Tag Archives: Birkrigg Common

Giving It A Go

22 Oct

It’s almost half a century since I rocked up, in flares and platforms, at the Foundation Course in Swansea Art School, determined to be a painter. Then I did the module in printmaking and retired my paintbrushes. Until the pandemic lockdown started in Spring last year. We were only allowed out of the house for an hour a day and I discovered Ed Sumner’s Cheese and Wine Painting Club on Facebook when I was looking for something to do to pass the time. After so many decades I thought, “Why not give it a go”. So for 15 months I have been copying great works of art, which is Ed’s way of teaching, and that gave me the confidence to start choosing my own subjects to paint, with varying degrees of success. This landscape in acrylics is based on a pastel drawing I did en plein air at Birkrigg Common in the Lake District last month.

I used a textured canvas, I scrape leftover paint from the Painting Club sessions onto spare canvases. Waste not, want not. Then I applied the coloured “ground” that Ed Sumner recommends doing. And from then on, I followed the original drawing, using Liquitex Heavy Body acrylic paints and a mixture of brushes and palette knives. I can see the influence of some of the artists we have studied, especially van Gogh and Hockney; I need to keep working at it to find my own style.

Here’s my original drawing. I prefer it to the painting, I love the immediacy and the nature of the Daler Rowney soft oil pastels onto a very rough Khadi paper. But I’m still a novice at painting so I must get more practice in.

My lovely nephew (in the middle) along with these other wonderful young people have benefitted from the Children In Need charity and now they’re giving something back. They’re the Surprise Squad (more about them here) and you can follow their adventures on BBC1s “The One Show“, 15th – 18th November. I know that times are hard, but if you can spare a quid or two, please consider donating to Children In Need (here). They really do make a difference to young lives. Thank you xxx

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


29 Jan


Husb and I spent a few days in The Lake District earlier this week and visited the stupendous Castlerigg stone circle near Keswick.


I did a quick scribble, just a few seconds as it was so cold, freezing! I used conté crayons in white, sanguine and black into my A4 spiral bound brown paper sketchbook.




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


28 Jan


Husb and I spent a few days in the Lake District this week. It was freezing cold! Temperature dropped to about -4° Celsius at night. We went walking on Birkrigg Common and I did a quick sketch. Very quick as my hands rapidly became too cold to draw. It forces you to focus on the bare essentials of what is before you, there’s no time for detail. I used white, sanguine and black conté crayon into my A4 spiral bound brown paper sketchbook from Seawhites of Brighton.


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 Druid’s Circle

8 Sep



Here’s another drawing I did last month during my flying visit to The Lake District. It was glorious weather and I was staying just a few minutes walk from the Birkrigg Common which has a rare example of a double circle of Neolithic stones, there are only about 30 double circles in Britain. I’ve put this drawing onto my gallery at Artfinder, please click here if you’d like to see more.


Tea with me at The Workers Gallery – a chance to see my new solo show with lashings of tea and homemade cakes – bara brith, elderflower and lemon sponge, orange polenta gluten free cake, Victoria Sandwich, parmesan biscuits – and art in the gorgeous Cynon Valley.



The Druid’s Temple

24 Aug

Druid's circle 4b

I spent a few days in glorious sunshine in The Lake District in Cumbria last week and I just happened to be staying a few minutes walk from Birkrigg Common where there is a lovely Neolithic double stone circle, The Druid’s Temple. Double stone circles are rare so it was a treat to be able to sit and draw at one in such wonderful conditions. It makes a change to sketch in sunshine instead of battling gales, rain and sleet! Summer finally arrived in Britain!

Druid's circle 4

I worked with conté crayons in black, white and sanguine and also Daler Rowney artist soft pastels The paper is Fabriano that I had prepared with several layers of gesso and then drizzled it with my own home-made walnut ink.

“The Druid’s Circle” is now available for sale in my Artfinder gallery, please click here to take a look.




Solo show: Yr Helfa / The Hunt

Over the last seven months, I have been travelling across South Wales with Rhondda-born archaeologist Dewi Bowen and Swansea film maker Melvyn Williams in all weathers with my portable drawing board, portfolio of Fabriano paper and a bag full of assorted artist’s materials to draw our ancient heritage.  Dewi is researching his latest book on Neolithic monuments and Melvyn is making a documentary film of our literary and artistic adventures.

I’ve done around 50 drawings now and these will be exhibited in my solo show in The Worker’s Gallery in the Rhondda Valley in September. Please click here to find out more about it.


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