Tag Archives: Llandeilo

Coming Full Circle

10 Mar
b in

The triptych from the inside

A few weeks ago I was privileged to join one of Fern Smith‘s women’s circles, part of her ‘Seven Sundays In Spring’, walking through the beautiful deer park in Dynefwr, Llandeilo, drawing an extraordinary wintry tree in my sketchbooks, here’s one of the sketches below… 

Drawing 3

One of my original sketchbook drawings

I have thousands of sketches and dozens of sketchbooks locked away in cupboards and I only choose a few to develop into another piece of work, and this is one of those times. I was invited to do a pop-up drawing at the Women4Resources event for International Women’s Day at Creative Bubble today. I decided to do a triptych onto detail paper that I taped to the window, so that people outside could see the drawing developing without coming in – it’s a democratic way of doing art because it reaches out to people, not everyone is comfortable coming into an artspace.

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I started out with my home-made walnut ink, blocking in the base of the tree and working into it with sanguine conté crayon to develop a texture. Then I brushed in the upright trunks.


Then I switched to white gouache and brushed in another layer of uprights, trunks and branches. And finally, I used a black conté crayon to work tiny marks into the area of the sky behind the branches.

The work looks different from the outside, with the white branches much more prominent and the black sky almost invisible. I guess that if I ever exhibit it I’ll have to consider framing them with glass both sides.

a out

The triptych from the outside

And so full circle, from the drawing en plein air to the triptych in the window, from Fern’s creative women’s circle to International Women’s Day, it feels complete.


A Delicate Tracery

28 Feb

Drawing 3


I spent an hour or so making drawings of the same tree during my visit to Dinefwr Park last Sunday. I’ve never tried drawing a single tree before and certainly hadn’t done several studies. It was interesting moving around the tree and drawing from different angles and also varying my use of drawing media. In this, my final drawing, I used my home-made walnut ink  and a brush to block in the tree that was lying prone on the ground. Then I drew the strong lusty new growth in sweeping upward strokes of white conté crayon. Finally, with a sanguine conté I made jagged marks in the walnut ink while it was still wet and then sketched a delicate tracery of shadows on the white tree trunks. I’ve never worked like this before, the experience has given me a creative boost.


I joined a group of creative women just last Sunday, a women’s circle brought together the artist Fern Smith, a recipient of a Creative Wales Award who has organised “Seven Sundays in Spring: All The Women I’ve Ever Met“. This, the second, was in the 18th century landscape of Dynefor Park in Llandeilo.



Reaching Lustily Skywards

27 Feb

Drawing 1

I joined a group of creative women just last Sunday, a women’s circle brought together the artist Fern Smith, a recipient of a Creative Wales Award who has organised “Seven Sundays in Spring: All The Women I’ve Ever Met“. This, the second, was in the 18th century landscape of Dynefor Park in Llandeilo. We walked in silent contemplation in the medieval Deer Park which was idyllic in the cold but bright Spring sunshine. I spent quite a bit of time drawing one tree. It had fallen and lay prone on the ground covered in moss, just a fraction of its original root system still anchoring it into the ground. But out of the twisted body of the fallen tree sprang large, strong trunks reaching lustily skywards.

I had taken a pot of my home-made walnut ink and some brushes, it seemed appropriate to draw the tree with ink made from the fruit of a tree. The ink is lovely to use, like drawing with liquid silk. I drew in sweeping broad strokes, capturing the essence of the shapes before me, rather than the detail in them.




Pyjamas And An Early Night

25 Feb

Drawing 2

I was out and about in the countryside today, walking and drawing in the Deer Park near Dinefwr Castle in Llandeilo with a group of inspirational women. It was very bright and sunny but also bitterly cold – two pairs of fingerless gloves just to be able to hold the pens and conté crayons. Came home and changed straight into my pyjamas and I’ll be heading for an early night.

Comparing Blues

12 Nov


I did some experimental cyanotypes yesterday, comparing different papers and fabrics. I used some of my sketchbook drawings for the imagery. The best results were given by a medium weight white cotton that was dipped into the cyanotype chemicals and squeezed to remove the excess. There was also a good result with the white Somerset paper, applying the chemicals with a brush. The brushwork becomes a part of the overall image. The original drawing is a sketch I did in Llandeilo.

I’ll be developing some more images onto larger pieces of fabric for a new group project I’m involved with called ‘Divided By The Meltwater‘, which is a collaboration between artists in Swansea and North Devon. We face each other across the sea. At one time in the distant past, it was all dry land. Then the sea levels rose and we became separated. The project explores this concept.

