Artists

COVID 19

Social distancing, lockdown, empty shops, very clean hands, elderly and ill parents and grand parents shut away for ..a year ? Jobs and work and therefore money evaporating, these are very scary times indeed.

I don’t really quiet know what to do, I shall create something..at some point…I hope also to come up with some step by step instructions or ideas for folk to try-arty things to do with their kids, or to do for themselves, but I have been sorting out my own family and making them safe. Family really does come first.

This extraordinary situation, has literally affected all of us, I found it very interesting..as other people have noted, that at this time, of course the Doctors and Nurses are doing a wonderful job, as are the teachers still in work, but so too are those in Society who are in the least paid jobs, the cleaners, the carers, the shop workers, all of whom are very much on the front line, battling with idiots not paying any attention to social distancing and are selling them food to eat to survive, these people truly are the hero’s in all of this. and I could so very easily be one of those workers myself.

Swansea Print Workshop closed to the pubic a few days ago, therefore closing all of my up and coming classes with it. Swansea council has also almost shut down, we have been told to work from home, something I am adjusting to, collating information and ideas.

I feel for all of the people working in the restaurant industry too especially here in Swansea family friends own both The Khardomah and Arthur Neave and both have now closed. when they re-open I shall look forward to going to both! and of course Joe’s Ice-Cream!

My partner’s mother owns a Hairdressers: No 14 in Dunfermline, not in Wales..in Scotland, but she also has had to close her business. and what help is there for the self employed like her and indeed myself? We await to find out.

In the meantime, I am trying to sort myself out, dust myself down and get to work, I have plans, and am gathering many, many ideas…in the meantime here’s a few things going around that might be useful if you don’t like your own company, have kids or are just bored out of your skull already!

Images to download and colour in:

http://library.nyam.org/colorourcollections/?fbclid=IwAR1WTM9myU7Lc5AvDSHAGwWi7ZxCUGJEHGOl3Fh69TnszQv4iR8igmCzXIk

Virtual tours of museums online:

https://people.com/travel/stuck-at-home-these-12-famous-museums-offer-virtual-tours-you-can-take-on-your-couch/?fbclid=IwAR0PhmK9TjGNf29lgV6REO8U58dDF6az5MrCbvDvLBsBbUTgnhPB5owf0Bg

Also Noel Fielding is doing an online Artclub from his Twitter feed:

https://twitter.com/noelfielding11?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Eauthor

and someone has set up a Pandemical sketch club to join too:

https://www.instagram.com/pandemical_sketch_club/

I shall be posting more posts about friends artworks and music too in time.

That’s all for now I think! Phew, stay safe!

Here are some March Hares:

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All or Nothing

Sometimes everything happens at once, actually, this happens very often as an artist.. there is 0 work for months, then it’s all at the same time, not only it is Dinewfr, and some work in Margo’s Vintage, but it’s also the Swansea Print Workshop Christmas Exhibition, this is opening on Saturday with tea, coffee and cakes all day from 10.30-4.30 pm! …and then is open then until the 27th of November.

kara's heron framed

Included are some of our postcards and larger bird screenprints that were printed in the summer with workshops by Kelly Stewart. That big grey Heron is mine..I know it’s a screenprint not a collagraph..shock horror!

There are many, MANY prints, cards, christmas cards and other gifts.

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A huge selection of cards for sale, all the xmas goths and animals are mine..not all the birdy ones though!

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Postcards created in the summer during Kelly Stewart’s workshops.postcards.jpg

Exhibiting with the National Trust!

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I am very pleased to be exhibiting with the National Trust this Christmas with some fabulous artists! The grounds of Dinefwr are amazing, spectacular vistas around every corner and deers and cattle a plenty! The grounds are just behind the beautiful multi-coloured town of Llandeilo, which has great antique shops, galleries and independent shops and eateries!

My deer print, The fox nest and a badger in the garden shall all be there to welcome you!

