Tag Archives: cromlech

Myrddin’s Quoits

23 Feb

I’m continuing to work on a series of drawings done in the field, quite literally, of ancient stone monuments in West Wales, linked with the legends of the Mabinogion.

Merlins Quoits 2

This is Myrddin’s Quoits. Myrddin is the Welsh version of Merlin, who is a major figure in Welsh / ancient British mythology. I visited these stones, possibly part of a Neolithic cromlech and estimated around 5,000 years old, when I was out and about drawing in Carmarthenshire last week with archaeologist Dewi Bowen and film maker Melvyn Williams. They are on the edge of the village of Llangain, one is a few feet into a very muddy field and the other is in the hedge. It was really wet, after months of torrential rain, the ground was completely waterlogged but I gamely pulled out a piece of carbon and a sheet of vintage British paper and scribbled away on top of my portable drawing board. I took this photo in my garden, the hellebores are in full bloom.

Merlins Quoits 1

Here are Myrddin’s Quoits in a muddy field. We’re planning another drawing trip this week. I’m hoping the few days of sunshine we’ve had recently will dry the fields out a bit.

The Three Tombs

18 Oct

drawing

Trekking around North Pembrokeshire yesterday, hunting ancient burial sites, took us to Goodwick near Fishguard (what are the fish guarding?) and a bit of a trek along the cliff path towards Strumble Head, through a housing estate and along an overgrown path between back gardens and a barbed wire fence keeping goats at bay to the three prehistoric chambered tombs known as the Garn Wen burial chambers. They’re quite different to the other sites we visited, they are very low, the uprights mostly submerged and the capstones barely above ground. They’re hardly visible amongst the bracken. The other sites are beautifully manicured but this one has been left largely unvisited, going by the state of the hardly used, overgrown path.

goats

Little goats followed us all over the site, nuzzling our bags for something to snack on

I’d forgotten to take along a drawing board but there was a conveniently placed notice board on the small site so I taped a piece of marbled Fabriano Accademica to it and drew quickly with a piece of carbon. We were up above the cliff and the wind was gusting, very chilly for drawing. When I marbled the paper some months ago, I used black oil paint mixed with a little turpentine. It was very smelly so I put it into the garden to dry, forgot about it and found the paper next day covered in holes nibbled by snails. I like the effect of the rough drawing of the rough cromlech on the rough paper.

drawing carn

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