

Like so much around here it beguiles. The idea of land touching water is timeless continues inspire so many; Just to gaze or respond by taking a picture on one’s phone as I see people do most days. 



Towards Wharley Point 
 49 x 65 cm


 

It is not hard to see why estuaryland inspires*. Part of an estuary’s magic is its being a transition between a river and connected to the sea. Influenced by the latter is tides and a daily dose of saline water and responding in kind with loads of freshwater and sediment from the land.





 


Estuaries are, it seems, amongst the most productive natural habitats. Little wander oystercatchers, curlews and other waders constantly patrol and harvest from these shifting grounds.

 

*The artist Osi Rhys Osmond spent his time exploring Carmarthenshire’s estuary land he declared

 ‘It is a land that is not earth, air or water but an amalgam of all three’

Source: My Brief Eternity a film by Clare Sturgis that documents the making of the last artistic work of Osi Rhys Osmond, which he chose to create for Maggie's cancer charity, Swansea.


This short award-winning film is here https://filmfreeway.com/414404



Estuarylight  49 x 65 cm


Sunday, 16 January 2022

GREAT TRAIN JOURNEYS IN WALES: CARMARTHEN TO SWANSEA

The bright red and grey train from Carmarthen to Swansea takes 42 minutes for its 22 miles route.This two carriage Transport for Wales train whisks you along the coast for most of the journey.

 

We start by bus from Laugharne direct to the station

Ready for the off

The sun was high, sky blue as we left. 



Carmarthen and remained so for the journey to Swansea and the return trip. We run along the Taf estuary on departure and then to Ferryside with a great view of Llansteffan Castle as we stop at Ferryside. Kidwelly is the next stop also with a fine castle. Burry Port provides excellent views of the Pembrey country park. 

 

Just along the coast, a castle
Llanelli, home of the Scarlets rugby team and Tata Steel is the next stop. Just outside the town is the Felinfoel Brewery. A good pint however apparently referred to, uncharitably, by some as ‘feeling fowl’. The BBC’s very own Hue Edwards was born in Llanelli.



Broad, sun-lit estuaries 



 









Gowerton is the final stop before Swansea. Known as the gateway to the Gower Its population of 8,100 once had access to five church or chapel buildings. It hosted the National Eisteddfod in 1980.

 

We arrive in Swansea. The wonderful Glynn Gallery, my final destination was only three minutes walk from the station! More of this box of treasures later….   

Tata Steel Shop

Outside the station at Burry Port

All drawings made on Amazon packaging paper. A good surface on which to work and easily cut to travel-sized pieces  

Monday, 10 January 2022

WASHED, SCRUBBED AND DRIED FOR WINTER.

This land of impossible greens has, of late, being given a going over. Local friends remark on the amount of rain we are enjoying. Most days we are washed with biblical proportions of rain which make indoor chores a delight.

Aside from fir, holly and ivy, the trees are splendidly bare. Each stands proudly on its ridge line. Along and down these hills scrub the winds of winter, right into our backyard. They rattle the tin bath appended the wall.



Hills scrubbed by winds

 

Drawing with charcoal seems the most appropriate medium to capture the captivating landscape of our township, surrounding hills and estuary.

 

Lynette Roberts, poet, artist, and writer lived on the other side of the Taff estuary in Llan y bri. Dylan Thomas was best man at Roberts’s wedding, her work was much admired by Robert Graves who was also a close friend.

 

I borrowed these lines to adorn one of my art school projects for the great hand-in of work on January 7th

 

'To the village of lace and stone 

Came strangers. I was one of these 

Always observant and slightly obscure. 

I roamed the hills of bird and bone…. '

 

From Lamentation Lynette Roberts 

Collected Poems

 

They sit well on this landscape. 



The Taff Estuary from Laugharne Castle


Thursday, 6 January 2022

LIGHT BLUE TOUCH PAPER AND RETIRE

Happy New Year! And last chance to catch up.It has been a crazy couple of months.


As mentioned previously the 10th of October I was invited to go 'upstairs to join the BA fine art course here at Carmarthen School of Art. 

Quite a leap. However it has been an exhilarating couple of months and I really am excited about all that studying at this level entails. 

Painting from Life



Along the way some tears, lots of frustration. 

Experiments in colour



Yet also the chance to work with some great people, share ideas and discover ways to paint and discover new names in terms of painters and artists, people that I would've never have discovered otherwise.

Large scale pieces in charcoal 84 x 60 cm



Today, January 6, is a special day. This morning I handed all my working including project notebook sketchbooks and of course coursework since I joined the program. Most of Christmas was actually spent getting ready for this big handing day especially as, I joined the program late so therefore had some catching up to do! Anyway it's good. It's done. Now we sit back and wait for our assessment and feedback.