PPSSTT! this exhibition is open for Dinefwr’s Christmas Fair from 22-44th October and shall be open to the public thereafter, although there is , as stated an official opening on the 30th!

Printopia: an Exhibition

Welcome to Printopia, opening on Thursday night at Volcano Theatre, Swansea High Street, Roll up, Roll up for an array of beautful original prints and artworks to tantalise your senses!

I have some work there too! Alongside many, many wonderful artist’s and collegues.

Opening Thursday 6-9pm and runs until the end of July.

 

From the Beacons to the Sea, an Exhibition.

In Swansea Print Workshop we have been invited to exhibit at Theatre Bryceiniog in Brecon. the theme was ‘From the beacons to the sea and so I think there shall be a lot of fantastical artworks in the show! Also invited were South Wales Potters so i’m really excited! SPW and SWP can be a bit confusing though!! We open tomorrow running through to just before Christmas

Beacons to The Sea Launch Party Invite

 

 

I have 2 new pieces in the show, one based on ‘Blue pool’ an amazing, fairly secret area of Gower, secret for good reason, it can be dangerous the tides around there are notorious!

The other work is about Rosehill Quarry, an area of land-which of course use to be a quarry, but is right in the center of the hustle of Swansea, nestled amongst flats and estates on the curve of a hill.

Work in progress, waiting for the glue to try and not bow the board! Blue pool of glue! Who knew!

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and here are some photos of my trip up to the Quarry.

The music that really helped me create these works was Iron and Wine especially this piece.

 

and thee final prints, they are varied editions, so each one shall be a bit different!

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Leftovers 8

Leftovers is an idea by Wingtip Press in Boise, Idaho, America.

it’s basically about what to do with all of those wee off cuts of paper as printmakers we all seem to collect these inadvertently, well in Boise, they decided to make a worldwide touring exhibition out of it and ask printmakers from all over the world to participate, Swansea Print workshop has had an association with Amy Nack from Wingtip Press for several years now, in fact when she was over in Wales several years ago and I had the chance to meet her and chat printmaking over coffee in the SPW kitchen!

but I have never actually exhibited as part of any of the shows, mainly because my work is too big and although I have plenty of wee bits of paper around the place, I just haven’t had anything small enough, until now.

I’ve been running a printing without a press course since the end of the summer and so have been experimenting myself making examples to show my students. some of my examples have been printed by using erasers which have been cut and then printed as a mini relief print-much like a lino or a woodcut and I have made several designs with some lovely rubbers i’ve found in W.H Smith. (No they are not sponsoring me, Unfortunately, but they do have nice rubbers), The print I have submitted for the  Leftovers was shown as part of my inktober work a couple of weeks ago, I’ve just re -thought about it and printed it differently for the exhibition, I shall put one in my etsy shop at the weekend also and there shall be several available to buy in Swansea Print Workshop for £25.00 only. Here it is: Blodeuwedd .

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As a member of SPW I was invited alongside others to exhibit as this show only, I haven’t submitted to a touring show of Leftovers 8, just to the SPW leg of the show, but maybe next year I will, especially as now I have some practice with making mini prints!

 Saturday 4-6.30pm is the opening event.

The exhibition runs through the rest of November and all of December and is open on all ‘Open Access Days’. Tuesday, and Thursday, 10.3-5pm normally, closed over Xmas. See the SPW website for details.

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I particularly likes these prints, the one on the right is from America I think and the two on the left are by my boss the fabulous Jackie Ford.

 

In the print workshop there shall also be cards for sale by me and many others, many other prints and some of my wee paper mache foxy sculptures too.

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Print Explosion @Volcano Theatre in a Heatwave!

In Britain we are currently having a mega heatwave, I can’t remember it ever being this hot for this long in my lifetime-that’s almost 38 years! I was a 1980 baby so missed the 70’s summers. … it’s pretty typical then that I’ve had lots of work to make, in the dark studio with barely any windows and no time for swimming down Langland ( The beach with beach huts where everyone goes to swim in Swansea) as soon as i’ve finished all of this work, it will be cold and raining, you watch!

