Tag Archives: cairns

Old School Panorama

11 May

Rhossili 3

And here’s the third drawing I did from Cefn Bryn en plein air last week, while I was tramping the Neolithic and Bronze Age landscape of The Gower Peninsula with prehistorian Dewi Bowen and filmmaker Melvyn Williams. The three drawings form a panoramic view, which is how they were done before digital cameras and smartphones.

 

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. So did you know that Elvis Presley is descended from the Welsh? This drawing below is the legendary grave of Saint Elfys (Elvis) in Pembrokeshire, not for from the Presceli Mountains. Elfys? Presceli? Elvis Presley? Coincidence? hhhmmmm

St Elvis

Windy

10 May

Rhossili 2

Here’s another of my recent sketches en plein air in the ancient Neolithic / Bronze Age landscape across South Wales. Most of the drawings I’ve done on my travels over the last year or so have been quite large, but last week it was so windy that I decided to work into my A4 brown paper sketchbook and I liked it so much I might just carry on for a while. This is part of the landscape around the magnificent Arthur’s Stone / Maen Ceti on Cefn Bryn on The Gower Peninsula. I sketched very quickly because of the high wind which forced me to focus on the essentials of the scene instead of getting bogged down in detail.

Tramping!

9 May

Rhossili 1

I’m back to tramping the countryside again, drawing en plein air with prehistorian Dewi Bowen and filmmaker Melvyn Williams, studying megaliths in South Wales. We’re focusing on The Gower Peninsula at the moment and our first stop was Cefn Bryn, not to look at the magnificent Arthur’s Stone / Maen Ceti, which we did a couple of weeks ago, but for Dewi to take his measurements around the many simple stone cairns that litter the area around it. I have to be honest and say that sometimes there isn’t much of artistic merit to a pile of stones and so I try and capture the ancient landscape that surrounds the prehistoric monuments. I used white, sanguine and black conté crayons into my A4 brown paper sketchbook. It was ferociously windy, too much for larger sheets of paper on my portable drawing board.

 

 

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. So did you know that Elvis Presley is descended from the Welsh? This drawing below is the legendary grave of Saint Elfys (Elvis) in Pembrokeshire, not for from the Presceli Mountains. Elfys? Presceli? Elvis Presley? Coincidence? hhhmmmm

St Elvis

Ripped Abstraction

5 Oct

carmel-cairn-2

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.

Quoit

The Ripped Land

3 Oct

carmel-cairn-1

Walking and working with prehistorian Dewi Bowen and filmmaker Melvyn Williams on a series of drawings of Neolithic and Bronze Age stone monuments, we fetched up on a hilltop near Llanfihangel Aberbythych, not far from Carmel in Carmarthenshire where there are the remains of three stone cairns, unfortunately badly mutilated by years of quarrying.

Now, cairns are piles of stones and that’s what they are. When they’ve been moved and degraded they’re not particularly imposing or interesting to draw so I sat on top of one of them, incredibly uncomfortable and more than a bit dangerous, and drew what I could see from the rocky summit. In the distance, the land is ripped by the quarry so I chose some paper which had been prepared with charcoal, gesso and walnut ink and went to work with artist-quality Daler Rowney soft pastels. The result is an abstracted and emotive study of the stratified and scarred landscape.

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.

Quoit

The Giant

4 Jun

Tri Crug

I went out drawing up the mountains in the Carreg Cennen area, at Tair Carn Isaf (The Three Lower Cairns). The area is covered in cairns, skipping over the countryside along rocky outcrops arranged like a spine across the landscape. In the distance is a rounded hill – I think it’s called Tri Grug – and legend has it a giant lived upon it and for entertainment, he created the cairns in the area by throwing stones from his hilltop.

Tri Crug 2

I took with me a portfolio stuffed full of Fabriano Accademica paper prepared with charcoal, white acrylic and home-made walnut ink – see how I prepared it here. I used Daler Rowney soft pastels (artist quality) to draw lines representing the contours of the landscape in front of me. It was difficult to do because although the weather was very sunny, there was a ferocious wind up on the mountain which kept buffeting my drawing board and wrenching it around.

 

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.

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