Today I made jam (and a big sticky mess of the kitchen), with the many marrows from the garden, some bramley apples and ginger to spice things up. Here it is, all jarred and labelled:
Cooking is chemistry, alchemy and risk-taking, it’s both a basic and highly creative craft. That’s not to say I’m a culinary wizard but there’s something so satisfying about listening to the radio of a rainy evening and mixing stuff together. Seeing what happens.
The same spontaneity applies to my artwork, sometimes. There are moments where, like an expert jam maker every measurement and detail must be carefully weighed, measured and thought about. But mostly – in both the kitchen and at my desk, I play and experiment – a magazine cutting here, some bold colour added there, hands, eyes, alphabet and ink and a brand new image is created. Or I work with what materials – or ingredients – are on hand.
I created some new work for the SHO Gallery in Cardiff, where my illustration, collage and book works are part of an exhibition named ‘Subtitle’, gathering work of artists who work with text, type and lettering. I’ll be getting some pictures of the work in situ very soon. Very excited as, two days into the exhibition, I’ve already been commissioned to make a book for someone, and sold an Alan print. Do head on down! The Verb Garden multiples have been made and are on sale in the gallery (hopefully a few other places soon,as well!)
Also, my first workshop on Map Books takes place in the gallery this Thursday so do come along if you’re able / in the area…
I have a new project starting called the 100 mph dog. A picture book written by a friend of mine that I’ll be illustrating. Yesterday I was busily drawing whippets running, jumping and lolling and some of them don’t look like dogs at all. I haven’t drawn a dog for a long time – so need to get to know the shapes and expressions before dog- character-illustrating. Watch out here for strange sketches, mock ups and snippets of the story!
Now then! To finish off Sunday I’m going to curl up with a cocoa and the latest issue of Oh Comely before recharging my batteries for the juggle-juggle-juggle of work in the morning.
PS – the new Contemporary Art Gallery at National Museum of Wales in Cardiff is reallyreallygood. In particular the exhibition Place, Trace and Identity: Art since the 1960s showed artists who engage with everyday objects, communities and ideas through new media and innovative ways of working. Personal favourites were the Postcards series by Tim Davies, the negative spaces of an empty book shelf by sculptress Rachel Whiteread, and our friend’s brother Bedwyr Williams dressed as a bearded bard playing a harp on a rock. Go see them!
& the kettle is urgently whistling. More soon.