Tag Archives: Bronze Age

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

A Grand Night Out

2 Mar

dewi-pontypridd

So there we were, Husb and I splashing through the torrential rain on the dark, sodden streets of Pontypridd, early evening, searching for somewhere to get some hot food fairly quickly because we were on our way to somewhere else. The only half decent place we could find was a chippy, so we sat in the warm, dry, plastic interior under fluorescent lights and scoffed our way through freshly made chips – mine with steak and kidney pie and chipshop gravy; Husb with chipshop chicken curry. Lush! Proper comfort food.

Then onto Pontypridd Heritage and Cultural Centre, which was down a lot of dark steps right by the swollen river in the dark, for a talk by prehistorian Dewi Bowen to the Pontypridd Historical Society on the Bronze Age Archaeology of the Glamorgan Uplands. Fascinating stuff. There’s Dewi above, in the dark with his illustrations on the projector. I had to have a scribble of course. All in all a grand night out……

 

I’ve been travelling across South Wales with Dewi and filmmaker Melvyn Williams regularly for the past year. 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

Salamis

21 Dec

salamis

On our last day in Northern Cyprus, Husb and I took off on a day trip and one of the places we visited is Salamis, an ancient site dating from the Late Bronze Age, although the majority of the visible ruins are Roman. I did a quick scribble but I don’t feel particularly happy with the sketch – I was trying too hard to record detail and not loosening up and expressing my feelings for the place.

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

Stalking The Prehistorian

2 Sep

Since February, I’ve been stomping across the wild places of South Wales hunting the wild megalith, stalking prehistorian Dewi Bowen and filmaker Melvyn Williams. I’ve been drawing as I’ve gone along and these drawings have just opened in my first solo show at The Workers Gallery in Ynyshir. Melvyn has been filming throughout the months and has been editing up short films as he’s gone along. Here’s his latest with Dewi talking, in his inimitable way, about the ancient monuments, the ancestral stones and Y Twrch Trwyth (The Boar Hunt).

 

If you’d like to see the drawings and some more of Melvyn’s films, please come to tea with me at The Workers Gallery – a chance to see my new solo show with lashings of tea and home-made cakes in the gorgeous Cynon Valley.

Invitation

There’s more of my art to be seen in my online Gallery in Artfinder. Please click here to visit. Thank you.

The Last Leg

2 Aug

prep August

I’m on the last leg of The Boar Hunt, Y Ywrch Trwyth, my quest to draw Neolithic and Bronze Age monuments across South Wales that coincide with the route of this story from The Mabinogion. Just a half dozen or so left to visit and draw, along with Rhondda-born archaeologist Dewi Bowen and Swansea film maker Melvyn Williams. I like to draw on prepared paper and I’m nearly out of it so I’ve prepared some more.

prep August 2

I stretched a very large piece of Fabriano Accademica paper onto a wall and gave it two coats of white gesso. Then I rubbed compressed charcoal into it, covering the surface densely. Then a coat of thinned gesso, applied randomly and quickly and a second coat, again brushed on roughly. Finally, I used my home-made walnut ink, which breaks up nicely over the gesso undercoat. I love the way it runs.

We’re setting off early tomorrow. I hope it stops raining!

If you want to know more about my forthcoming solo show, Yr Helfa / The Hunt, in The Worker’s Gallery in the Rhondda Valley in September, please click here.

And if you want to see some of my other artwork, please click on the image below.

Quoit

The School Stone Redrawn

23 Jun

Cockett Valley stone graphite

 

I’ve been travelling around South Wales drawing ancient stone monuments in the field but I’ve now started to look at the drawings and photos to decide how to develop them; maybe more complex drawings or mixed media pieces: etchings or linocuts? The first stage in this process for me is to do some small ‘thumbnail’ sketches from my original drawings and site photographs. These thumbnails help me get more acquainted with the subject as the field drawings are done very quickly and intuitively.

I’ve drawn with a fine graphite stick (6B) onto a small piece of heavyweight textured paper from the Tate Gallery shop that I had prepared by sponging lightly with a sepia wash. It’s a beautiful paper with deckled edges. This is the Cockett Valley Stone, found on the playing fields of a local comprehensive school.

 

I’ve been travelling around South 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. Also with us  is film maker Melvyn Williams, recording a documentary about our experiences. Some of Melvyn’s short films can be seen here. If you want to see some of my other artworks, please click here.

