Walnuts And Mud

2 Mar

fieldstone 1

My journey around ancient monuments last week ended is an unbelievably muddy field just outside the tiny village of Meinciau in Carmarthenshire. Some distance from the road, through a couple of fields is The Gwempa standing stone, a large menhir covered in elaborate patterns of lichen and scored heavily with lines near the bottom. The word menhir is often used to describe a standing stone and it is just one letter away from the Welsh ‘maen hir‘ which translates as long stone.


I’ve been experimenting with the paper I’ve been using on these drawing trips. I prefer not to work directly onto white and I’ve marbled a lot of pieces with black oil paint. I’ve also been using a black sketchbook (Daler Rowney ‘Ebony’) but I also had a large piece of Fabriano that I’d used for a walnut ink drawing based on St. Paul’s Catacombs in Malta. I made a batch of walnut ink a while back and it’s absolutely gorgeous to use. Click here for the method. I didn’t much like the drawing of the catacombs though, so I ripped it in two and used a piece for the drawing of the Gwempa stone; I drew with black carbon and white conte crayon. I really like the effect of the textured and patterned walnut ink underneath the drawing. It’s quite random but I think it works.

fieldstone 2

I’m travelling around with archaeologist Dewi Bowen who is researching his new book. His previous book on the standing stones of Ancient Siluria (South East Wales) can be found here. Accompanying us is film maker Melvyn Williams who is recording a documentary about the process. Some of Melvyn’s short films can be seen here. If you want to see some galleries of my artworks, please click here.

6 Responses to “Walnuts And Mud”

  1. Leonie Andrews March 3, 2016 at 13:36 #

    Definitely some of the best so far! The layering of the old and new drawings works so well. The sort of thing that it’s hard to plan. Brava!

    • Rosie Scribblah March 3, 2016 at 14:14 #

      Thanks Leonie. I’m going to keep with this approach for a while and see where it takes me 🙂

  2. Sharon Mann March 3, 2016 at 01:30 #

    Our drawings are so intriguing. I just looked at your gallery, all beautiful and strong pieces.

  3. anna warren portfolio March 3, 2016 at 00:37 #

    These are wonderful drawings Rosie – I can see how the stones have captured you. The textures and warmth of the tones you have used are so rich.

    • Rosie Scribblah March 3, 2016 at 07:05 #

      Thank you Anna. I am going to prepare some more paper with walnut ink for my next ancestral drawing trip this weekend.

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