Search results for 'Yr Helfa'

Class Glass

12 Dec


Dinas garage

I had a lovely surprise today. Local stained glass artist Deanne Mangold, of Class Glass Wales, came to visit with a glass panel for me based on one of my drawings of ancient standing stones. Deanne had seen some of my drawings at an exhibition, Yr Helfa / The Hunt and wanted to translate one or two into stained glass. And here’s the result. I love it, it’s gorgeous.


The original drawing was done in the field, literally a field behind the garage in Dinas, North Pembrokeshire, where there’s a magnificent ancient stone monument. If you want to see more of my drawings en plein air of Neolithic and Bronze Age sites in Wales, please visit my Artfinder gallery.


Out Of My Comfort Zone!

30 Jun

Today! Right out of my comfort zone!


Designing the book cover


I’ve been at Swansea Print Workshop on day one of a weekend course with the excellent printmaker Kelly Stewart. I’m learning how to make a hardbacked screenprinted concertina book inspired by my drawings.

I started with a group of mixed media drawings of Neolithic Standing Stones I had done some time ago, a series I called ‘Yr Helfa / The Hunt‘, done en plein air across South Wales. But it’s often a problem trying to develop work from one genre to another because no matter what ideas you have, you are constrained by new techniques and materials that you haven’t experienced before.

It was hard work and by midday I was almost ready to throw in the towel and leave. But I persevered with Kelly’s encouragement and eventually came up with six drawings / motifs that will be printed and overprinted to form the book’s interior and designs for the front and back covers. I photocopied them onto acetates and Kelly transferred them, via the ultraviolet unit, onto prepared photoscreens. All set for tomorrow now.

Suffering For My Art!

11 Jun
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Me and my unruly hair talking about my work on ancient standing stones.


I had a fab evening out last week, up The Workers, a lovely gallery in the village of Ynyshir in the Rhondda Valley. On the first Thursday of each month, they host an evening of Words, Arts and Music (WAM) and I was part of it this month. I did a talk about my work, mainly the en plein air pieces I did in collaboration with prehistorian Dewi Bowen, who’s been researching his new book, and filmmaker Melvyn Williams.



Some of the mixed media drawings in my series ‘Yr Helfa’.


Dewi did an illustrated talk about ancient monuments in the area around Rhondda and Melvyn premiered the new film he’s made of me and Dewi on our creative journey across South Wales. Here’s the film below. People in the audience seemed to find it funny, especially the bits of me suffering for my art!!!


A Digital Head

2 Jul


I’m making some headway (pardon the pun) with my Samsung Galaxy Note 8 tablet. I haven’t drawn with it for a couple of years but I restarted a couple of weeks ago in life drawing group at Swansea Print Workshop. I’m using a free app called Markers and I like the simplicity of it. However, when I open a new page I need to lay down a ground first and build up the drawing on top, otherwise it goes a bit funny and sort of reverses itself and has to be corrected in Adobe Photoshop. This portrait took about 20 minutes.


An invitation to Yr Helfa

If you’re in Swansea on Friday, my exhibition is opening at Cinema & Co, with lashings of home-made cake and a short illustrated talk. You’re very welcome to join me.


For a limited period I am putting a new drawing from my recent sketch books 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.




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

26 Jun

My solo show, “Yr Helfa / The Hunt”, is now on at Swansea’s quirky artspace, Cinema & Co throughout July and we’re finishing with a fabulous event on Monday July 31st from 5.30 pm featuring a film from Melvyn Williams, an illustrated talk from Dewi Bowen and I’ll be launching a new edition of a lino print made especially for the event.

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.


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.




Manure Mountain

8 Feb


Today I was back tramping around the South Wales countryside, continuing with Yr Helfa, The Hunt, a series of drawings done en plein air from ancient stone monuments. It’s been going on for a year now, with filmmaker Melvyn Williams and prehistorian Dewi Bowen and in between I had a solo show of around 40 drawings at The Workers Gallery. We visited Maen Bredwan or Carreg Bica, on Mynydd Drymmau in Neath Port Talbot, a vast standing stone which has been annexed into a fence and surrounded by barbed wire. I initially drew a quick sketch into my A4 brown paper sketchbook with black, white and sanguine conté crayons. We were high up on the mountain and it was cold, very cold. And there was lots of manure!

Dewi is researching his new book, ‘Hunting The Wild Megalith’, based on the premise that the ancient Welsh legend, The Boar Hunt / Y Twrch Trwyth, from The Mabinogion, can be tracked across the sites of Neolithic monuments throughout the South Wales landscape and Melvyn is making a film of our journey. Here’s a short one he did late last year…..





