Tag Archives: wild garlic

The Scruffy Little Model

9 Apr

Scruffy cat

It was a really nice day today, not too warm, dry and perfect to get down to the allotment to make an early start on the Spring clearance and planting. The same thing happens every year, I say I’ll break myself in and do an hour at a time and work my way up but no, I did four and a half hours of digging, weeding, planting and hedge trimming straight off. And then got home and crashed on the settee. And didn’t do any art. So I grabbed my sketchbook and scribbled Little Ming who is asleep on the pouffé. She’s getting on a bit, she’s sixteen now but she’s always been a scruffy little thing.

Oystermouth Castle 2

As we walked across the park by the Castle to the allotment site, I noticed a swathe of bright yellow celandine and gleaming white wild garlic (Ramsons) tumbling down the grassy bank. I love the Spring.

 

I have put my series of drawings en plein air of ancient Welsh monuments on Artfinder.  If you want to see more, please click on the image below or the Artfinder link at the top right of this page. This one is the legendary grave of Saint Elfys (Elvis) in Pembrokeshire, not for from the Presceli Mountains. Elfys? Presceli? Elvis Presley? Coincidence? hhhmmmm

St Elvis

Before And After

5 Jun

Tair Carn 4

This is a piece of Fabriano Accademica paper, prepared with charcoal, acrylic paint and my home made walnut ink.

Tair Carn 5

And this is the same piece after I have visited an ancient monument and drawn it onto the paper in charcoal and Daler Rowney soft pastels.

Bronze Age Piles Of Rocks

3 Jun

Tair Carn 2

Drawing at  Tair Carn Isaf (the Three Lower Cairns) yesterday with Dewi the archaeologist and Melvyn the film maker. It’s a complex site made up of many cairns, large and small, with more in the distance, lining up along a number of large rocky outcrops gambolling across the landscape. The problem for me as an artist is how to approach drawing these monuments which, although Bronze Age graves, are basically piles of rocks and to be honest, one pile of rocks is much the same as another.

Tair Carn 3

For this one, I chose an aspect that shows the most easterly of the three cairns on the Tair Carn Isaf (Three Lower Cairns) site, with two of the three cairns on the Tair Carn Uchaf (Three Upper Cairns) site in the distance. I chose a piece of Fabriano prepared with charcoal, white acrylic paint and walnut ink (that I made myself). Then, with Daler Rowney artists’ soft pastels I used a variety of colours to indicate the contours of the landscape and the shape of the cairns against the sky.

Dewi 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. Melvyn is recording a documentary about our experiences. Some of Melvyn’s short films can be seen here. I’m currently working on a series of expressive drawings of ancestral sites and if you want to see some of my other artworks, please click here.

Cairns, Castle And Garlic

2 Jun

Tair Carn 1

Back to hunting the wild megalith in South Wales with archaeologist Dewi Bowen and film maker Melvyn Williams, visiting Neolithic monuments on the Trail Of The Boar, a legend from The Mabinogion. Today we took off to Tair Carn Isaf (the Three Lower Cairns) near Carreg Cennen Castle in Carmarthenshire. The cairns were a hefty walk from the road, steeply uphill over rough ground but worth the effort for the spectacular 360° views. The first and largest cairn we came to has been enhanced with a small rock sculpture perched on top. I like the way that modern people interact with the ancestors by adding to the cairns and even making new ones alongside the old.

I drew onto a piece of Fabriano paper I had previously prepared with charcoal, acrylic paint and my own home-made walnut ink. I drew with Daler Rowney artists’ soft pastels. I don’t want to do representational drawings when I’m out with the ancestral stones, rather I want to express my feelings about the place, to create my own personal impression.

Here’s  a bit of trivia. The castle name, Carreg Cennen is Welsh for Leek Rock – the area is covered with wild garlic, or Ramsons, which was apparently the original Welsh leek. We could smell it for miles around as we travelled to the castle for tea and cake after our trek.

Dewi 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. Melvyn is recording a documentary about our experiences. Some of Melvyn’s short films can be seen here. I’m currently working on a series of expressive drawings of ancestral sites and if you want to see some of my other artworks, please click here.

Boy And Spear

20 Mar

Parc le breos 2

Yesterday I went to a local ancient site, Parc le Breos on the Gower Peninsula with Husb and one of our young nephews. There was a day of ancient events going on, showing how people lived many of thousands of years ago. We saw a flint knapper who made a stone axe-head in about 20 minutes from a few pieces of rock; wild wheat being ground between two stones then baked into flatbreads on a stone over the fire; a Neolithic stew made from bits of cow, some dried peas and wild garlic; pots were being made and fired and cooked in; clothes fashioned from deer skin; and spears thrown.

Young nephew loved the spear throwing. One end of the spear (the feathered end) was slotted into an atlatl (spear thrower) which uses leverage to greatly increase the speed of spear throwing. They have been used until at least the Upper Paleolithic, around 30,000 years ago, and still exist with some hunter gatherers today. Did a few scribbles of the nephew into my sketchbook, this is the one I liked best. I did a quick drawing with a graphite stick and then inked it with a Faber Castell Pitt drawing pen.

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