Tag Archives: Pembrokeshire

Rehomed

17 Feb

 

Pentre Ifan

Pentre Ifan

Back in the Autumn last year, Husb and I spend a weekend drawing ancient monuments around Pembrokeshire – in the rain, as ever. This is one I drew at Pentre Ifan, in chalk, charcoal and pastels. I drew it over an existing drawing I made in home-made walnut ink onto antique paper of the St. Paul’s catacombs in Malta. I’m chuffed that this drawing has just been sold from Artfinder and is being rehomed in North Wales. More of my work for sale can be found by clicking on the Artfinder widget on the right hand side of this page.

Tomorrow, I’m going on my travels around West Wales again to draw more ancient sites.

Drawing At An Exhibition

7 Feb

feb 07 a

Husb and I braved the atrocious weather yesterday and drove down to Narbeth, a delightful small town in Pembrokeshire where the excellent Oriel Q Gallery is hosting a new exhibition from Swansea artist Keith Bayliss, “Swsana And The Elders“. We attended an ‘in conversation’ between Keith and Sally Moss. Keith’s work is made up of drawings, paintings and sculptural pieces in a site-specific installation with a soundscape. It’s fantastic and runs until February the 27th. It’s worth taking the trip down, Narbeth is a lovely place to visit with several galleries and a great pottery.

I was so engrossed that I didn’t do any sketches but here’s a drawing I did from a piece in a previous exhibition by Keith in the Mission Gallery in Swansea.

Drawing It Out

4 Dec

dolmen

A few weeks ago I spent a couple of days in Pembrokeshire, drawing ancient monuments mostly in the rain. When I’m drawing something from life, I concentrate on getting the appearance and proportion right, doing a fair representation. I often use these original drawings as source material for something else, usually a print – an etching, silkscreen, monotype – but today I thought I’d try doing a drawing from my original sketch of Carreg Samson, a dolmen perched above the North Pembrokeshire coast. It was quite liberating as all the basics had already been done so I could focus on experimenting with making marks and developing the mood of the drawing. I only spent a few minutes on this but I think I might do some more and spend more time on them. I worked with carbon into an A3 Daler Rowney sketchbook.

The Big Draw-ing

30 Oct

Dolmen 8

 

The 15 Hundred Lives art collective that I’m a member of is holding a Big Draw event at the Creative Bubble artspace for a couple of days. October is not only the month of the national Big Draw, the world’s biggest drawing festival, it’s also the month of All Hallow’s Eve, an ancient festival for remembering the dead. It’s a Christian festival, part of Allhallowtide; a pagan festival based in the Celtic Samhain; Calan Gaeaf, the Welsh winter festival; and the 20th century secular Halloween tradition of trick or treating.

A lot of my artwork is based on memories of those who have died, my ancestors, and I started a big drawing inspired by this and by my recent couple of days in Pembrokeshire drawing ancient burial monuments.  I don’t see it as a depressing thing at all.  I started by ripping up lumps of newspaper and sticking them on to a roll of Fabriano Accademica with Pritt stick. Then I started drawing onto it with compressed charcoal. Here’s a slide show of the development of the work.

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We had quite a few people drop in and draw with us, some lovely work and lots of great discussions. Another day of it tomorrow – I might do another big drawing.

The Blue Stones

21 Oct

pentre ifan

I’ve been thinking about how to develop the drawings I did last weekend in North Pembrokeshire. I have seven drawings from four different Neolithic sites and I thought that one or two of them might look good as cyanotypes.

Cyanotype is an archaic form of photography invented in early Victorian times by Sir John Herschel which results in a blue image. The original charcoal and carbon drawing onto marbled paper was done in the field at the enigmatic ancient burial tomb of Pentre Ifan in the Presceli Mountains in Pembrokeshire, Wales. This striking Neolithic dolmen is almost 6 thousand years old. It is a lasting reminder of Celtic ancestors and the site is inspirational. I worked quickly in the late afternoon Autumn sunshine to catch it before the sun went down.

I turned the original drawing into a negative and coated a sheet of Bockingford paper with the cyanotype chemicals. I put the negative onto the paper and put a sheet of glass over it. I exposed it for three hours in the weak Autumn daylight, as the Victorians would have done. It was then washed in cold water to develop it.

Here’s a lovely video from Cadw, the Welsh Government’s historic environment service, showing how Pentre Ifan might have looked when it was originally built.