Floods, Flan And Folly

4 Jan

04 bridge 1

Husb and I visited the quirky little town of Llandeilo earlier today. Founded in the 6th century, the town is a higgledy piggledy mix of buildings over the centuries clinging to the hill above the stone road bridge, where I stood facing West, with Paxton’s Folly on the horizon and did a drawing in oil pastels onto an A3 sheet of Bockingford that I’d pre-coloured with a dark blue acrylic paint. These materials and the subject matter are well out of my comfort zone and it wasn’t an enjoyable experience, especially with the cold, wind and occasional rain.

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Then I crossed the road and sketched in the other direction, using Faber Castell Pitt drawing pens into my A5 clothbound sketcbook. Back in my comfort zone. I remembered Van Gogh’s landsape drawings and instead of trying to make an accurate likeness, I concentrated on making marks across the flat surface of the paper. A much happier experience. The River Tywi was exceptionally high and much of the river plain was flooded because of the severe storms we’ve had the past few days, but it eventually brightened up and we warmed up in a little cafe with a coal fire, a pot of tea and home-made lemon meringue flan.

Norman & Celtic

21 Jul

21 dynefor

Husb and I spent a lovely afternoon in Llandeilo, meeting up with a friend and going for a walk through the woods to the old Dynefwr Castle which dates from the 12th century, Norman times. The heatwave was going full blast and it was really hot by the time we reached the castle so I found a shady spot to sit and scribble. Here’s a bit of it, drawn into my A5 clothbound sketchbook that I’d prepared with ripped parcel paper, drawn with Faber Castell Pitt pens, sizes S, F and B in sepia. I used a bit of Indian ink wash on the shadows and a touch of white conte crayon in the highlights.

21 dynefor 2

We passed though an old overgrown graveyard next to a small chapel and I took a snap of this amazing gravestone, completely carved with Celtic knotwork designs.

Fountain Fine Art: Welsh Emerging Artists I’m one of them…

22 Feb

Here’s a blog about an exhibition that my work is featuring in, opening tomorrow. So if you’re in the Llandeilo area Saturday evening (March 23rd) please pop in for art and cake, 7-9pm.

Rose 🙂


Fountain Fine Art: Welsh Emerging Artists I’m one of them….

Higgeldy Piggledy Town

16 Feb

16 llandeilo

Husb and I took a ride down to the Fountain Fine Art gallery in Llandeilo today to drop off 10 of my etchings for the forthcoming exhibition of emerging Welsh artists, opening on Saturday 23rd February. It’s been a fine, bright day and after so much time spent indoors recently because of the lurgi, it was nice to stand in the main street for a while and sketch some of the odd, quirky little buildings. It’s a lovely town, built higgledy-piggledy on a hill above a classic meandering river that winds through a lush green flood plain dotted with little oxbow lakes. It reminds me of  school geography lessons.

Then we drove back along the A40 through Dryslwyn, Carmarthen and past Kidwelly, a glorious route, swinging by Saith Gallery in Burry Port which is showing a marvellous exhibition of collages by Melanie Ezra. They also serve excellent tea and homemade cake in their little cafe. Both galleries, and their little towns, are well worth a visit.

Drawn with Pentel V5 and Faber Castell Pitt pens into my A6 blue silk recycled sketchbook.

Printing An Etching Plate

15 Feb

strip a

I’m getting better each day and I spent half a day at Swansea Print Workshop printing some of my etching plates. I used Intaglio Printmaker’s black etching ink (drypoint shopmix) and BFK Rives 250 gsm paper. I soaked it for about an hour and a half while I prepared some registration sheets and fixed them to the bed of the etching press, under a sheet of clear plastic. I got my workstation set up, with plenty of newspaper and some small sheets cut from Yellow Pages, washed scrim and set the hotplate to medium.

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I put the steel photopolymer plate onto the hotplate to warm up and spread some ink across it with a small rubber squeegee, pressing it into the grooves. Then I rubbed it with a piece of soft, washed scrim in a circular motion until the excess ink had been removed and finally rubbed over areas I wanted to highlight with a cotton bud (Q Tip).

strip c

I cleaned my hands with vegetable oil then washed them and, using ‘paper fingers’, rtemoved a sheet of soaked paper from the tray and slapped it up against the white board. Then I squeegeed it to remove excess water, then put it between some sheets of blotting paper an rolled over the top to get damp, but not too wet. I put the inked-up plate onto the plastic sheet on the press bed, over it’s registration marks.

strip d

I placed the damp paper, again with ‘paper fingers’ over the plate, using the second set of registration marks, put some clean tissue paper on top and put the swansdown blankets over the whole thing. Don’t worry, they’re not made from real swans. Then I turned the wheel and put the whole thing through the rollers.

strip e

Then I took the print, called ‘The Towel’, off the plate and put it to dry between sheets of acid-free tissue between two fibre boards for a couple of days. It’s one of a number of my pieces going into a new group exhibition in Fountain Fine Art gallery in Llandeilo, opening on Saturday 23rd February. If you’re in the area, please pop in 🙂

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