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Mountain Memorial

22 Apr

Carn Eiddil 2

Here’s another drawing I did en plein air up the Rhondda Valley last week. We stopped at a viewing place called Carn Eiddil and walked to the top of a pile of large rocks to look down the valley dropping away sharply beneath and there on the slope were loads of tiny memorials. They’re mostly crosses, some simply made of wood, others beautifully constructed from metal and most commemorate people, just a few are dedicated to pets.

 

 

I have put my series of drawings en plein air 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. This one is the legendary grave of Saint Elfys (Elvis) in Pembrokeshire, not for from the Presceli Mountains. Elfys? Presceli? Elvis Presley? Coincidence? hhhmmmm

St Elvis

Walnuts And Gesso

21 Apr

CB5

This is the third drawing I did at Maen Ceti / Arthur’s Stone at Cefn Bryn on the Gower Peninsula this week. I used a piece of Fabriano paper that I had prepared with two coats of textured acrylic gesso. When it was dry, I sponged some of my home-made walnut ink over it. The ink pooled at random, giving a spotty sort of texture. This seemed to reflect the texture on the massive capstone itself, covered with colonies of lichens. I drew with conté crayons in black, sanguine and white.

 

I have put my series of drawings en plein air 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. This one is the legendary grave of Saint Elfys (Elvis) in Pembrokeshire, not for from the Presceli Mountains. Elfys? Presceli? Elvis Presley? Coincidence? hhhmmmm

St Elvis

Stratification

20 Apr

CB4

 

I was at Cefn Bryn on the Gower Peninsula yesterday, drawing at Arthur’s Stone – Maen Ceti in Welsh. It’s a Neolithic burial chamber surrounded by cairns, truly an ancient landscape of the dead. It’s a very popular site and I’ve drawn it many times, so it’s hard to come up with a new approach, a different angle, which is what I tried to do yesterday.

I drew with Daler Rowney artists’ soft pastels onto paper I’d prepared in advance with two layers of gesso and some of my home-made walnut ink, so there was already a great deal of abstract imagery on the surface. I kept the outline of the monument deliberately sparse, sketched lightly in white and then chose colours that matched those in the landscape to work with. The paper was already streaked horizontally with the brown walnut ink so I emphasised the horizontal stratification of the land and seascape by using the pastels in parallel with the walnut lines.

I did three drawings in all at the monument yesterday, the final one tomorrow!

 

Arthur’s Stone

19 Apr

CB2

 

Went hunting wild megaliths today, this time to Arthur’s Stone, Maen Ceti, a Bronze Age burial chamber on the Gower Peninsula. And now I’m tired ……….. Goodnight 😀

 

CB1

Up The Rhondda

18 Apr

Rhondda

Travelling on the A4233 up the Rhondda Valley between Maerdy and Aberdare, there are a lot of viewing stops that are great for a quick scribble. It was quick too, as we were high up and it was cold and windy as well as bright and sunny. I keep to a restricted pallette of black, white and sanguine conté crayon into my A4 brown paper sketchbook.

 

I have put my series of drawings en plein air 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. This one is the legendary grave of Saint Elfys (Elvis) in Pembrokeshire, not for from the Presceli Mountains. Elfys? Presceli? Elvis Presley? Coincidence? hhhmmmm

St Elvis

Pressure And Strokes

17 Apr

Swansea Bay 2

Another quick sketch from Swansea Bay yesterday with conté crayons into my A4 brown paper sketchbook. I concentrated on capturing a sense of the atmosphere, rather thanSwansea Bay 1 fine detail. I limit myself to three colours, white, sanguine and black, so different tones have to be achieved by varying the pressure on the conté sticks and overlaying one colour with strokes of another. The brown coloured paper gives me a ready-made mid-tone to work over, which makes life a bit easier. A lot easier really, as I don’t have to face the tyranny of a pristine white sheet.

