Tag Archives: history

Gold Mine In The Rain

2 Apr

Dolaucothi

It’s the British Bank Holiday so of course, the rain was tipping down. Husb and I got fed up looking out of the window at the Easter deluge and took off up to Dolaucothi to have a look around the Roman goldmine. It’s a lovely part of the country and we had a good time, despite the torrential sky juice.

The mines were originally worked in pre-Roman times, then the Romans invaded and took them over. Then they fell into disuse until the Victorians had a go and they finally closed in the 1940’s so there was a lot of historical stuff to see on site. I had a scribble, sheltering in the engine house and sketching the industrial machinery and landscape outside, using white, sanguine and black conté crayons into my A4 brown paper sketchbook.

Abstracting The Falls

31 Mar

aberdulais 2

Here’s the second drawing I did at Aberdulais Falls. It’s a picturesque place that has been immortalised in art over some centuries, even being painted by Turner himself. There no way I can compete with Turner so I looked for the abstraction in nature to focus on. I sort of squinted a bit to make my vision slightly fuzzy and concentrated on drawing the shapes I saw as the falls tumbled away below me. I used firm upright and diagonal lines to represent the rocks and cliffs and freer, more squiggly lines for the water, in white, sanguine and black conté crayons into my A4 brown paper sketchbook.

Before The Deluge

30 Mar

aberdulais 1

It’s a Bank Holiday and rain is forecast so Husb and I got out of the house before the deluge started and went off to Aberdulais Falls for a bit of a walk, some historical instruction and to do a quick scribble or two. I used white, sanguine and black conté crayon into my spiral bound A4 brown paper sketchbook from Seawhites of Brighton. I worked very quickly as it is still quite cold, just getting down the basic details of the scene. Then off to the cafe in the old schoolroom to warm up and have a cup of tea and slice of bara brith.

Booming History

30 Sep

evans-t

I spend some time having conversations with the Baby Boomers who sit for me and these are as important to the development of this work as the sketches. With such a wide age group, spanning 18 years, there’s a huge range of experience and history amongst us all. It’s fascinating to listen to those Boomers older than me, the ones who were old enough to take part in the political movements of the 1960s, see the counterculture evolving on the American West Coast, live in Swinging London. These are things I watched on television as a child and it’s a privilege to talk to people who were there.

 

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 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.

Stone In A School

15 Apr

Cockett Valley stone

After the rain lifted this morning I was out with archaeologist Dewi Bowen and film maker Melvyn Williams, hunting Welsh megaliths. We stayed close to home and started out by visiting the local Dylan Thomas comprehensive school, where there is a fine Bronze Age standing stone, the Cockett Valley stone, at the far end of the playing fields. It wasn’t discovered until the end of the 1970s, when the land was being cleared for the playing fields and the stone was found under many generations growth of brambles. Staff at the school kindly provided cups of coffee before showing us to the stone. This particular monument is featured in Dewi’s first book, “Ancient Siluria, Its Stones And Ceremonial Sites” published by Llanerch Press (here).

I drew with carbon, white conte crayon and Daler Rowney soft oil pastels onto Fabriano paper that I had prepared in advance with my own home-made walnut ink. If you want to see some of my other artworks, please click here.

Birds And Burial Chamber

19 Mar
Carn Llechart chambered tomb

Carn Llechart chambered tomb

The final drawing from Thursday’s field trip visiting some of the many ancient stones of South Wales. I hadn’t realised how many there are across the country. Our ancestors left a huge amount of monuments across the Neolithic and Bronze Age landscape. This is the Carn Llechart chambered tomb, just a hundred yards or so North West of the Carn Llechart cairn circle. The capstones are huge and probably deposited there by a glacier before people modified them into a chambered grave. The weather was fine and bright, a bit chilly and the views spectacular; larks hovered above us singing their hearts out. Truly beautiful.

 

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 standing 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 working on a series of expressive drawings of ancestral sites and if you want to see some of my other artworks, please click here.

Drawing The Stones

13 Mar

I’m continuing to work on a series of drawings of ancestral monuments across South Wales and here are the drawings I’ve done so far on my travels  with archaeologist Dewi and film maker Melvyn. I’m chuffed with the range of the drawings and the way my work is developing into a more expressive style over the weeks. And it’s looking likely that I’ll be exhibiting these and the others I’m planning to do sometime in the Autumn. Watch this space!

Carreg Jack

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 standing stones of Ancient Siluria (South East Wales) can be found here. Accompanying us is film maker Melvyn Williams who is recording a documentary about the our experiences. Some of Melvyn’s short films can be seen here. I’m 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 Stoneless Ring

8 Mar
penlle bebyll

My very quick drawing with Dewi and Melvyn in the background

The final drawing from last Sunday’s trek around ancient ancestral sites took us up a mountain to the Pentre’r Bebyll ring cairn up above Pontarddulais. At 860 feet, the summit of Mynydd Pysgodlyn was really cold and I was already chilly from doing the two previous drawings at Bryn y Rhyd and Graig Fawr. This circular earthwork is about 60 feet in diameter but only a couple of feet high. It’s possible that there were once standing stones but now there’s just an earth bank remaining.

It’s difficult to draw something that is simultaneously so large (in diameter) and so small (in height) so I threw myself onto the freezing ground and focussed on the contours in front of me, drawing them boldly in carbon and white conte crayon across the paper that I’d previously prepared with home made walnut ink. It was a very quick drawing because I was cold, tired and fed up. Sketching on top of a previous drawing speeds up the process a lot and makes it unpredictable and spontaneous. I finished as I started, spattered with mud.

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 standing stones of Ancient Siluria (South East Wales) can be found here. Accompanying us is film maker Melvyn Williams who is recording a documentary about the our experiences. Some of Melvyn’s short films can be seen here. I’m working on a series of expressive drawings of ancestral sites and if you want to see some of my other artworks, please click here.

 

 

Walnuts And Mud

2 Mar

fieldstone 1

My journey around ancient monuments last week ended is an unbelievably muddy field just outside the tiny village of Meinciau in Carmarthenshire. Some distance from the road, through a couple of fields is The Gwempa standing stone, a large menhir covered in elaborate patterns of lichen and scored heavily with lines near the bottom. The word menhir is often used to describe a standing stone and it is just one letter away from the Welsh ‘maen hir‘ which translates as long stone.

catacomb

I’ve been experimenting with the paper I’ve been using on these drawing trips. I prefer not to work directly onto white and I’ve marbled a lot of pieces with black oil paint. I’ve also been using a black sketchbook (Daler Rowney ‘Ebony’) but I also had a large piece of Fabriano that I’d used for a walnut ink drawing based on St. Paul’s Catacombs in Malta. I made a batch of walnut ink a while back and it’s absolutely gorgeous to use. Click here for the method. I didn’t much like the drawing of the catacombs though, so I ripped it in two and used a piece for the drawing of the Gwempa stone; I drew with black carbon and white conte crayon. I really like the effect of the textured and patterned walnut ink underneath the drawing. It’s quite random but I think it works.

fieldstone 2

I’m travelling around with archaeologist Dewi Bowen who is researching his new book. His previous book on the standing stones of Ancient Siluria (South East Wales) can be found here. Accompanying us is film maker Melvyn Williams who is recording a documentary about the process. Some of Melvyn’s short films can be seen here. If you want to see some galleries of my artworks, please click here.

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