I completed my first finished new animal print of the year!..and it’s the last one I started, it was complicated, it’s a Collagraph, but, it has a screen printed element-the ants and leaves- …isn’t that typical?..well it is for me, I have a few more plates awaiting finishing, I shall finish them literally asap because I have other deadlines! It’s a beautiful Numbat (and some ants), a wee Australian creature and it’s titled ‘Numbat Antics’. It’s in Swansea Print Workshop’s exhibition which is opening in Volcano Theatre on Friday 6th July at 6.30!  We have loads of framed, unframed prints and cards for sale. it runs until the 29th of July.

Numbat Antics Collagraph Print by Kara SeamanSPW poster Dhyana Fritsche

I guess partly due to the amazing weather and having a wee bit of time prior to the mad rush, I was able to gather and squish a load of street flowers and weeds, ready for inking and printing! This was really exciting as I did a little bit a few yeas ago, but then didn’t have time to gather foliage to use subsequently-partly because this time of year when there is lots of greenery, I am currently very busy, but a couple of weeks ago I wasn’t quite so busy and I was working-drumming-in an area of Swansea where there were loads of street flowers -yay, so I gathered some up!

Untitled, Monoprint 20198

printing with weeds!

 

 

 

going underground kara seaman monoprint

‘Going Underground’ Monoprint 2018

Lots and lots of things have been happening in my life, I learn’t how to play the ukulele while being paid..my job is amazing!….okay so I learn’t two chords! but it’s a start!

Have a listen to this if you haven’t heard it already.

Music wise, I’ve been listening to lot’s of Bjork, especially Post and Utopia, I’ve also been thinking about Leyton in East London a lot, I use to live there, and so have been listening to Damon Albarn’s solo record Everyday Robots, I’ve been listening to Vic Galloway’s The Story of Scottish Pop on Radio Scotland too, amazing, I’m looking forward to seeing the exhibition of the same name in the Museum of Scotland which is on now!

We are set to go to Green Man Festival in August, so I should really be listening to Teenage Fanclub and Fleet Foxes, but never mind.

In this weather everyone should be listening to this!

Oh also, I have a new website!

Adventures in Clay-Some Things Never Change!

I’m almost sad to post this, as I don’t know when the next time will be that I can  post about anything that I have made out of CLAY!! but today I picked up my wee pot- I keep referring to it as a pot, but it’s not really, it’s an ornamental ..ornament really, if I was able to make more, i’d make a few pots, but i’d mainly make ornamental things I reckon! (One Day!)

But I shall start from the beginning..the very beginning because amazingly I still have the very first thing I made from clay-proper clay that had to be fired! I made this in school, it say’s ‘2BL5’ on the bottom so that mean’t I was in second year, so I was about 14 I think? So I was correct yesterday then, about 1994! it’s over 20 years old and it’s still in one piece, I still use it for keeping earrings in! This was the one and only time I was ever able to make anything from fired clay in school-how sad!! but I suppose at least we had a kiln!

This is what a made -a pot!

 

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I remember what it was based on-it was based on the Children’s book The Kelpie’s Pearls. This is a book I have even read as an adult, although I don’t know where my copy has gone these days. I first read it when I was about 9 or 10  ..in the last year or so of primary school, I think it was one I picked myself rather than one we all read as a class, from the series of books you see in 80’s Scottish primary schools we all read a LOT of kelpie books-the series was also called kelpie. A kelpie is a mythological Scottish creature that normally takes the form of a horse or bull but is a changeling so sometimes it’s a person-a man- who lures maidens into lochs!

There are many great Scottish legends and recently by chance I have been reading about both scottish and welsh myths. I have even dong a tiny bit of work a month or so ago based around some of the welsh themes but I haven’t got around to sort it it out/figuring out of its finished or not so I shall await to see what I decide!

