Tag Archives: walking

Another Quickie

8 Aug

quickie 1

I’m so lucky to live near the sea and Husb and I are often strolling along the beach, or we’ll go for a short drive to walk along cliffs or along an estuary path. I’ve started to carry my Winsor & Newton half pan watercolours and a Waterford glued block of watercolour paper to capture some quick fleeting impressions. It’s nice to play with the materials and not get bogged down in fine detail, always a dilemma I think with watercolour.

 

 

I am putting my series of drawings of ancient Welsh monuments on Artfinder.  If you’d like to see them, please click on the image below or the Artfinder link at the top right of this page.

St Elvis

Primitive And Clunky

9 Jul

Went for a longish walk this afternoon in the continuing heatwave and we kept up a cracking pace and I didn’t have time to do a scribble in my sketchbook.  So I grabbed my Samsung Galaxy Tablet Note 8 when I was sitting down chilling out with a cup of iced green tea (oooh get me) with my tired old feet up on the pouffe and I thought “Oh go on then, scribble these.” I try to do a scribble every day. It’s not great art but it’s practice and it’s keeping me physically and mentally in tune with my drawing skills. I use a free Markers app which is quite primitive and clunky, but frankly I don’t have the time or inclination to research,  buy and start using a new, more expansive app.

Spots And Stripes

6 Apr

master 1g

The weather forecast is reasonable, showery in the morning but picking up later, so tomorrow we’re out and about in some mountainous areas on the trail of some ancient stones. I’ve been working on some Fabriano paper in my home-made walnut ink and I’ll be taking some pieces to draw on. I like doing this prep beforehand, I don’t like working directly onto white, it’s inhibiting. Sandwiches made, biscuits packed, walking boots cleaned of the thick mud from last week, maps packed, ready to go………..

Stone Circle And Lark Song

17 Mar

Back to the ancestral stones today with a brisk walk up Mynydd Llechart above Pontardawe to the Carn Llechart cairn circle. It’s been a gorgeous day, quite warm and very bright and sunny, deep blue skies with no clouds. The larks hovered and sang all around us and we met some jolly dog walkers, despite being miles away from anywhere.

Carn Llechart circle

It’s a simple circle, quite small stones but with a terrific view across the expansive land. I drew onto Fabriano Accademica paper that I had prepared with my home-made walnut ink and some white acrylic paint. I drew with carbon and white conte crayon. I just sketched in the shapes quite roughly and concentrated instead on making marks, getting into the physicality and pure pleasure of drawing with the sun on my face, surrounded by some of the best scenery in the world.

Facing north at Mynydd Llechart

Facing north at Mynydd Llechart

I’m travelling around South West Wales with archaeologist Dewi Bowen who is researching his new book on Neolithic / Bronze Age monuments. His previous book on the standing stones of Ancient Siluria (South East Wales) can be found here. Accompanying us is film maker Melvyn Williams who is recording a documentary about our experiences. Some of Melvyn’s short films can be seen here. I’m working on a series of expressive drawings of ancestral sites and if you want to see some of my other artworks, please click here.

Looking south at Mynydd Llechart

Looking south at Mynydd Llechart

Channelling Cezanne

28 Feb

circle

Each ancient stone monument I visit on my travels across South Wales affects me in different ways and this is being reflected in my drawings. Here at the Neolithic ring cairn atop Mynydd Llangyndeyrn, Carmarthenshire, the angular stones contrasted sharply with the grassy hummocks surrounding them. I’m not interested in doing topographical drawings, I want to try and interpret what I feel about each site.  I found a dry rock (a luxury) to sit on opposite the stones and pulled out a piece of willow charcoal and some marbled Fabriano Accademica paper and just let the charcoal do its own thing. And it started getting a bit Cezanne-ish, the underlying geometry started to emerge to my surprise, I have never drawn like this before but it just seemed to happen that the drawing arranged itself into simple forms and planes.

I’m travelling around with archaeologist Dewi Bowen who is researching his new book. His previous book on the standing stones of Ancient Siluria can be found here. Accompanying us is film maker Melvyn Williams who is recording a documentary about the process. Some of Melvyn’s short films can be seen here. If you want to see more of my artworks, please click here.

Misty Mountain

2 Jan

kilns 1

Husb and I joined one of our nieces for a walk today on part of the Black Mountain north of Brynaman. Between the holidays (lots of pyjama days) and the awful torrential rain and storms, we’ve been going a bit stir crazy so despite the dire weather forecast, we thought we’d head on up the mountain and see if we could get a bit of a walk to blow away the cobwebs. On a clear day, the views are spectacular but, although it was quite mild with no rain, there was very low cloud and thick mist so we stuck to a well marked path and had a decent hour’s walk heading north-east from the car park to a limestone quarry and kilns. The path was too treacherous, stony and very muddy, for me to sketch while walking so I took digital photos on my Samsung phone to draw from in the warmth of home. I used simple materials, a white conte crayon into my Daler Rowney Ebony sketchbook (A4 spiral bound). There’s a slight texture to the paper which suits the misty atmosphere and I used the crayon along its flat side rather than the point, using a bit of smudging with my finger in places. It’s a fascinating area, geologically and historically and I’ll do some more drawings over the next few days.

Wellies And Woods

27 Dec

chelray

This afternoon, Husb and I went for a family walk in the gorgeous Penllergare Woods, just north of Swansea. It’s a spectacular Victorian garden, established by the photography pioneer John Dillwyn Llewellyn, that is being restored to its former glory. He had the valley of the Afon (River) Llan landscaped in the ‘Picturesque‘ style.

twin trunks

I took some photos and did a quick scribble of two of my young nieces in their wellies. It was an overcast and occasionally drizzly afternoon and the sky looked bleached out.

waterfall

The river was very high because of the recent torrential rains and the waterfall was much more fierce than normal. Penllergare Woods is well worth a visit, there are miles of beautiful walks and a very nice tea room with home made cakes. It’s a trust run by volunteers and relies on the support of visitors to keep it going.

reflect

Walk, Draw, Gong.

23 Sep
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The labyrinth with my ongoing drawing on the wall

Today is the Autumn Equinox and The Bagpuss Window featured a labyrinth made from bark and gong music from David Pitt. Visitors were invited to walk the labyrinth while David played gong. I had a go. It’s very meditative. It helped me loosen up as I did some more work on my big wall drawing.

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Walking the labyrinth with David Pitt on gongs

I’m loving what’s happening at The Bagpuss Window. When I picked up the keys to the old shop at the beginning of the month, I had no idea so many lovely artists would get involved. It’s been a brilliant experience.

A Sky Full Of Opals

29 Aug

opal 1

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.

Drizzly Dog

10 May

3 people and dog

Sometimes I work from photographs because I find it’s useful to be able to do a more detailed analysis of the image than I’d normally be able to do when I’m drawing directly from life. It gives me the chance to concentrate on things like perspective, proportion, foreshortening, reflections and composition. When I’m working with someone in a formal situation, a life model or someone sitting for a portrait study, there’s plenty of time to get things right, but drawing en plein air is way too fast to scribble down anything other than the most basic details.

Now and again, I pop down to the local beach to take some photos for drawing practice. This was a typical Swansea winter day, grey, drizzly with lots of dog walkers. I used a graphite stick into my A5 hardbacked sketchbook.

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