Husb and I took a road trip up some of the South Wales valleys today, calling in at the new Studio 18 gallery in Pontycymer owned by artist Kevin Sinnott, a fabulous artspace filled with gorgeous art; paintings, etchings, drawings, well worth a visit. Then over the mountain to The Workers Gallery in Ynyshir to catch the end of the current show from the gallery artists and guest sculptor Tobbe Malm from Norway. Always a great show on there. On the way home we called into a chippie in Ferndale for the best pie and chips and the chippie owner keeps a baseball bat behind the counter. My sort of place, totally! Then we drove up over the mountains , stopping at Carn Eiddil for a quick scribble up the valley before coming home.
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. This one is the legendary grave of Saint Elfys (Elvis) in Pembrokeshire, not for from the Presceli Mountains. Elfys? Presceli? Elvis Presley? Coincidence? hhhmmmm
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.
We’re in Bruges. There is a Museum of Chocolate. There is a Museum of Chips. It’s a very cultured place. Like many very old cities, the buildings have evolved without much uniformity and the rooftops are all higgledy piggledy. I managed a quick graphite sketch in my A5 hardback sketchbook, it’s been pretty cold so I couldn’t do any more.
Husb and I are having an early night because we were up at one o clock this morning and we’ve already crammed a lot in.
At last today, the official opening of the new Workers Gallery in Ynyshir up the Rhondda Valley. The local council is closing loads of facilities due to austerity cutbacks and they shut down the little library in the town, but artists Gayle Rogers and Chris Williams took out the lease on it and with a little help from their friends have opened this fab new artspace in a very deprived area. They kindly invited me to become a gallery artist. This means that I get a square metre of wallspace for the year and I can display what I want. I’ve put together a notice board of the process of doing an etching along with some of my prints. I wrote about it a few days ago. It includes the info sheet above on how to ink up and print from an etching plate.
The gallery is operating a Worker’s Mate membership scheme where supporters who join as a member get an introductory free gift set and a snazzy discount card, as well as members-only discounts throughout the year, invitations to special events and talks, and freebies. Membership helps keep the gallery & art library free for all and supports the arts. Memberships starts from £20 per year and individual, family & friends and group memberships are available. Here’s the gallery’s Facebook page where you can find out more about The Workers.
By the way, Ynyshir means Long Island in Welsh. And I had the best pie and chips ever up The Rhondda earlier this evening. Kate and Sidney pie as my Nana used to call it (steak and kidney). From an Italian chip shop in Ferndale. Yum!
That darned lurgi is still hanging on but I was well enough to get down to the studio and the print workshop today …… IN THE SNOW……!!!! YAAYY at last, everywhere else in Britain has had snow and now it’s our turn. Husb fancied chips for lunch so we went to the Windsor Cafe, an old school chippie with a caff attached and I had double egg and chips. I’d put a nutritious, healthy casserole in the slow cooker for our evening meal, so lunchtime I loaded up on the carbs, fat and cholesterol. MMMMMMM YUM!
Here’s an elderly chap sitting at a nearby table. He had a good nosh too. Drawn with a Pentel Vpen into my blue silk jewelled rather over-the-top A6 sketchbook 🙂
Now we’re off out into the snow for the opening of the new exhibition at The Brunswick. With cake mmmmmm.