Tag Archives: Neolithic

Walnuts And Gesso

21 Apr

CB5

This is the third drawing I did at Maen Ceti / Arthur’s Stone at Cefn Bryn on the Gower Peninsula this week. I used a piece of Fabriano paper that I had prepared with two coats of textured acrylic gesso. When it was dry, I sponged some of my home-made walnut ink over it. The ink pooled at random, giving a spotty sort of texture. This seemed to reflect the texture on the massive capstone itself, covered with colonies of lichens. I drew with conté crayons in black, sanguine and white.

 

I have put my series of drawings en plein air 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. This one is the legendary grave of Saint Elfys (Elvis) in Pembrokeshire, not for from the Presceli Mountains. Elfys? Presceli? Elvis Presley? Coincidence? hhhmmmm

St Elvis

Stratification

20 Apr

CB4

 

I was at Cefn Bryn on the Gower Peninsula yesterday, drawing at Arthur’s Stone – Maen Ceti in Welsh. It’s a Neolithic burial chamber surrounded by cairns, truly an ancient landscape of the dead. It’s a very popular site and I’ve drawn it many times, so it’s hard to come up with a new approach, a different angle, which is what I tried to do yesterday.

I drew with Daler Rowney artists’ soft pastels onto paper I’d prepared in advance with two layers of gesso and some of my home-made walnut ink, so there was already a great deal of abstract imagery on the surface. I kept the outline of the monument deliberately sparse, sketched lightly in white and then chose colours that matched those in the landscape to work with. The paper was already streaked horizontally with the brown walnut ink so I emphasised the horizontal stratification of the land and seascape by using the pastels in parallel with the walnut lines.

I did three drawings in all at the monument yesterday, the final one tomorrow!

 

Arthur’s Stone

19 Apr

CB2

 

Went hunting wild megaliths today, this time to Arthur’s Stone, Maen Ceti, a Bronze Age burial chamber on the Gower Peninsula. And now I’m tired ……….. Goodnight 😀

 

CB1

Priapus And Placentas

5 Apr

Priapus

Back on the trail of ancient megaliths with prehistorian Dewi Bowen and filmmaker Melvyn Williams, with my portable drawing board, a folder full of prepared papers and a satchel of drawing materials. We headed out to the Gower Peninsula and pitched up at this magnificent large stone near Weobley Castle. Called Samson’s Jack, or Mansel’s Jack, Dewi described it as “big and priapic” but pointed out that some of its priapic features are now hidden by a thick hedge and barbed wire fence. I found a vantage point to draw from and stepped back into something very squelchy. I’m used to squelchy because the Welsh countryside is covered in many and varied manures rendered squelchy by constant rain, but this was a new variety of squelchiness, it was sheep placenta. There was a lot of it around because the field was home to lots of heavily pregnant and birthing sheep and tiny newborn lambs. I carried on drawing. I’m not put off by squelch and did this drawing with conté crayons and Daler Rowney artist quality soft pastels.

 

I have put 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. This one is the legendary grave of Saint Elfys (Elvis) in Pembrokeshire, not for from the Prescelli Mountains. Elfys? Prescelli? Elvis Presley? Coincidence? hhhmmmm

St Elvis

A Grand Night Out

2 Mar

dewi-pontypridd

So there we were, Husb and I splashing through the torrential rain on the dark, sodden streets of Pontypridd, early evening, searching for somewhere to get some hot food fairly quickly because we were on our way to somewhere else. The only half decent place we could find was a chippy, so we sat in the warm, dry, plastic interior under fluorescent lights and scoffed our way through freshly made chips – mine with steak and kidney pie and chipshop gravy; Husb with chipshop chicken curry. Lush! Proper comfort food.

Then onto Pontypridd Heritage and Cultural Centre, which was down a lot of dark steps right by the swollen river in the dark, for a talk by prehistorian Dewi Bowen to the Pontypridd Historical Society on the Bronze Age Archaeology of the Glamorgan Uplands. Fascinating stuff. There’s Dewi above, in the dark with his illustrations on the projector. I had to have a scribble of course. All in all a grand night out……

 

I’ve been travelling across South Wales with Dewi and filmmaker Melvyn Williams regularly for the past year. 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

Preparation And Plein Air

10 Feb

drummau-3

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.

drummau-3b

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

drummau-2

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.

drummau-2b

 

 

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

drummau-1

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

Sofa Surfing Scribbles

7 Feb

stones-2

I did some more drawing on the settee this evening, taking inspiration from the series of drawings I did over the past year of neolithic stones in the South Wales landscape. I didn’t look at any of them though, I just let the mark-making flow at random. I rarely work like this, my comfort zone demands something real in front of me, even if I abstract from it. Many of the real stones look a bit like humans in some way and that facet has obviously seeped into my imagination.

 

 

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

Stones, Scribbles, Settee.

6 Feb

stones

I almost always draw from life but I sat on the settee last night and got down to scribbling . I didn’t think too much about it, just let it come and it’s obvious that I’m influenced at the moment by the drawings I’ve been doing of Neolithic stones over the past year.

I used black, white and sanguine conté crayon into my A4 brown paper sketchbook and scribbled for about 10 minutes. I enjoyed letting myself go for once instead and seeing what happens.

 

 

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

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