 

I have put my series of drawings en plein air 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. This one is the legendary grave of Saint Elfys (Elvis) in Pembrokeshire, not for from the Presceli Mountains. Elfys? Presceli? Elvis Presley? Coincidence? hhhmmmm

St Elvis

Baseball Bat And Chips

15 Apr

Carn Eiddil

Husb and I took a road trip up some of the South Wales valleys today, calling in at the new Studio 18 gallery in Pontycymer owned by artist Kevin Sinnott, a fabulous artspace filled with gorgeous art; paintings, etchings, drawings, well worth a visit. Then over the mountain to The Workers Gallery in Ynyshir to catch the end of the current show from the gallery artists and guest sculptor Tobbe Malm from Norway. Always a great show on there. On the way home we called into a chippie in Ferndale for the best pie and chips and the chippie owner keeps a baseball bat behind the counter. My sort of place, totally! Then we drove up over the mountains , stopping at Carn Eiddil for a quick scribble up the valley before coming home.

 

 

I have put my series of drawings en plein air 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. This one is the legendary grave of Saint Elfys (Elvis) in Pembrokeshire, not for from the Presceli Mountains. Elfys? Presceli? Elvis Presley? Coincidence? hhhmmmm

St Elvis

Vikings, Lepers and Wild Flowers

6 Apr

Leper Stone

I went out drawing with a prehistorian and a filmmaker yesterday, down to the little church in the village of Llanrhidian on The Gower Peninsula. There’s an enormous carved stone in the church porch, The Leper Stone, fairly modern, only about twelve hundred years old. Of course, I had to scribble it. I drew with white, sanguine and black conté crayon onto a piece of paper prepared with my home-made walnut ink. The stone might be Viking, or it might be Irish.

flowers

The churchyard was awash with beautiful wild flowers, primrose (primula vulgaris), celandine (ficaria verna), daisy (bellis perennis), dandelion (taraxacum officinale) and lady’s smock (cardamine pratensis). It made a change from deep, thick mud.

 
I have put 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. This one is the legendary grave of Saint Elfys (Elvis) in Pembrokeshire, not for from the Prescelli Mountains. Elfys? Prescelli? Elvis Presley? Coincidence? hhhmmmm

St Elvis

Priapus And Placentas

5 Apr

Priapus

Back on the trail of ancient megaliths with prehistorian Dewi Bowen and filmmaker Melvyn Williams, with my portable drawing board, a folder full of prepared papers and a satchel of drawing materials. We headed out to the Gower Peninsula and pitched up at this magnificent large stone near Weobley Castle. Called Samson’s Jack, or Mansel’s Jack, Dewi described it as “big and priapic” but pointed out that some of its priapic features are now hidden by a thick hedge and barbed wire fence. I found a vantage point to draw from and stepped back into something very squelchy. I’m used to squelchy because the Welsh countryside is covered in many and varied manures rendered squelchy by constant rain, but this was a new variety of squelchiness, it was sheep placenta. There was a lot of it around because the field was home to lots of heavily pregnant and birthing sheep and tiny newborn lambs. I carried on drawing. I’m not put off by squelch and did this drawing with conté crayons and Daler Rowney artist quality soft pastels.

 

I have put 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. This one is the legendary grave of Saint Elfys (Elvis) in Pembrokeshire, not for from the Prescelli Mountains. Elfys? Prescelli? Elvis Presley? Coincidence? hhhmmmm

St Elvis

Taking It Further….

2 Apr

I’ve been thinking about how artwork develops from my original sketches.

pak2

I always carry a sketchbook and have dozens and dozens stuffed into cupboards with thousands of sketches done over the years and most stay locked away. But occasionally I find something that inspires me to use some of them as the basis for new work, usually some form of printmaking. About 3 years ago I was fortunate enough to visit Pakistan for a month as a resident artist at the Zaira Zaka Print Studio near Rawalpindi. On a crazy car journey from Rawalpindi to Lahore on my birthday in the worst storm I’ve ever seen, I sat in the back of the car and scribbled with my Daler Rowney pastels into a Khadi handmade paper sketchbook, capturing speedy impressions of the ever-changing atmospheric landscape as we drove. When I came back I edited the drawings into a video (below).

 

I also took the sketches into the studio at Swansea Print Workshop and started to work on small full-colour monotypes; if you want to find out more about my technique, please click here.

 

 

I have put 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

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