Tag Archives: #FolkloreThursday

Preparation And Plein Air

10 Feb


Here’s another view of Maen Bradwen, or Carreg Bica on Mynydd Drummau Mountain in Neath Port Talbot. It’s a massive stone and local legend has it that it bathes in the River Neath on Easter morning. I drew this fairly quickly with Daler Rowney soft pastels onto Fabriano paper that had been prepared with two layers of white acrylic gesso, then rubbed with compressed charcoal, then overpainted in parts with gesso again and finally I dribbled white acrylic paint from one edge. The preparation of the background took much longer than the drawing en plein air.


I’m travelling across South Wales with prehistorian Dewi Bowen and filmmaker Melvyn Williams. 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

Devil’s Bridge

16 May
The gorge at Devil's Bridge

The gorge at Devil’s Bridge

Hunting wild megaliths in West Wales last week, we took a detour to Devil’s Bridge in Ceredigion, near Aberystwyth.It’s an extraordinary gorge – at the top, three separate bridges are stacked on top of one another. The most recent is an iron bridge  from 1901, under this is one from 1753 and under that, the original from 1075–1200.

Here the River Mynach drops a spectacular 90 metres down the ravine until it meets the River Rheidol. According to legend the original bridge was built by the Devil because it was too difficult for humans and in return the Devil would take the soul of the first living thing that crossed it. He was tricked by an old woman who threw bread onto the bridge so that her dog ran across. The Devil was furious but didn’t want the soul of a dog and disappeared in a puff of smoke.

I drew onto Fabriano paper prepare with my home-made walnut ink, using carbon and Daler Rowney soft pastels.

I’m travelling around South West Wales with archaeologist Dewi Bowen who is researching his new book on Neolithic / Bronze Age monuments based on the trail of The Boar Hunt, Y Twrch Trwyth, from The Mabinogion, a book of Welsh Legend. 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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