Tag Archives: photography

Swallows And Amazons

30 Jan

swallows-and-amazons

Husb and I spent a few days visiting family in The Lake District last week. We travelled around quite a bit; I was hoping to do a lot of drawing but it was freezing! (I’ve been called a Southern Softie for wimping out). Here’s one of the gorgeous views I would have scribbled if I hadn’t been so cold. We stopped for a ‘comfort’ break at Coniston Water and the little island just right of centre is supposed to be one of the settings for Arthur Ransome’s book for children, Swallows and Amazons. I must check out the film.

 

 

I am putting my series of drawings of ancient Welsh monuments on Artfinder.  If you want to buy one, you can see them by clicking on the image below or the Artfinder link at the top right of this page.

St Elvis

Silbury Sunset

18 Oct

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Husb and I had a few days away, visiting friends in the south of England. We drove back today across ancient landscape and stopped for a little while at the most extraordinary Silbury Hill, just as the Autumn sun was setting.

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Battle Mountain, Little Mountain

22 Jun
Tower

The tower on Mynydd Cadle Common

Sometimes when I go out to sketch, the scenery is so atmospheric and so fleeting that only photographs will do. This evening was one of those times. Husb and I were driving along Mynydd Newydd (New Mountain) Road which bisects Mynydd Bach (Little Mountain) Common to the northside and Mynydd Cadle (Battle Mountain) Common to the southside and I saw the incredible late evening light hitting the Tower on Mynydd Cadle. Husb’s family hail from this area and I’ve heard many fleeting references to ancient battles but I’m not sure when they happened.

trees

It’s a semi-rural area and home to many species. As the sun set I caught these trees outlined against the vivid clouds.

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Turning towards Mynydd Bach common and looking West into the setting sun, the West Wales coast is just there in the distance.

 

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.

Bob’s Your Uncle!

2 Dec

scribble 5 dark strokes

A while back, I was walking along the street in the city centre and noticed a load of strange squiggles on the pavement.

scribble 4 dark strokes

It’s handy having a decent camera on my phone – how times have changed – so I took a few snaps.

scribble 1 ink spatter

The squiggles had been made by a machine that scrubs chewing gum off the pavement – ychafi! I downloaded them when I got home and had a bit of a play in Photoshop and Bob’s Your Uncle!

 

Icy In The City

16 Nov
Across the ice

Across the ice

Some people thought we were nuts, visiting Iceland in November but it’s so beautiful! We saw the Northern Lights – I can die happy now. Proper snow that sticks, not like over here. Bright, crisp days and iced up lakes and that low slanting sunshine that makes everything glow. We walked alongside the frozen lake in Reykjavik, past a house that we had heard about the day before during our afternoon at the Icelandic Elfschool. The house had been the site of Elf sightings and contact for decades.

Like many old European cities, it has grown organically and the older parts are full of little nooks and crannies, lovely odd houses and surprises around corners. Bright paint decorates many of the corrugated metal walls and roofs and the climate in the city is warm enough for trees.

The food is fabulous! Fish is a staple, in many forms, cooked, pickled, soused, salted, smoked. Lamb is another staple and the national Icelandic Lamb Soup, Kjotsupa, is very similar to the Welsh Cawl and Irish Stew, possibly a nod to their mixed Celtic / Viking heritage. We ate mostly in Cafe Loki which has the maddest mural Husb and I have ever seen. It takes up an entire wall and has scenes from the life of the Nordic god Loki, who was a bit of a bad ‘un so it’s full of slaughtered corpses receding into the distance. But that doesn’t detract from the ambience of the cafe, nor from the delicious food.

Big Boats And Arctic Char

15 Nov

 

At the National Maritime Museum, Reykjavik

At the National Maritime Museum, Reykjavik

Husb and I have had a few days in Reykjavik, Iceland, a beautiful city. We strolled downtown in the crisp brilliant sunshine yesterday to take a look around the old dockland area. There are a lot of museums down there, the National Maritime, the Icelandic Saga and Northern Lights museums. And some lovely places to eat fresh fish too. We stopped for lunch at the Kaffi Vagninn, I stuck with standard fish and chips, delicious light batter and fluffy cod with a delicious selection of mayonnaise sauces. Husb had a gorgeous baked Arctic Char, lightly spiced on a bed of creamy, buttery sweet potato. The area is being redeveloped and it’s a lovely place to visit, walk around, eat and buy locally made goods.

I Have Seen The Lights!

14 Nov

I have finally seen The Northern Lights and it was a truly awesome experience, in the real sense of the word. It inspired awe and wonder. Extraordinary.

Shadows and reflections at Harpa opera house, Reykjavik, Iceland

Shadows and reflections at Harpa opera house, Reykjavik, Iceland

That was at the end of a long day, beginning with a walk around the fantastic Harpa opera house on the seafront, with a view of snow capped mountains across the bay.

Mountains from the Harpa opera house

Mountains from the Harpa opera house

Then we went off to explore Reykjavik on foot through the light snow and ended up at the Elfschool for 4 happy hours eating pancakes, drinking tea and listening to the school’s headmaster, Magnus Skarphedinsson, relating marvellous stories about the Icelandic elves and the people who have seen them.

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On my last visit to Iceland, I had a very odd experience, seeing some strange sights. I drew what I had seen and blogged about it and I have just republished my original blog earlier today. Check it out if you want to see what I saw that time. I thought it might have been the Huldufolk ( Hidden People ) but the head of the Elf School thinks they might have been trolls. How cool is that?

The Little Volcano

12 Nov

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I’m in the land of ice and fire, Iceland, for a few days. Arrived this morning and on the bus from the airport to Reykjavik, I snapped this little volcanic dome in the grim lava landscape. Been awake since 3am so I am going to get some shut eye now. Good night 😊

Having A Play

18 Sep

layout

I started this piece a few weeks ago. It’s for an exhibition, “A Victorian Tapestri” which starts on September the 25th.  I cut the 12 pieces of lovely Somerset Velvet paper from a vintage pattern for a Victorian corset. I will be coating each piece with an image in cyanotype, an archaic Victorian form of photography invented by John Hershel. The paper cannot be sewn to make up a corset so I intend to attach the pieces to each other with eyelets and ribbon.

I laid the pieces out on the floor in sequence to take a photo and I quite liked the pattern they made, so I had a bit of a play on Adobe Photoshop. Nothing serious, but sometimes it’s good to relax and play around, it helps the creative process.

 

A Sky Full Of Opals

29 Aug

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Husb and I strolled along Swansea Beach this evening and I took some photos of the extraordinary sky – it looked like it was full of fire opals shimmering above us. The weather has been appalling throughout the so-called Summer, so maybe this is the harbinger of something better for the Autumn. “The sky at night, shepherd’s delight….” – fingers crossed 🙂

We walked along the Promenade, looking out to Mumbles, with its breast shaped islands and returned past the Brangwyn Hall which houses the famous Empire Panels, magnificent oil paintings, and Swansea’s Guildhall, an Art Deco building inspired by an Egyptian Temple.

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