Tag Archives: abstract art

Ripped Abstraction

5 Oct


Another drawing en plein air from the summit of one of the ruined cairns of Carmel. It was precarious climbing to the top, the stones are uneven, unbalanced and wobbly and I tottered with my drawing materials in a high wind. We start off at the bottom of a hill in fine sunshine but the gusts get stronger as we climb, not easy to negotiate with a large drawing board and portfolio, but I had some help from my collaborators.

I worked onto some prepared paper that I had initially soaked until it almost disintegrated and developed tortured rips in its fabric, then I gessoed it, smeared with yellow ochre acrylic, charcoal and more gesso. I sat on the pile of stones, more uncomfortable than you can imagine even though I’m pretty well-padded, and used Daler Rowney artists’ soft oil pastels to apply thin lines and streaks of the colours I saw around me in the landscape. I became completely dissociated from reality and produced the most abstract piece of art I have ever done.

I’m continuing my journey of discovery with  Dewi  and Melvyn as we travel along the route of the legendary Boar Hunt, Y Twrch Trwyth, from the story of Culhwch and Olwen in the Mabinogion, the book of Welsh mythology, researching, filming and drawing the ancient stone monuments along the way.

There’s more of my art to be seen in my online Gallery in Artfinder, please click on the image below to take a look. Thank you.


Different Direction

27 Oct

Punjab storm 4 small

I spent April this year in Pakistan, on an artist residency. It’s taken a few months for me to make sense of the experience. It’s so different to my everyday life in Wales and the art that has been developing out of it has been very different too. I normally work with the human form, either as nudes or figures within cityscapes, but I’m now developing abstracted landscapes based on fleeting impressions I made in my travel sketchbook. I’ve been reinterpreting the sketches in monotype and in more considered drawings, in soft oil pastels onto heavyweight black paper.

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I’ve just framed up this set of four drawings for the Xmas show at Oriel Ceri Richards in the Taliesin Arts Centre. It opens on Friday November the 7th and runs until December the 23rd. These were based on fleeting sketches done during a spectacular thunderstorm on the road between Rawalpindi and Lahore. The colours were extraordinary, totally unlike anything I’d seen before.

Chalk Nude [parental guidance]

25 May

I spend a lot of time doing life drawing and studying anatomy because my practice is figurative and representational, although I take some liberties: I like Egon Schiele, Toulouse-Lautrec, van Gogh and the German Expressionists so taking liberties comes naturally. But now and again I take a BIG liberty and head towards the abstract. It happened during this particular drawing session. The model, the pose, the brown paper sketchpad I bought in New York, the set of conte crayons; all were in the right place at the right time to scribble this little abstract nude. It reminds me of petroglyphs I saw high up in the Karakoram Mountains when I visited Pakistan. They’re over 10,000 years old, picked out of the rocks with primitive tools, but they contain the essence of humans and animals, despite their abstraction. I’ve tried to work in this style since, but it’s very hard. people often look at abstracted art and say, “a child of six could do it” – they have no idea how difficult it can be.

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