The Husb

18 May

post industrial post modern post man

Husb is so patient, being married to an artist means he is constantly under scrutiny and liable to be scribbled at any time. And he sometimes finds his way out of the sketchbook and into other media. This is a full-colour ‘stacking’ monotype based on a sketch I did of him when we were on a train in Berlin a few years ago. He looks cold, it was -20 Celcius at the time and there was thick snow on the ground.

If you want to find out more about this monotype technique, please check out the link here  😀

I’m currently working on a series of expressive drawings of Neolithic and Bronze Age ancestral sites and if you want to see some of my other artworks, please click here.

Copper And Stone

7 May
The first proof off the new etching plate

The first proof off the new etching plate

I etched two plates at the recent course at Swansea Print Workshop with Andrew Baldwin of Trefeglwys Print Studio, one aluminium, one copper. I’ve just done a first proof from the copper plate. I used a hardground and the traditional technique of drawing into it with an etching needle than adding aquatint. Andrew demonstrated how to do aquatint using his non-toxic B.I.G. process which involved putting the grounded plate through the etching press with a piece of emery paper face down on top of the ground. This cuts tiny holes into the ground which will etch as an aquatint. I did several dips into Ferric Chloride, ‘stopping’ out areas as I went along to develop the different tones.

 

Then I cleaned the B.I.G. ground off the plate, dried it and inked it up to take the first proof. It’s paler than I wanted it, possibly I needed to etch it for longer, possibly it’s a result of using a very soft ‘drypoint’ ink with a soft Somerset paper. I need to try another proof with a heavier, stiffer ink to see if it makes a difference, otherwise I’m going to have to do some work on the plate.

Andrew Baldwin’s new book comes out in October in conjunction with the opening of the ‘BIG Exhibition’. The book will give step by step guides to all the processes that can be used with BIG. The call for entries for the exhibition is open from 1st June and is open to all who have made prints using BIG. All entries should first be sent to Andrew via atb@aber.ac.uk. The exhibition will open at The School of Art in October and then travel to other galleries in UK before going over to USA.

The subject is the King’s Quoit stone monument at Manorbier in Pembrokeshire. 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.

 

Top Heavy

22 Apr

Clos Teg

Back to hunting wild megaliths across the out-of-the-way places in West Wales today, in intermittent drizzle. Our first call was to the Clos Teg standing stone in a field a bit north of Pontyberem. Clos Teg means beautiful, or fair, close. According to local legends, the stone was placed in its current position by the Gods of the Druids and another says that it was put there by giants and finally that it commemorates the site of an ancient battle.

We walked up an incredibly muddy and narrow path to find the stone, then the field opened up in front of us and there it stood, about half way across. It’s solid and massive but strangely top heavy and the ancient packing stones are visible around its base, like the Tyn Y Selar stone in Margam we saw last week. Dewi reckons the months of torrential rain we had over the winter might have washed away the topsoil and exposed them.

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.

 

The Speaking Stone

18 Apr

Cwrt Sart school 1

Out drawing megaliths last week and the last Neolithic stone of the day is another in an urban setting, ‘Carreg Hir’ (Long Stone) also called the ‘Penrhiwtyn’ stone in the playground of Cwrt Sart comprehensive school in Briton Ferry, Neath. It’s a magnificent menhir, over 9 feet tall but it has a controversial history with one story that it has always been there, another that it was originally on a mound overlooking the River Neath. The Welsh word Penrhiwtyn can be broken down  …. Pen means the top of, Rhiw means hill, I don’t know what Tyn means. But does ‘top of the hill’ indicate that the stone has been moved? The site is uphill anyway, but not at the top of the hill.

There’s also a legend that a tunnel runs beneath the stone to Neath Abbey about a mile away. It’s also aligned with the Abbey. And then there’s the legend that there is a charm, as yet undiscovered, that will compel the stone to speak and reveal its history, but once spoken, it will fall silent for eternity.

Cwrt Sart school 2

The staff at the school were lovely and welcomed us, readily giving permission to visit the stone. I used carbon, white conte crayon and Daler Rowney soft pastels in ochre and sepia, overlaid onto Fabriano paper prepared with my own walnut ink. The stone is completely surrounded by built environment and I didn’t want to focus on the buildings and do a representational drawing of them, so I matched their colours with my pastels and represented them with horizontal and diagonal lines behind the stone. Despite the concrete and brick, the stone itself has plenty of lichen growing on it, a welcome glimpse of living nature in amongst all the buildings.

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.

 

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