Tag Archives: travel

Saint, Sunlight And Scabby Exterior

28 Nov

 

St Christopher b

I did more sketching towards the end of my recent holiday in Italy, in Bologna, than earlier in Florence, mainly, I think, because making art is my profession and drawing while I’m on vacation feels like work. But after a few days I had itchy fingers and started to scribble in my sketchbook again. We visited some magnificent churches and cathedrals; this one below is the Basilica of San Petronio. The outside façade was left unfinished and in quite a rough state, which is in complete contrast to the fascinating interior, allegedly because the architect wanted to rival St. Peter’s in Rome and once the Pope got wind of it, he put pressure on to stop the project from being completed.

 

church b

One of the many beautiful things inside is a gorgeous painting of Saint Christopher. I managed a very quick sketch which doesn’t do it justice at all. Another fascinating thing is the longest meridian line in the world, marking out a calendar on the marble floor. We stayed and watched it in action just after noon, where a large dot of sunlight appeared alongside the date shown on the floor. It was very exciting!

 

The holiday was arranged by New Scientist magazine and focused on Renaissance art, architecture and science, expertly led by Andrew Spira.

 

Gold Mine In The Rain

2 Apr

Dolaucothi

It’s the British Bank Holiday so of course, the rain was tipping down. Husb and I got fed up looking out of the window at the Easter deluge and took off up to Dolaucothi to have a look around the Roman goldmine. It’s a lovely part of the country and we had a good time, despite the torrential sky juice.

The mines were originally worked in pre-Roman times, then the Romans invaded and took them over. Then they fell into disuse until the Victorians had a go and they finally closed in the 1940’s so there was a lot of historical stuff to see on site. I had a scribble, sheltering in the engine house and sketching the industrial machinery and landscape outside, using white, sanguine and black conté crayons into my A4 brown paper sketchbook.

Impression Of Heat

21 Dec

hot earth 2

I did some quick, impressionistic sketches while I was walking around on my visit to Portugal a couple of weeks ago. The earth is stratified, horizontally and vertically and made up of bright hot colours, reds, oranges, yellows and browns which contrast so vividly with the brilliant blue of the sky and sea.

I used Daler Rowney artist quality soft pastels into a 15cm square Khadi paper sketchbook, The paper is lovely, very textured, heavy and deckle-edged. I think it’s worth paying out for really good quality materials because a little goes a long way. These pastels have lasted me ages and there’s plenty more pigment left.

Balanced Rocks

17 Dec

stones 2

Exploring the local beaches around Albufeira last week, Husb and I found a cove full of balanced rock sculptures. It was a small sandy cove with a rock pavement jutting out from the base of the deeply fissured cliff and it was covered with little cairns. I drew this one with black, sanguine and white conté crayons into an A4 size brown paper sketchbook.

Hot Earth

14 Dec

hot earth

 

Here’s another drawing I did into my little Khadi sketchbook last week on the coast of Portugal. The colours were incredible, bright blue sky and sea and hot red and orange earths veined with dark greys. Extraordinary geology. There were also a lot of rock balancing sculptures in a little cove just to the east of Praia de Oura. It only just occurred to me that I should have tried drawing with the coloured earths! I’ll just have to go back.

 

rock stacks 1

 

 

Aloe Vera and Custard Tarts

13 Dec

aloe

I took a small Khadi sketchbook with me on my recent trip to Portugal and drew en plein air with Daler Rowney soft pastels. The landscape is very dramatic and I spotted these gigantic wintry Aloe Veras spearing the land and sky. The colours are so intense in the bright winter sunshine, so different to the soft greys and greens of home.

 

custard

 

Most of our walks along the beach ended up in the old town of Albufeira where we chanced upon a lovely tiny cafe and patisserie, the Pastelaria Barhon, that served heavenly Pasteis de Nata (Portugese custard tarts) that we had to eat to revive us because it was so tiring walking in the hot sun. Honest!

 

Back From The Sun

11 Dec

Yuccas

Husb and I have just got back from a few days in the sun. We bagged ourselves a package holiday to southern Portugal, Albufeira, to get some winter warmth. We had to leave the cats in the hands of a kitty sitter and they look fatter than ever. And I suspect that Sparta Puss might have got her paws on the computer when we were away! It’s a gorgeous place with fantastic geology and flora so I got down to some scribbling, using Daler Rowney artist soft pastels into my small square Khadi hand-made paper sketchbook. The heat and sunshine created such completely different colours to those I’m used to back home in Wales. And arriving back was a shock to the system. It’s been snowing heavily here and we landed to temperatures below freezing bbbrrrrrrrr …..

Close Up

16 Oct

20171013_125220

Although my visit to Avebury on Friday was a quick one, I spent some time looking closely at the magnificent stones there. They are covered with fantastic growths of lichens and the surface of the stones has been weathered and eroded across the millenia. I took a close-up drawing of a section of this stone.

A Snippet

30 Jul

blog snippet

I posted a tiny bit of some work I started yesterday and today I took it a stage further. Here’s a little snippet of it but it’s secret at the moment so I can’t say anymore.

 

Meanwhile, tomorrow …….

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Sshhh!!!!

29 Jul

blog shhh

I’ve been working flat out on something secret. That’s all I can say but I’ll let you see a tiny snippet of one of my working drawings. This work won’t come to fruition for another year or so and I’m so excited about it. Watch this space…….

 

But in the meanwhile, coming up very fast …..

 

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