Tag Archives: ancient monuments

Scribbles And Scratchings

16 Apr
Making marks and textures.

Here’s the last drawing from my recent trip to The Lake District. I went to see Castle Rigg, the ancient stone circle, but it was packed with visitors and I couldn’t figure out what I wanted to draw. So I walked the perimeter of the field and looked out into the countryside and this vista caught my eye. I tried not to get bogged down in detail, instead concentrated on building up layers and layers of textured marks and then scratched into them. I used Rembrandt pastels onto Khadi paper.

A Chance To Own One Of My Artworks

I have some small screenprints for sale, inspired by my drawings of the antique taxidermy collection at Swansea Museum. I have given these vintage artifacts a modern twist by combining them with images of rubbish – old fruit nets, bubble wrap and plastic – highlighting the problem of human pollution and how it affects wildlife.

To buy my work on the Swansea Print Workshop site please click the image to the left.

20 percent of the cost of each screenprint sold goes to support Swansea Print Workshop, which receives no public funding.

Monday Video: Epic Scenery In 36 Seconds

25 Oct

I’ve been browsing my YouTube channel and I’d forgotten a lot of the stuff on there, especially the earlier films. So I thought I’d spend the next few Mondays posting some of my art videos. Husb is the tecchie filmie person in the household and he puts these short films together. This is me sitting and drawing the magnificent King’s Quoit dolmen on the coast at Manorbier in Pembrokeshire. It was very windy but the scenery is amazing. It’s only 36 seconds, so blink and you’ll miss it.

A Chance To Own One Of My Artworks

I have some small screenprints for sale, inspired by my drawings of the antique taxidermy collection at Swansea Museum. I have given these vintage artifacts a modern twist by combining them with images of rubbish – old fruit nets, bubble wrap and plastic – highlighting the problem of human pollution and how it affects wildlife.

To buy my work on the Swansea Print Workshop site please click the image to the left to see the complete image.

20 percent of the cost of each screenprint sold goes to support Swansea Print Workshop, which receives no public funding.

Scribbling On The Common

22 Sep

Husb and I had a few days away last week, cautiously enjoying the relaxation in lockdown rules. We spent some time in the Lake District and I did a bit of scribbling out walking on the glorious Birkrigg Common. I used Daler Rowney Artist’s Pastels onto hand made Khadi paper. I’m facing North West in this photo, a few hundred metres behind me is the double stone circle known as The Druid’s Circle. It’s very rare – only 15 of the 250 stone circles in England are concentric so it’s protected as an Ancient Monument.

This is me with my young nephew who has been helped enormously by LATCH: The Children’s Cancer Charity over the past 3 years. We’ve got together to raise funds for LATCH, which is a small independent charity. Please click on the link below to find out more. Thanks xxx

LATCH, The Children’s Cancer Charity, Painting Fundraiser

I’ve been painting these ‘fakes’ with Ed Sumner’s Cheese and Wine Painting Club on Facebook since lockdown started in Spring 2020. I’m selling some of them to raise funds for this lovely charity which has given so much support to my young relative over the past few years.

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If you would like to see the paintings and maybe buy one, please click on the boats picture to visit the page. Thanks xxx

In At The Start

23 Dec

sketch 1a

So I’m thinking of doing some more large woodcuts in the new year, inspired by my drawings of the Mari Lwyd and Neolithic stone monuments in South Wales. I’ve done a lot of work on both of these so there’s plenty to inform anything I do. I begin by making little thumbnail sketches, lots of them, trying out different compositions. To me, that’s a primary function of a sketchbook, trying out ideas and establishing a starting point.

sketch 1 small

Well, I’ve started, but there’s a long, long way to go… If you want to find out more about the Mari Lwyd tradition in Wales please click here. And here’s a short film about my en plein air drawings on Neolithic and Bronze Age sites across South Wales.

 

 

 

 

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.

 

The Stone With No Name…..

19 Jan

llangain

This is the second stone we visited yesterday in muddy West Wales, near Llangain. Quite a few of the Neolithic and Bronze Age monuments around here don’t have names and this is one of them. It’s a large, fine stone with an unusual feature that makes it look like a face from some angles. It’s surrounded by pylons and power cables. We could here the electricity crackling…..

