A-Z of Cardiff – C is for Cardiff Castle …

Katie Hamer:

Cardiff Castle revisited…

Originally posted on We Are Cardiff:

Writer Katie Hamer is busily discovering parts of the city and revealing them through her We Are Cardiff series, the A-Z of what makes Cardiff special to her. She’ll be sharing the parts of the city she finds with you over the following weeks, so stay tuned! 

C is for Cardiff Castle

cardiff castle by katie hamer 15cardiff castle by katie hamer 14

I’ve always noticed a special atmosphere outside the castle, most noticeably at Christmas and on St. David’s Day. It’s very picturesque when decked out with twinkling fairy lights or crowned with daffodils. Also, in the summer you can see the tourists arriving by the coach load, pausing at the gates to take a group photo, before entering. The festive feel of this walled castle projects a vibrancy into the city. I often wondered if I were missing out on something by not making a visit, as I would rush by on my daily commute.

I finally decided to make a visit to…

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November 30th Colour Art

For my last post of the month I have simply drawn something straight from my imagination.

My final picture has the hint of a fairy tale to it,what do you think?

Next month, I will be looking at illustrators, so this experiment is perhaps a timely way to end the month. I will be posting less frequently, but will be making more of an in-depth analysis each time.

So thank you for taking the time to follow my progress thus month – it has been greatly appreciated. 


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November 29th Colour Art


Alexander Calder (1898-1976) is today’s inspiration.

Calder is perhaps best known for his mobile designs, but he also made many paintings using gouache – similar to poster paints. He started off producing paintings of animals in the 1920’s, but by the 1930’s his designs had become much more abstract.

He reproduced many of these abstract paintings as lithographic prints, like the one you will see below this post; this is just a small section of a much larger print – I haven’t reproduced in its entirety for copyright reasons.

As previously, my finished piece reflects some of the style of the print, while being far removed from an actual copy.

I had intended to create something much nearer the design of the original, but felt inspired to go off on a tangent. What do you think of the result?

Thanks for reading.


A section from one of Calder’s lithographic prints.


My finished picture, inspired by Calder.




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November 28th Colour Art

Today’s inspiration is my all time favourite artist, Henri Matisse (1869-1954).

Matisse first came to my attention through his Fauve Art paintings, which are wonderful works, but what really inspires me about his art is his textile designs.

What impresses me is how much he could achieve with simple shapes and a limited colour palette.

Sadly, I haven’t been able to provide a reproduction as they are still within copyright. I wonder if you can see some of his style, even so, in my final picture.

Thanks for reading.




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November 27th Colour Art


Today, I have turned my attention to James McNeill Whistler (1834-1903).

Whistler, an American-born painter, relocated to London in the 1850’s, where he produced many inspirational landscapes – in and around the borough of Chelsea.

Although influenced by the French Impressionist movement, he strove to create much more than just a fleeting impression in his art – he sought to create harmony, such as you’d find in a musical score. Indeed, the titles he chose for his paintings reflect these, with many of them called Arrangements, or Harmonies, or Nocturnes.

It’s his Nocturnes that I find to be particularly inspiring, especially the ones he created of the Old Battersea Bridge in the late 1870’s. And the painting I have chosen to reflect upon, ‘Nocturne in Blue and Gold’, is from this era of his creativity.

I’ve seen it in what is now called the Tate Britain and it motivated me to take a series of photos of the current Battersea Bridge. I took some photos on 35mm film using an Olympus OM1n camera and an Ilford black and white film, which I submitted to the Wandsworth College to gain a City and Guilds qualification in photography in 1995.

In order to make the photos relevant to my Colour Art project, I decided to see if I could improve on the exposure levels of the originals. I also added a hint of colour to the now digitized version of the photos, using filters from a readily available computer programme.

I was surprised how easily I could do this – this would have been no mean feat back when I developed the negatives and enlarged the photos for my college work.

I’d love to know what you think of my photos. Thanks for reading.


‘Nocturne in Blue and Gold’ by James McNeill Whistler, sourced from Wikimedia Commons


Battersea Bridge in 1995


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November 26th Colour Art

My inspiration for today’s colour exercise is the Eden Project in St Austell, Cornwall. It’s a place that I make an annual pilgrimage to most years.

The pictures I have drawn inspiration from are photos I took just before Christmas a couple of years ago.

Some of them are of Christmas decorations, made by visiting school children, which I found on display in the main hall. The other photos are of mobiles which make up a permanent exhibit in the Tropical Biome.

My final picture is a combination of all these images. I’d love to know what you think of it.

Thanks for reading.







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November 25th Colour Art

Posted late due to Internet connection issues. Picture sourced from Wikimedia Commons, as before.



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