Yesterday we trekked up the mountain near Trecastle to visit the Nant Tarw stone circles and cairn. The Bronze Age circles are made up of small, rather insignificant stones and although fascinating historically and culturally, they were not particularly inspiring visually. However, the scenery was absolutely spectacular, with the Fan Brycheiniog face of Mynydd Du (the Black Mountain) in the distance.
I used Fabriano paper prepared with my own home-made walnut ink. I choose each piece carefully, looking between the paper and the subject until a piece of paper suggests itself to me. I took a non-representational stance with this drawing, barely sketching the outline of the stones in white conte crayon in the foreground and focussing on the snow strewn Fan Brycheiniog instead, using white conte, black carbon and a pale blue oil pastel for the sky.
We walked back by a more direct route, following the River Usk down to the car park. Although it was quicker, it was much rougher terrain and despite the glorious sunshine, the ground was boggy and muddy after months of almost unbroken rain. Although we were near the source of the Usk and it was quite narrow, the river banks were slippery, treacherous with deep, very deep, mud. I was about to cross onto a stepping stone and suddenly my left leg disappeared up to my knee in slurping sludge, my balance went and I pitched backwards into the thick mire, covering myself in the oozing mud from the waist down, to the mirth of my fellow travellers. Luckily I was wearing good boots and waterproof trousers and jacket, which saved my clothes but not my dignity. We gave up then and went off to Brecon for an icecream.