Archive | 21:03

The Base Of The Stone

16 Apr

Bonymaen 1


The second stone I drew on this week’s journey to explore the standing stones of South Wales is just three or so miles from where I live and I had no idea it existed. It’s in an area of Swansea called Bon-y-Maen and it never occurred to me to translate the name – it’s ‘The Base Of The Stone‘! And here it is, on the green in front of the local pub. The original village, later subsumed into the city limits, seems to have been built around the stone. It’s Bronze Age, possibly 4,000 years or so old. There’s a legend that the same stone ends in the village of Penmaen on the Gower Peninsula; Penmaen is Welsh for ‘Head Of The Stone‘.


Bonymaen 2

Many of the local stones are sedimentary and if you look closely you can see that I have drawn the patterns made by the sediments flaking on top of the drawing in white. Once again I’ve used Fabriano paper prepared with my home-made walnut ink and then worked on top in carbon and white conte crayon. I’m regularly using a restricted palette of 3 Daler-Rowney soft pastels in a pale blue and two greens. I am continuing to move away from realism and trying to interpret my feelings of the stone, my experience of it, concentrating on mark-making with the different media.

I’m travelling around South West Wales with archaeologist Dewi Bowen who is researching his new book on Neolithic / Bronze Age monuments. His previous book on the stones of Ancient Siluria (South East Wales) can be found here. Accompanying us is film maker Melvyn Williams who is recording a documentary about our experiences. Some of Melvyn’s short films can be seen here. I’m currently working on a series of expressive drawings of ancestral sites and if you want to see some of my other artworks, please click here.

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