From Pakistan To Pentre Ifan: Art, Cake And Neolithic Wales

26 Jun

My solo show, “Yr Helfa / The Hunt”, is coming to Swansea’s Cinema & Co throughout July and I’d love to invite you and your friends to the opening on Friday July 7th from 6 – 7.30 pm with lashings of home-made cake and art and an illustrated talk. I am exhibiting a series of drawings made of ancestral Bronze Age and Neolithic monuments in the field – mostly muddy fields – drawn on my journey across South Wales over the past 18 months with prehistorian Dewi Bowen and filmmaker Melvyn Williams. This body of work has its roots in a life-changing journey I made to Pakistan some years ago, where I became fascinated by rock carvings over 10,000 years old and I will be presenting a short illustrated talk from 6.45 about my journey with the art of the ancestors. The exhibition runs from July 2nd to 31st.

 

Back in February 2016 I started trudging through mud and slurry, fording turbulent streams and climbing over brackish hilltops through hail, rain and snow with Dewi and Melvyn to hunt down Neolithic and Bronze Age burial chambers, ceremonial circles and standing stones that lie scattered across the landscape of Wales. Coming face to face with these ancestral symbols both of a long lost culture and of continuity in a rapidly changing world has had a profound impact on me.

Please check Cinema & Co’s Facebook page for opening times during the exhibition.

 

 

For a limited period I am putting a new drawing of an ancient monument on my Artfinder gallery every day.  If you’d like to check them out, please click on the image below or the Artfinder link at the top right of this page.

 

 

 

Fingertip Drawing

25 Jun

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Here’s the second digital drawing I did at the life drawing session at Swansea Print Workshop earlier in the week. I was struggling with the stylus. It needs delicate handing and I’m out of practice, I haven’t used it for a couple of years, so I ditched the stylus and started using my fingertips, which was much more responsive.

 

For a limited period I am putting a new drawing of an ancient monument on my Artfinder gallery every day.  If you’d like to check them out, please click on the image below or the Artfinder link at the top right of this page.

A Digital Practice

24 Jun

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After a long break of, oh …. a couple of years or so, I picked up my Samsung Galaxy Note 8 tablet, called up the Markers app (it’s free, that’s why I like it so much) and took it to life drawing at Swansea Print Workshop earlier this week. I was way out of practice and this first drawing is very clunky, the line appears fractionally behind the stylus and it’s a bit disconcerting until you get used to it. Anyway, I’m practising for a specific piece of work I’m planning for later in the Summer, my first seriously planned digital piece, and I need all the practice I can get.

 

For a limited period I am putting a new drawing of an ancient monument on my Artfinder gallery every day.  If you’d like to check them out, please click on the image below or the Artfinder link at the top right of this page.

The Solstice Sunset

22 Jun

Llangynydeyrn 3

My second drawing done at solstice sunset on Mynydd Llangyndeyrn Mountain in Carmarthenshire using Daler Rowney soft pastels onto prepared canvas sheet. It was lovely being up the mountain at night after the searing heatwave of the past few days.

 

Llangynydeyrn 4

The standing stones were eerie and ethereal against the solstice sunset. The stone circle on Mynydd Llangyndeyrn is on the mythical trail of Y Twrch Trwyth, The Boar Hunt, a tale from the Welsh book of legend, The Mabinogion.

 

For a limited period I am putting a new drawing of an ancient monument on my Artfinder gallery every day.  If you’d like to check them out, please click on the image below or the Artfinder link at the top right of this page.

 

 

 

Saturated Sunset

21 Jun

 

I went to Mynydd Llangynydeyrn Mountain yesterday evening with prehistorian Dewi Bowen and filmmaker Melvyn Williams to check out the Solstice sunset over the stone circle there. I know that Solstice is this evening, but we were hedging our bets in case there was cloud today.

 

I worked onto a pre-used canvas sheet that I prepared with gesso and some of my home-made walnut husk ink, using Daler Rowney artist quality pastels for the drawing en plein air. The stones in the circle, backlit by the disappearing sun, took on a dark and sinister appearance which is reflected in the work. The sunset was spectacular, with vibrant, saturated, unbelievably bright colours zinging across the sky, in stark contrast with the dark and sombre earthbound tones.

The vegetation around the site was lush and stood out against the dying brightness of the sky.

 

 

 

For a limited period I am putting a new drawing of an ancient monument on my Artfinder gallery every day.  If you’d like to check them out, please click on the image below or the Artfinder link at the top right of this page.

 

 

 

 

Giving An Impression

20 Jun

 

Here’s another quick scribble I did at a course I was at the other day. I went to learn the basics of social history recording and found a few minutes to have a scribble. while one of the teachers was explaining something. His hands were very animated and moved constantly, which makes it quite difficult to capture, so you just have to go with the flow and give an impression of them.

 

 

For a limited period I am putting a new drawing of an ancient monument on my Artfinder gallery every day.  If you want to buy one, you can click on the image below or the Artfinder link at the top right of this page.

 

 

 

 

Face And Foxgloves

19 Jun

Social training 1

I went on a training day in recording social history and of course, I found a few minutes for scribbling. Things like courses and lectures are great because people are so absorbed that they tend to keep fairly still, which is a boon when you’re having a scribble.

foxgloves

I also went for a walk to the beautiful Penllegare Woods and took this photo of foxgloves under the trees. Lovely.

Mean Foreshortening

18 Jun

June 5

Here’s the final drawing I did at the life drawing session at Swansea Print Workshop this week. The pose had some mean foreshortening. I started by roughly blocking out the highlights in White, then worked into the drawing with Sanguine, and finally some little flashes of Black conté crayon into my A3 brown paper sketchbook. The sequence can be seen in the slide show below.

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Hands Off!

17 Jun

Hands Off Oriel Ceri Richards! The slogan behind the protest at Swansea University earlier today, against the imminent closure of this established and popular gallery on the campus.

Oriel Ceri Richards

I had to have a scribble of course. I love to draw en plein air and I used white, sanguine and black conté crayons into my A4 brown paper sketchbook.

The protesters had made fab placards, very arty ones. To find out more about the campaign to keep the gallery open, please click here.

Getting Absorbed

16 Jun

June 4

I was at life drawing at Swansea Print Workshop last night and focused on drawing a portrait. Our model is a strong and powerful woman and I got really absorbed in drawing her. A bit too absorbed as I realised that I had added about 20 years to her face! I was so into making the marks on the paper with my conté crayons that I got carried away with the fun of drawing and kept on adding bits. Still, I like the drawing even though it’s grossly insulting to our poor model.

 

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