 

 

I am putting my series of drawings of ancient Welsh monuments on Artfinder.  If you want to buy one, you can see them by clicking on the image below or the Artfinder link at the top right of this page.

St Elvis

MUD!

18 Jan

llwyn-ddu

Mud. Mud and standing stones. After a break of about three months I’m off out traipsing across the muddier parts of South Wales with filmmaker Melvyn Williams and pre-historian Dewi Bowen. There are still a lot of ancient monuments to be explored, recorded and drawn before Dewi is able to complete his new book. This small group is an unusual configuration called Llwyn Ddu, which translates from Welsh as Black Grove. It’s a strange place with a dark atmosphere so I drew onto a piece of paper I’d prepared with 2 layers of gesso and compressed charcoal. I had then rubbed different tones away with wire wool at random. I used black, white and sanguine conté crayons to draw with.

mud

Mud, mud and more mud. A field in January on our way to the Llwyn Ddu standing stones.

 

 

I am putting my series of drawings of ancient Welsh monuments on Artfinder.  If you want to buy one, you can see them by clicking on the image below or the Artfinder link at the top right of this page.

St Elvis

The Living Stones

17 Apr

Tyn Cellar

We managed to get to 4 ancient stones earlier this week and this one, Ty’n y Selar, is near Margam, in a field right next to the M4 motorway. It’s a fine large menhir, around 8 feet tall, but the sound of the traffic really intruded into the atmosphere of the place, disrupting the peace. A legend says that Saint Samson threw it into the field from Margam Hill; one of the locals we met told us of a legend that the stone regularly walks to take a drink at the local pub! I also read that the stone walks to the sea to drink each Christmas morning before the cock crows. There have been several other stones on my journey with Dewi and Melvyn that are supposed to be able to walk to take a drink.

One thing I’ve noticed about the stones as I’ve been travelling across South Wales is that they are rarely cold to the touch, they’re a comfortable temperature and most are covered with extensive colonies of lichens. I place my hand on each stone I visit, but carefully as lichen can be many years old and I don’t want to damage it. The temperature and the lichen give me an impression that the stones are somehow imbued with life, they are living stones.

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.

Going Solo

14 Apr

They like my drawing? No, they're after my apples

They like my drawing? No, they’re after my apples

Exciting but scary news. I’ve been offered a solo show based on the work I’m doing on Bronze Age and Neolithic ancestral stones in South Wales. I’ve never done a solo show before, always been part of group shows but this body of work is coming along very quickly and I am already planning to diversify into printmaking, with woodcuts, monotypes and etchings in the pipeline.

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It will be at the most excellent Workers Gallery in Ynyshir in the Rhondda Valley, a gorgeous gallery and workshop space set up just over a year ago by artists Gayle Rogers and Chris Williams.

The exhibition will run from September 1st to 24th and will include opening and closing events, artist talks and workshops in drawing and printmaking techniques.

The Workers Gallery

The Workers Gallery

Don’t Panic!!!!!

Letting Go Of The Comfort Blanket

3 Apr

big ink a

Work in progress – where will I go with it next?

Here’s something scary, I’m getting out of my comfort zone which is working from what is in front of me. I’ve been clutching to the comfort blanket of working from reality all my life and now I’m trying to let go. And I am not enjoying it one bit. But making art is something I don’t particularly enjoy anyway, if I want to enjoy something I make a cake. That’s my hobby. Art is my vocation. And it’s hard work, lots of work, continuous self-doubt and always pushing against complacency.

I’ve been going out and drawing Neolithic and Bronze Age ancestral stones over the past few weeks and struggling to make them relevant to me. I don’t want to churn out picturesque landscapes, that’s why I’ve tended to avoid doing landscape art in the past. I’ve been trying different techniques to take me away from realism or topographical drawing and into something expressionist, gestural, emotive, visceral.

I’ve started ripping up big-ish pieces of Fabriano paper and daubing, sponging, painting them with my home-made walnut ink without reference to the real world, photos or drawings. I’m relying on the feelings, sensations, thoughts I have experienced when I have been out drawing the ancient monuments.

Oh crikey! Does that make me sound like a hippy?!!!! 😀 😀 😀

Dewis book

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 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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