Tag Archives: Manure

Preparation And Plein Air

10 Feb

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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.

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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

Best Quality

9 Feb

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I did three drawings of Maen Bredwan this week, drawing directly onto prepared Fabriano paper that had been coated with gesso and then covered randomly with my own home-made walnut ink. I quickly sketched the basic details with a white conté crayon and then worked into it with Daler Rowney soft pastels (artist quality). It’s important to use the best quality materials when making work for sale to minimise the possibility of the it fading over the years.

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I’m travelling across South Wales with prehistorian Dew 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

Manure Mountain

8 Feb

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Today I was back tramping around the South Wales countryside, continuing with Yr Helfa, The Hunt, a series of drawings done en plein air from ancient stone monuments. It’s been going on for a year now, with filmmaker Melvyn Williams and prehistorian Dewi Bowen and in between I had a solo show of around 40 drawings at The Workers Gallery. We visited Maen Bredwan or Carreg Bica, on Mynydd Drymmau in Neath Port Talbot, a vast standing stone which has been annexed into a fence and surrounded by barbed wire. I initially drew a quick sketch into my A4 brown paper sketchbook with black, white and sanguine conté crayons. We were high up on the mountain and it was cold, very cold. And there was lots of manure!

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

Allotment Break

4 Oct

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I spent almost all of September at The Bagpuss Window, a semi-derelict shop that became a spontaneous artspace for a few weeks before demolition. Ironically, after our awful summer of torrential rain, September was glorious and I was stuck indoors for most of it. I took the keys back to the owners last Thursday and spent the next 3 days taking an allotment break. It’s been neglected and needs a lot of maintenance as well as catching up with some Autumn sowing. It’s been lovely to be in the fresh air and gentle late sunshine, digging for hours. I love digging, I could do it all day. I planted some Meteor peas today and a late sowing of kale yesterday. I shovelled some manure onto a bed to lie fallow for a month or so, ready for a November sowing of Aquadulce broad beans.

Rain is forecast for the next couple of days so I can stay in and take stock of everything that happened at The Bagpuss Window. I took loads of photos and did a lot of filming so I need to start collating all the images and then decide what I’m going to do with them. So much happened and it would be a shame not to document and publish it. Here’s a detail of the large wall drawing I did. Most of it was spontaneous and done under the influence of gong music. More of that to come…..

Big John

16 Apr

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Went up to the farm a few days ago to collect a load of manure for the allotment. I stopped to have a look at the pigs, feeding in a big field. Most were quite dainty sows but there was one boar, Big John, with enormous tusks, a Mohican hairdo and a massive personality. Out came the A5 hardbacked sketchbook and Faber Castell Pitt drawing pens and Big John got scribbled.

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It was really hard at first because I’m not that familiar with piggy anatomy and like many animals, he moved constantly. But after some tentative speedy scribbles, I got into my stride and did a few, just as fast, but with more confidence and certainty. Don’t worry vegetarians, he’s a much loved piggy living a happy life; he’s not destined for the table.

Poo To Pool

11 Apr

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Husb and I spent a fair chunk of the day shovelling farmyard manure, transporting it from the farm to the allotment. Then a quick bath, change of clothes and off to a pool party celebrating the birthdays of 3 little relatives.

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Of course, I had to have a scribble or two. They’re very speedy sketches, kids are fast moving targets. They have such impossibly skinny legs, like bambis, you wonder how they can walk. I used graphite into my A5 hardback sketchbook.

Up The Mynydd

29 Jun

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Husb and I went up Mynydd Betws (Betws Mountain) today to get our regular supply of farmyard manure for the allotment. We had young nephew with us so we stopped a while to look at the gorgeous view and the sheep and lambs. There are a lot of black faced sheep up there.

I had a quick scribble into my little A6 spotty sketchbook with a Faber Castell Pitt drawing pen size S. The landscape is so enormous it’s hard to know where to start and how to approach it, but the main thing is to focus on making marks and not try to get in too much detail. I think of van Gogh’s landscape drawings when I’m doing them.

Tiny Art In Cardboard Boxes

30 Nov

30 cardboard cityHere’s something different. I sent a little artwork to an unusual exhibition called Cardboard City which is starting in London tomorrow (Cardboard City was a collection of homeless people in Waterloo during the Thatcher years).  Artists were invited to submit a piece that reflected social cohesion and community spirit. Each piece has been mounted into a makeshift cardboard box and they’ll be released into the wild during the lead up to Christmas. The first cluster is going out on the 1st December and then daily up until Christmas Eve, beginning somewhere near the original site of Cardboard City and heading along the Southbank, right up to the doors of the Tate Modern.

The curator had a trial run today to see if people would open the box and look at the art – they did – and if you look closely at the picture you’ll see that it’s mine, with a lovely view of St. Paul’s Cathedral and you can follow the progress of the little artworks in cardboard boxes throughout December on Twitter here, or on the Collect Connect website here.  Or if you’re in London, go walkabout on the Southbank and enjoy these tiny bits of art.

And apart from this, I’ve had a lovely day shovelling manure on the allotment – gnats still there despite it being nearly December – and watched a cracking rugby international on the TV, Wales vs Australia. We lost but it was a great game, tight to the end.

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