 

This artwork is for sale through Artfinder

 

 

The Last Of The Stones

20 Oct

marbled drawing

Here are the last couple of drawings from my weekend sketching ancient burial chambers in North Pembrokeshire. This one at Pentre Ifan is drawn in charcoal, carbon and white conte crayon onto Fabriano Accademica that I had marbled with black oil paint mixed with turpentine.

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stones 2

The Pentre Ifan dolmen, Nevern, Pembrokeshire

 

Pentre Ifan

Pentre Ifan

Here’s the dolmen drawn over a previous drawing of Maltese catacombs in home-made walnut ink. What next? Well, I’m doing some experiments with cyanotype. Hopefully, if they’re successful, I’ll blog them tomorrow.

Scribbling Sacred Stones

19 Oct

Carreg Samson drawing

Here’s the fourth ancient burial site I drew over the weekend on my visit to ancestral graves in North Pembrokeshire. It’s a beautiful little chambered tomb called Carreg Samson, near Abercastle. The dolmen looks out across The Irish Sea from a farmer’s clifftop field in a glorious setting. It’s around 5,000 years old and is the site of over 1,000 burials and more recently a shelter for sheep.

 

stones

I forgot to take a drawing board with me so I scrabbled around on my hands and knees, drawing on the grass. I drew very quickly because it was cold, blustery and uncomfortable. I drew with a piece of Daler Rowney carbon onto a piece of Fabriano Accademica paper (200 gsm) that I had marbled with oil paint mixed with English Turpentine. I like the effect that the marbling gives to these Neolithic stones.

stone and drawing

When I got up off my knees, I realised that the field had been recently occupied by cattle. The evidence was on my leggings. I suffer for my art 😡

 

The Three Tombs

18 Oct

drawing

Trekking around North Pembrokeshire yesterday, hunting ancient burial sites, took us to Goodwick near Fishguard (what are the fish guarding?) and a bit of a trek along the cliff path towards Strumble Head, through a housing estate and along an overgrown path between back gardens and a barbed wire fence keeping goats at bay to the three prehistoric chambered tombs known as the Garn Wen burial chambers. They’re quite different to the other sites we visited, they are very low, the uprights mostly submerged and the capstones barely above ground. They’re hardly visible amongst the bracken. The other sites are beautifully manicured but this one has been left largely unvisited, going by the state of the hardly used, overgrown path.

goats

Little goats followed us all over the site, nuzzling our bags for something to snack on

I’d forgotten to take along a drawing board but there was a conveniently placed notice board on the small site so I taped a piece of marbled Fabriano Accademica to it and drew quickly with a piece of carbon. We were up above the cliff and the wind was gusting, very chilly for drawing. When I marbled the paper some months ago, I used black oil paint mixed with a little turpentine. It was very smelly so I put it into the garden to dry, forgot about it and found the paper next day covered in holes nibbled by snails. I like the effect of the rough drawing of the rough cromlech on the rough paper.

drawing carn

Experiments At Pentre Ifan

17 Oct

khadi

I spend a couple of days in Pembrokeshire drawing dolmens. I managed to get to 4 sites and did some sketching in the field, not easy as I forgot to take my drawing board so I was drawing on grass or even the stones themselves. I tried out some different techniques. These first two drawings at Pentre Ifan are drawn into my small Khadi handmade paper sketchbook that I had pre-coloured with a dark ink wash sploshed on randomly with a sponge. I drew with my Daler Rowney artist’s oil pastels, using white, pale blue and two tones of green. I filled in the negative spaces with the pastels – the dark stones are the ink-washed paper.

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Pentre Ifan burial chamber, Nevern, Pembrokeshire, Wales

 

catacomb

Then I tried experimenting with a piece of Fabriano Accademica paper that I had already drawn on some months ago. I visited St. Paul’s catacombs in Malta last Winter and when I came back, I developed some of my sketches into larger drawings with my home-made walnut ink. I didn’t much care for most of them and I’ve been planning on re-using them and this is my first attempt, drawn with carbon and oil pastels, both by Daler Rowney. I like the idea of overlaying an ancient burial chamber onto an ancient burial site, but I’m not sure what I think of the drawing itself. I’ll sleep on it.

Drawing Dolmen

16 Oct
Carreg Coetan

Carreg Coetan

I’m drawing dolmen in Pembrokeshire. I used compressed  charcoal onto marbled Fabriano paper.

Newport, Pembrokeshire

Newport, Pembrokeshire

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