Tag Archives: trains

The Quoit Of The King

29 Mar

Manorbier dolmen

Husb and I went for a drive on Easter Monday, exploring some of the South Wales coastline that we hadn’t seen before, the lovely beach of Manorbier / Maenorbŷr in South Pembrokeshire. It’s a very ancient settlement with local evidence of flint microliths from the Mesolithic and Neolithic ages and this magnificent dolmen, The King’s Quoit, looking out over the sea from the cliff path. There are Bronze Age burial mounds, an Iron Age enclosure and evidence of Anglo Saxon farming. The imposing castle and parish church are Norman. It has a railway station and can be reached by train on the lovely West Wales line.

Kings Quoit b

Sometimes the Welsh, Maenorbŷr, is translated as Manor of Pŷr, but an alternative meaning I have seen is ‘Holy (or sacred) Stone’, which would make sense, given the magnificence of this Neolithic burial chamber. The weather was gorgeous, sunny and bright and the beach was busy with families enjoying their Easter break. But it was quite cold and blustery up on the cliff where I settled down to draw the dolmen – you can see what it was like in this short video.

I did this drawing in carbon and white conte crayon onto Fabriano Accademica paper that I had prepared with my home-made walnut ink. This is now for sale in my Artfinder gallery, please click here to see more images of it.

Digital Head

16 Sep

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I went on a train journey earlier today and had a bit of a scribble on my Galaxy Tablet. Trains are great for drawing because I can take sneaky looks at people. I was visiting the print collection at Pomegranate Fine Art in Cardiff, possibly the finest collection of contemporary original British prints in Wales.

I sketched with a Magic Marker app but I’m getting a bit bored with it as it’s very basic and not very subtle. I prefer my paper sketchbooks.

Heads On A Train

5 Oct

Had a day trip to Cardiff yesterday on the train, which is a great place for scribbling. I spotted these two opposite, the young woman with headphones plugged into her ears and the older man with a hearing aid in his.

Another Drawing On Another Train

2 Jan

Ink drawing on a tube train.

 

I love trains and I love drawing on them. People are usually very respectful and watch over your shoulder but don’t disturb you. It’s something to occupy yourself on the London tube because nobody ever talks to anyone else, unless they’re foreign – that is, from outside London. I don’t know why the London tube is like that; in my experience Londoners are not unfriendly. It isn’t too shaky either and that little bit of shakiness gives the line a nice little wobble.  Here’s a drawing in Faber Castell Pitt drawing pens into an A6 spiral bound Cotman sketchbook.

Trains, Planes and People Watching on the NJT

18 Oct

Ink drawing: people-watching on the NJT.

Trains are great places for drawing because you can settle down in relative comfort and people are generally static for a reasonable time often dozing or absorbed in books or conversation. These are two drawings I did on one of my USA visits, travelling regularly between New York City and Princeton on the New Jersey Transit [NJT]. The drawings are done with Faber Castell Pitt pens into an A6 Cotman sketchbook which is a nice easy size for carrying around and has good quality paper. I think the woman with the large earrings knew I was drawing her.

 

Ink drawing: Train Talk on the NJT.

The NJT was always very crowded, whatever time of day or night I travelled, possibly because it stopped at Newark airport, which is really cool and has a monorail to take you from the station to the terminals. I got really absorbed in drawing the chap standing up, the way his hand grasped the rail and also the baggage which made interesting shapes. The trains had these weird seats in pale caramel leathery material. They could be swivelled round to face the other way so groups of four people could sit together.

 

A Gothic Mansion at the end of a classic train journey in West Wales

8 Aug

Ink drawing: Tenby from Penally.

 

Now and again we go away for one or two nights to a really nice Welsh hotel to recharge our batteries. Penally Abbey is one we’ve returned to; it’s one of those gothic nineteenth century mansions full of antique furniture, soft beds and lovely food. Because it’s reasonably close, we don’t have to faff about with flights, passports and all the bother of a holiday abroad. It’s in a beautiful old village; many of the houses look Georgian and it’s only about a mile along the beach to Tenby. At the time I was doing a lot of drawings in white pen onto black paper and I did this drawing from the beach at Penally with Tenby in the distance.

Penally is on the West Wales coastal train route and it’s a brilliant journey from Swansea, taking in Burry Port and Ferryside, where the sea laps at the side of the track, then on up the beautiful estuary to Carmarthen [Merlin’s Town] and cross country past the Georgian seaside resort of Tenby, halting at a tiny station in Penally with curious farm cats looking on.  I did this sketchbook drawing from our bedroom, with huge gothic windows overlooking Tenby in the distance.

 

Comfy chair in a gothic mansion.

 

There is a photo of Mick Jagger in the reception area. Apparently he is a regular walker along the Pembrokeshire Coastal Path and stays at this hotel when he’s about.

 

 

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