Hot And Sweaty Scribbling

25 May


Here’s a sketch I did out on the street in Bath last Saturday as part of Fringe Arts Bath. I drew throughout the afternoon with The Plebeian Scribblers, a group of 4 artists from South Wales who draw in public. We took a timer and changed position every 10 minutes so each sketch is time limited. It’s a challenge to draw crowds of people on the move and locate people within the cityscape with fairly accurate proportions. I drew into my A4 hardbacked sketchbook with a grey graphite stick.

It was brilliant sunshine, the first day of a long Bank Holiday weekend and Bath is a very popular tourist destination anyway so it was hot, sweaty and teeming with people. And The Plebeian Scribblers wear a uniform of boiler suits or bib’n’braces which made me a bit hot and sweaty too!¬†Bath is a great place to visit, loads of history, lovely architecture, great shopping and very, very quirky. This is a book about Bath (The Naked Guide To Bath) written by the brilliantly named Gideon Kibblewhite and it’s one of the best I’ve read about the place.

Car Park In Cardiff

24 May

simon dark

Husb and I went to the Art Car Bootique in a car park in Cardiff today, mainly to visit Dylan’s Mobile Bookstore featuring guest artist Simon Dark. I stopped for a few minutes to scribble Simon as he created some of his stencil art about authors – Dylan Thomas, William Burroughs, Edgar Allen Poe, Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac and my all-time favourite, Hunter S. Thompson. The place was packed out and buzzing and we met lots of lovely people and had loads of conversations. That’s one of the best things in life, chatting to friends.


We spent the previous day in Bath, drawing as part of a live art group, The Plebeian Scribblers, in vivid sunshine and today’s event was bright and sunny too so I think we’ve built up our Vitamin D reserves after the long Winter and miserable Spring. I hope this weather stays throughout the Summer, or at least for tomorrow’s holiday Monday.

I drew with black and grey graphite sticks, white Conte crayon and Faber Castell Pitt drawing pens into an A4 hardbacked sketchbook that I had prepared with ripped bits of brown wrapping paper stuck on with Pritt Stick. The sketch took about 4 minutes.


FAB Day Drawing

23 May


I spent a hot and happy day with three fellow artists at the Fringe Arts Bath. We formed a group, The Plebeian Scribblers to do live drawing in the street as part of a larger intervention by lots of performance artists, A FAB Intervention. We each did 10 drawings of ten minutes each. That’s a lot of standing around on a boiling hot day, easily the hottest of the year so far. In this, I drew my reflection in the window of a shoe shop. I used graphite into an A4 hardbacked Winsor & Newton sketchbook. Now I’m tired and red- caught the sun.

Valadon Screen – Next Step

22 May

suzanne step 2a

I left the Speedball Diazo drawing fluid to dry overnight after I had done my drawing of the artist Suzanne Valadon onto my screen. The next step is to mask it with the Speedball Filler. I drizzled a line of it, after a vigorous shake, at the top edge of the drawing (the screens were propped up so it was horizontal a few inches above the table).

suzanne step 2b


Then I scraped it gently across the surface of the screen with a piece of stiff card. One swipe is recommended. I scooped up the residue at the edges with a small plastic pallette knife and put it back in the pot. Then I left it to dry horizontally. Final stage of screen preparation tomorrow. I bought some ink from Swansea Print Workshop so I might be able to start printing on Monday.

Tomorrow I’m appearing in Union Street in Bath with the Plebeian Scribblers, part of Fringe Arts Bath and on Sunday I’m popping up to Cardiff to mooch around the Art Car Bootique. Maybe I’ll see you there?

Fringe Arts Bath

22 May

Lots happening in Bath from tomorrow with this huge arts festival. I’ll be there on Saturday the 23rd with three fellow artists. We’re The Plebeian Scribblers and we’re doing an intervention on Union Street throughout the afternoon along with loads of other live art performers.

Fringe Arts Bath.

Suzanne Valadon Screen

21 May

suzanne step 1


I’ve been away in Denmark for a week, visiting some dear friends, one of whom is a fellow printmaker. It was lovely to get away and just be a tourist. I deliberately left my diary behind (I still keep a paper one, not electronic) and I didn’t even do any scribbling. Just chilled out. But back to reality now. I’ve made a start on another small screenprint, one of a planned series of favourite artists. This is Suzanne Valadon, a French 19th / 20th century painter. I hope to eventually do a series of small screen prints to take up to the Art Car Boot Fair in London next month. I transferred my drawing to the screen with an HB pencil and used sable brushes to paint on some Speedball Diazo screen drawing fluid. Tomorrow, when it’s dry, I’ll move onto the next stage.

Day Trip To Sweden

19 May


Husb and I went on a bus from Denmark to Sweden today, across THE BRIDGE which featured in the television series of the same name. We spent a few hours exploring Malmo, which has an ‘English Shop’ that sells Marmite for British expats to smuggle across THE BRIDGE because it’s illegal in Denmark. We found a sculpture of a cat by the river, a weird fountain and a great Design Museum.


I haven’t done any sketching since I’ve been here. I’m on holiday and having a break. It’s lovely. Here’s a view from the bus as we crossed THE BRIDGE.


On Holiday

17 May

I’m away! I’m in Denmark visiting friends and chilling out. I’ve hardly scribbled since I arrived. Back to normal in a few days xxx ūüėĀ


13 May

The reclaimed silkscreen

Some time ago I bought some second hand silkscreens. They had photochemical stencils on them and needed to be cleaned so that I can re-use them. They had been originally coated with Speedball Diazo photoscreen emulsion so I had to use Speedball’s remover.

I poured a little remover onto one side and quickly spread it over with a small, stiff nylon scrubbing brush. I turned it over and did the same on the other side then let it stand for one and a half minutes, no more as the screen remover mustn’t dry out. Then I scrubbed both sides with the brush before scrubbing again with hot water pouring onto it, making sure to get into all the nooks and crannies until it was perfectly clean. Then off into the garden on a sunny afternoon to dry. And ready to use again.

Health and Safety notes: I used protective glasses, thick rubber gloves and old clothes.

Screening Paula and K√§the

12 May

I carried on preparing my silkscreen of portraits of two of my favourite artists, Paula Mödersohn-Becker and Käthe Kollwitz. Yesterday I painted the images onto a silkscreen using Speedball Diazo Drawing Fluid and a small sable brush. I let it dry overnight and today I applied the Diazo Filler Solution. I dribbled a little onto the screen (laying horizontally on some props) and scraped it over the blue painted images with a piece of clean mountboard (matte card). Then I let it all dry again.

Once the Filler Solution was dry, I rinsed the screen in my sink with warm water and the blue Drawing Fluid washed away, leaving a clear (yellow) area which is where the ink will be squeezed through onto the paper. But that will have to wait until I come back from visiting a friend – in Denmark! Lucky me :D


The washed screen




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