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but anyway yes this piece was based around the story in that book-from what I can vaguely remember the kelpie had a pool which had pearls in it-and I forget exactly but I guess something was trying to steal the pearls-i’ll have to re-read it!

It was an absolute thrill to make something new and exciting from clay again some things never change though, as you’ll see there are animals in this work too-hardly surprising that though is it?! I was discussing this on my facebook page the other day when I found some of my childhood drawings they are almost exactly the same as my Dylan Thomas Etchings!-but that’s by the by!

If you read my blog yesterday, I gave a link to Margaret Brompton who gave the session in Oriel Myrddin.

These designs are based around her recent works which in turn are based around Wassailing bowls-which was what my post was about yesterday, something I found really interesting! I love researching my work, never mind anyone else’s! I should probably be a researcher of some kind instead of an artist!! Silly me!

We used lovely soft clay, it was easy to manipulate and work, but it still took me a great deal of time to get my pot/sculpture and figures just right, everyone else worked much faster than me! I like to take my time, clay was a very unusual substance for me to work in, so it took a while to get use to it! in fact simply working three dimensionally is fairly unusual for me, having said that, I have been doling some papier mache works over the last couple of years, one day I shall write a post about them!

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I particularly liked my little birds, (they are sort of based on wood pigeons) . I also did a weasel, a hedgehog, a fox, a hare, and what’s mean’t to be a water vole, but actually I didn’t have time to look it up and I hadn’t brought any pictures of any, so I got the tail wrong, it’s got a guinea pig’s tail instead! So I guess it could be a guinea pig, but it doesn’t really fit in with the British animal theme! I tried to make some animals that I have never depicted before and I hope to maybe do some prints with water voles and weasels and wood pigeons in them soon!

 

It was a mixed class and there were several adults and children which was really great the kids work was amazing! How lucky they are to get the opportunity at such a young age to work with clay!!

Today I went back to the gallery to pick up my fired piece, unfortunately we didn’t get a chance to do this, its perhaps a big difficult in a gallery!! So Margaret kindly did it for us, choosing some lovely pale glazes and colours, mine seems to be pale pink with hints of orange on some of the animals, I LOVE IT!! (Even if I do say so myself) and I’m hooked! I just have to find a way of making more!

Yesterday the gallery posted photos of everyone’s work on their facebook page!

 

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I think it’s safe to say I am completely thrilled with my new work!!

Wassail, Wassail all over the town our toast it is white and our ale it is brown…

Yes you are correct! It is the wrong time of year for Wassailing! and as a Scot we wouldn’t call a new years tradition Wassailing….. I guess ‘first footing’ would be the equivalent… you go off around everyone’s houses bringing ale for everyone to drink and sing away the night!… I have been looking into the tradition somewhat because a couple of weeks ago I was able to go on a day’s ceramic course, we made a little pot-(I say pot but that could be debated, it’s not actually a pot) We made a thing!-it was taught by ceramicist Margaret Brompton. The title of the workshop was called Clay Creatures and was based around her work, which in turn was based around Wassailing bowls- ceramic pots although traditionally they seem to be made from wood, -as the song says:

Our bowl it is made of the white maple tree;
With the wassailing bowl, we’ll drink unto thee.

… maybe (I don’t know) sometime in the 18th century this turned to ceramic. (more about songs later.) Wassailing Bowls are highly decorated with lovely wee animals and with many handles for passing around to a different friend for drinking, and many seem to have some basic patterns drawn onto them also. Margaret’s work can be seen in this link-they also have some of her wee pots at Oriel Myrddin in Carmarthen for sale- this is where the workshop took place. As you can also see from the link she posted on her blog about a couple of examples of Welsh Wassailing bowls which are in the Museum of Welsh Life in St Fagans, near Cardiff.

