Tag Archives: tradition

The Sky Caught Up With Us

27 Dec

crem

 

This time of year there are many family traditions being played out across the Christmas holidays and one in my own family is to visit memorials of those we have lost. Every year we go to the crematorium to lay flowers and clean memorial stones. I reflected on the ancient use of stone for graves and memorials which is still part of our culture. It makes sense really, stone lasts for aeons. The sky was strange today, brooding and heavy around the white crematorium chimneys. The sky caught up with us and it snowed heavily a few minutes after I did this very quick sketch. I used white, sanguine and black conté crayon into an A4 brown paper spiral bound sketchbook.

Welsh Cakes And Cockle Hats

1 Mar

27 tinkers cakes

Today is Saint David’s Day, Dydd Gŵyl Dewi Sant, in Wales and small girls are dressed in a traditional Welsh costume with a daffodil corsage, small boys are put into Welsh rugby shirts with a leek corsage and copious Welsh Cakes are eaten. For aeons these have been baked on a griddle or bakestone, maen in Welsh. Pice ar y maen translates as cakes on the stone and this method of cooking is shared by all the Celtic nations. There is another version, substituting grated apple for dried fruit and cinammon for mixed spice and these are called Tinker’s Cakes (Teisennau Tincar). I made some a while back and drew them.

little me

Here’s three-year old me, in my Welsh costume, traditional Welsh flannel which was very itchy as I remember. There are two types of hat – the more common stovepipe hat that I’m wearing and the smaller black straw bonnet that we called the Cockle hat, after the cockle women who used to sell seafood from large baskets on street corners, like in this famous portrait by Evan Walters.

Walters, Evan; The Cockle Woman; Carmarthenshire Museums Service Collection; http://www.artuk.org/artworks/the-cockle-woman-177587

Walters, Evan; The Cockle Woman; Carmarthenshire Museums Service Collection

I can just remember one of the cockle women selling on the corner outside the Lower Lamb pub on Swansea’s High Street on a Saturday morning. My dad would pop over to buy some cockles and laverbread (a Welsh seaweed delicacy) and cook us a Welsh breakfast with bacon and eggs, the cockles fried till they popped in the hot bacon fat and the laverbread turned into the cockly bacony grease to warm through.

A Winter Visit

27 Dec

20141227_220404(1)

It’s a bit of a tradition at this time of year to visit our dead loved ones in cemeteries and memorial gardens. I went with Husb and Mam-in-Law to visit Dad-in-Law’s memorial stone in our local cemetery. It’s a lovely place, green with lots of trees and the noonday winter sun was low in the sky and cast long shadows across the bright grass.

When time is short, all you can do is get the main features of the landscape down, no time for lots of detail. I noticed that most of the gravestones were tilted, I don’t know why. Drawn with Faber Castell Pitt drawing pens sizes S, F and M into my A5 Tate Gallery sketchbook.

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