I am putting my series of drawings of ancient Welsh monuments on Artfinder.  If you want to see more, please click on the image below or the Artfinder link at the top right of this page.

St Elvis

The Oscar Speech

24 Sep

Gayle Rogers introduces (from left) Dewi Bowen, Rose Davies and Melvyn Williams

Wow! What an evening. It was the last night of my solo show, ‘Yr Helfa / The Hunt’, in the lovely Workers Gallery in Ynyshir and I joined my collaborators, prehistorian Dewi Bowen and filmmaker Melvyn Williams for an ‘in conversation’. Melvyn showed excerpts of the film he’s working on (he’s been following Dewi and me with a camera for 8 months now) and then engaged us in conversation about what we’ve been doing. No problem getting us to talk, we’re both chopsy.


Some of the many drawings I’ve done en plein air following the Trail of The Boar, Y Twrch Trwyth

This has been my first solo show and it’s been both nerve-wracking and exhilarating. I’m so grateful to Gayle Rogers and Chris Williams, who run The Workers, for giving me the chance to exhibit and being so supportive; to Melvyn and Dewi who have been great to work with (the collaboration continues); to all the people who have come along to the exhibition and the two events I held; to the artlovers who bought my work; and to those who have given me so much support on social media – thanks everyone 😀

Crikey – it’s like an Oscar speech, isn’t it?

That’s it for now, the exhibition is over and I’m collecting the work on Monday but I’m looking for another venue for the show so watch this space ……..

And here are the short films that Melvyn showed last night, one featuring Dewi and one of me.




A Tidy Tea

13 Sep

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I held a ‘Tea With The Artist’ event at The Workers Gallery at the weekend, part of my solo show “Yr Helfa / The Hunt“. It was lovely and lots of people came along, from as far afield as Bristol and Birmingham, Cardiff and Swansea as well as local people.


And it was this big, honest mun!

That meant a lot to the artists who run the gallery, Chris and Gayle, who have worked so hard to get this off the ground in the village’s closed-down library.


Who? Me?

It was hectic and I tried to get around and talk to everyone who came.


And there were people of all ages too, which is really lovely. I don’t like those evening private views which are full of posing types clinging on to a glass of wine – I like to see loads of different people having a nice cuppa tea and enjoying the company and the art.


And the cakes. Oh yes. Home made, of course. Traditional bara brith, Victoria Sandwich, some parmesan biscuits, a lemon and elderflower drizzle sponge and dairy-free, gluten-free orange polenta cake. It all went.

So, thanks to everyone who came along and to those who sent their support, I really appreciate it. And if you missed it, the show runs until September the 24th.


Solo show: Yr Helfa / The Hunt

Mud, Megaliths and Crazy Welsh Ponies

12 Sep


Filmmaker Melvyn Williams in conversation with prehistorian Dewi Bowen and artist Rose Davies (that’s me) with lashings of cake!

19:00 to 20:30 on Friday the 23rd of September at The Workers Gallery, 99, Ynyshir Road, Ynyshir, RCT, CF39 0EN.

Coming soon – cake and conversation, art and archaeology, mountains and megaliths, history and hailstorms…..all at the lovely Workers Gallery. Melvyn has been following Dewi and me across the wild places of South Wales since February, through mud, muck and mire, tracking down megaliths on the legendary Trail of the Boar Hunt, Y Twrch Trwyth, from the tales of the Mabinogion.

Dewi has been researching his new book on these ancient monuments, ‘Hunting The Wild Megalith’ while I have been drawing these incredible stones for my solo show ‘The Hunt / Yr Helfa’ at The Workers Gallery.

And all the while, Melvyn has been walking with us, across the Neolithic Welsh landscape, filming the art, the archaeology and the awe-inspiring environment, fending off wild Welsh ponies determined to liberate the lunch boxes.


“Why the long face?” (groan!)

Please join us for an evening of conversation, tea and cake in this lovely gallery. My exhibition of drawings will be finishing on the 24th.



Solo show: Yr Helfa / The Hunt

It’s In The Eyes

11 Sep


And another Baby Boomer. Someone was looking through my Boomer sketchbook yesterday and mentioned that as he turned the pages, it was the eyes that immediately draw the attention. This is why I prefer to draw from life rather than photos, I can see the expressions up close, the real expressions that flicker across a face over a half an hour, rather than the fixed, posed stare of a photograph.


I currently have a solo show of drawings being exhibited at the lovely Workers Gallery in Ynyshir in the Cynon Valley. It’s a nice day out, the area is gorgeous and there are some great drives and walks aroundabouts.


Solo show: Yr Helfa / The Hunt

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