Here is a short show of what I have been up too...

Flat colour techniques







Wednesday, 29 December 2021

DANCING WITH JO

It was some weeks back  we were given a link to watch a particular piece of dance performance. https://ndcwales.co.uk/plethu-weave-swyn-gan

I eventually got round to watching it and realised that the dance artist, Jo Shapland, was the very same person whom I’d been drawing during our class a few days earlier. And the exercises we were set included drawing her whilst she was dancing and doing the same without looking at our paper.




From a web link available below ‘Swyn-gân / Summoning, by poet Clare E. Potter and dance artist Jo Shapland, listens deeply to instinctive and mystical aspects of communication, how body, land, the nature speak. Jo also made the film. 

 

Astonishing. 

 

Plethu/Weave saw four dancers from National Dance Company Wales and the four dancers independent sector, partnered with some of Literature Wales’ commissioned poets to create short solo performances during lockdown.

 

Link to a remarkable film also https://youtu.be/FWBDYbIsH2k


Dancing with Jo, across this first semester - here are the drawings....








 

 

Sunday, 26 December 2021

MORE MOORE

Most of our workshops at art school conclude with a tsunami of links and suggestions of artists we should investigate and through this enquiry determine the his/her importance and relevance to one’s own work (practice). Note the use of the word ‘practise’ to imbue the practise of painting and related active with supplementary airs and graces.

Henry Moore was called out a couple of weeks back. My diligence led to this: 

 

Drawing to Sculpt.

Henry Moore was a sculptor passionate about drawing.  In the online the archive of his work, there are 1678 landscape drawings. 

 

He works in charcoal, wax crayon (wax resist) watercolour collage. When the ball point pen was available that was a favourite.

 

Moore has been drawing in sketchbooks throughout his life. He takes these drawings into printmaking as well as sculpture. He led the post war sculpture revival. and he has always looked carefully at his drawings to see how they could become sculpture.

 

His leitmotif is the reclining nude.  It is easy to see how he draws parallels with reclining nude and the landscape. There was an interesting passage in a BBC film about him [details below] where he takes a drawing by Albrecht Durer and sees lines on that drawing becoming landscape.

 

BBC film was shot in 1978 interview with John Read. In the film we see his landscape drawings, use of wax resist, as he walks us through his sketchbook. Moore has been a constant drawer working away at ideas.

 

The countryside was always hugely important to Henry Moore. Exemplified by a series of drawings of tree drawings on blotting paper. He looks at tree roots and says they look like figures “tree trunks are human, almost” 39:09 min into the BBC film*.

 

Aside from being one of  the most important sculptors of late 20th century his drawings are a rich resource. 




 

Drawing from nature makes you look more intensely” says Moore in his interview 

 

The Henry Moore Foundation is embarking on an exciting new project to publish Henry Moore’s entire artistic output in one comprehensive and illustrated online catalogue. 

https://catalogue.henry-moore.org/search/*/objects?filter=department%3ADrawings

 



 

*The Lively Arts - Henry Moore at Eighty (1978 von John Read) (engl.)

9 Jan 2017

moriundmori - Kunst-Dokus

Henry Moore gives a private viewing of his sketches.

BBC 1978, Producer: John Read. 

First Broadcast: 30 July 1978

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mGWaiB_nraM

 

Importance and Relevance, oh yes…

I am much in tune with Moore’s dictum ‘Drawing from nature makes you look more intensely’. I always have, 

I walk past trees and see their roots and I am smitten by the need to draw them. 

Seeing trees and other forms akin to the human form is a great start point for developing a visual language.




Tuesday, 21 December 2021

DOWN THE RABBIT HOLE

30 October 2021,  tidied up 21 December 2021

 

Well, it was a bit of a funny start...

Coming onto a degree course*, painting, drawing and printmaking, with little or few qualifications at the age of 68. 

 

Now I have been exposed to all kinds of weird stuff: dancing art, art that uses various parts of the body to make itself manifest on paper (a link a tutor sent round). 

 

There is a desire to move us to abstraction.




 

And we are s t r e t c h e d!


Now the instant response is not to do same old, same old, but using materials that I used to hate which now I love: charcoal and chalk and Conte crayon.




Why

Because these materials are much more expressive, they focus on tone and shade which are the fundamental principles of great drawing and painting.

What am I getting through these materials (charcoal and chalk and Conte crayon)? The confidence to work at speed. Applying pressure to the material gives different result, using the edge of these materials makes different marks. I have flexibility and options.

 

 

*Yr.1 BA (Hons) Fine Art/ Painting, Drawing and Printmaking