I really wanted to see these for myself, so the boyo and I went off up to St Fagans for the day, I’d not been for years so it was quite interesting! We managed to track down the brown pot on show in one of the displays-one of the houses. St Fagans is quite extraordinary, it’s full of buildings which have been moved from different parts of Wales to the grounds of the museum-the museum is basically the historic buildings-  when you think about that it’s quite extraordinary. it’s definitely worth a trip and a walk about to the see the wonders of Wales! There are some amazing buildings and they are putting in a few more currently!

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..but a few days later I decided also to have a wee wonder into Swansea Museum as I remembered that they had a large collection of Swansea pottery and porcelain-Yes that’s right!! Historically Swansea made lots of pottery and porcelain-it seems so very odd that now then it’s quite difficult to learn the process in the city today!! (Unless you are able to be a full time student-which I am not ) The Glynn Vivian Art gallery is full of Swansea pottery, even the Waterfront Museum here has some, Cardiff museum has some! It’s everywhere!

but also in Swansea Museum were two Wassailing Bowls, with animals similar to the ones in St Fagans!

 

 

It was fab and a nice surprise to see them! I wasn’t expecting to have any in Swansea!

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All of the Wassailing bowls it seems I have seen in Wales have been made at Ewenny pottery  many, many years ago.

In popular culture, as a teenager of the 90’s it was Blur who first introduced me to the Wassailing song, it was released as a hard to get 7″ they’d given out at gigs, but it did form part of their film Starshaped-which all fans (Ok maybe just us) had to watch over and over in fact we use to watch that very section over and over and laugh hysterically!

There is also a Wassailing song closer to home -for me currently- The Gower Wassail and folky (revival) of the year-well maybe last year, Shirley Collins, whom we saw at Green Man Festival last year- did a version on her 1969 album Anthems in Eden.

I can’t find a link too that tune now unfortunately, but it was interesting to listen to!

Anyway back to the pots, i’d been wanting to do ceramics for years, but things always got in the way or I could never find a suitable class to do when I was free, so I was overjoyed to do this one with Margaret, and to be able to have a go with ceramics again-I hadn’t worked with properly clay since high school, where we did it once!-I still have the pot I made then! I might share a pic of it in the next post-it also has an animal for the basis! (Even then circa 1993/4ish?) I think most people assume I did a foundation art course, this was not true, I did a Photography foundation course, I concentrated too early and learn’t nowt about anything else-I do know quite a lot about the history of photography but nothing else!!! I fully expected to do a photography degree, but found out about printmaking in my local library-Dunfermline at the time and decided that looked good!  I diverged and managed to scramble my way onto an art degree with my photographic portfolio and a few sketchbooks full of collages! So thus I didn’t play with arty things, until I got to uni, but we had limited departments to a certain extent, and I pretty much lived in the dark room and the print room and didn’t really learn about anything else!

Bizarrely even Grayson Perry came in to uni to give us a talk, he was fab, he spoke about his life, about Claire and his pots! This was before he was Turner prize nominated..actually he won it didn’t he?.. but it didn’t make much sense to me because we couldn’t try any ceramic stuff, we didn’t have any facilities…annoying to say the least! That would have been in 2nd year so probably 2001.

I go to pick up my wee wassailing inspired pot tomorrow, so I shall share the photos and process asap!

 

 

Swansea:Woman:Artist

I was invited to exhibit on International Women’s Day last month in Swansea..but now the same exhibition is moving to The Welfare Hall in Ystradgynlais ..just up the valley a wee bit, my fathers family come from Ystradgynlais, so a nice wee connection there and the opening night was my late Grandfather’s birthday, he was born the day the Titanic sank, 15th April 1912. (He’s long dead now unfortunately though.)

Swansea Women Artist exhibition opens on Sunday April 15th 4~6pm and runs until the 25th of April.

We shall have a browser of prints and drawings for sale at the opening only!

There are many other women exhibiting too of course, all working in a variety of Media!

A special thanks to Rosie Scribblah  and Vivian Rhule.

'Owl' three colour monotype, Kara Seaman 26x28.5 cm