According to my Mam, I started drawing when I was about 2 years old. We lived in an old two-up-two-down terraced rental in Dyfatty, an inner city slum area. There was a tiny parlour in the front and a back kitchen at the end of a long dark corridor. There was a big black iron range with a fire for cooking and heating water and Mam cleaned out the grate every morning, re-laying the fire ready to light later. First screwed up newspaper – yesterday’s Evening Post (also recycled for toilet paper) then some thinly chopped wood – kindling – then some of yesterday’s cinders and finally a few lumps of precious coal.
One day, she saw me drawing with my finger into the soft grey ash on the hearth. I sat very quietly for ages, scribbling away, and I did it every day from then for months. That was the start of a lifelong obsession with drawing. I have thousands of drawings – stacks of sketchbooks spilling from cupboards and reams of larger drawings in portfolios and folders and drawers all over the house.
And drawing has underpinned my artistic practice throughout the years, whatever else I may do I always turn to drawing.
Fast forward to the 1970s and I became a student at Swansea Art School, intending to be a portrait painter, but I was influenced by the wonderful artist, printmaker and teacher, Andy Charlton and switched to printmaking. I found that my drawing skills were ideally suited to print and it became my preferred genre for decades.
Until Covid19 hit the planet.
And since the lockdown began back in Spring 2020, I have been painting more or less every week with Ed Sumner’s live tutorials on the Cheese and Wine Painting Club on Facebook. Ed teaches painting skills by copying work by great artists and I’ve found myself whiling away the pandemic by painting. It’s become a bit of a compulsion, picking up paints after over 40 years.
For the past nine years I’ve been writing an artblog every day, almost three thousand posts now, and as I’ve been putting these paintings up onto my blog over the past 16 months, I have been asked many times if I would be willing to sell them. The idea is attractive but I don’t really want to make money from copying. But as the lockdown has run on and on, I now have more than 60 copies of masterpieces and I’ve decided to sell some of them to raise money for LATCH, The Children’s Cancer Charity that supports young cancer patients and their families across South Wales.
I hope you enjoy this exhibition of my temporary diversion into painting and if you would like to see the paintings offered for the LATCH fundraiser, please click on this link. Thank you.
As a result of unexpected and very welcome interest I have decided to offer additional work for sale to raise money for LATCH. With this in mind if you like any of the paintings in this exhibition please email me for more information.