Tag Archives: Yr Helfa

The Book Covers

5 Jul
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The front cover, printed and bound

Last weekend I did a short course in making a screenprinted book and part of the process was the covers. I did the designs with black acrylic paint brushed onto acetate and then scratched into the surface with a nail when it was dry. The hand lettering was done with a Faber Castell Pitt drawing pen.

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The book front cover design in negative

The design on the acetate was transferred to a photo-sensitive silkscreen and printed in white onto a dark cloth. Then the cloth was cut to size and glued to pre-cut boards before being glued onto the concertina screenprint to form the book.

The gluing process on the left and the finished back cover on the right.

Absolutely Shattered!

1 Jul
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Four ‘layers’ printed, two to go plus the covers…..

It’s the second day of the weekend screenprint book course at Swansea Print Workshop, headed up by Kelly Stewart, and I’m absolutely shattered. We did the drawings and design for it yesterday and today we printed, working at a fast pace in a heatwave!

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My work station ready to begin

Yesterday, I produced 6 drawn images on acetate for the interior, plus two for the covers. We started today by setting up our work stations, then mixing inks – Daler Rowney System 3 acrylic paint mixed 80:20 with screenprinting medium and a little water to loosen it to a soft dropping consistency, like a Madeira cake mix, I thought.

Then the printing started, beginning with the background ‘layers’ and working through to the foreground ‘layers’. But before screening onto the prepared book paper (Somerset 250 gsm) I printed each image onto newsprint to check the colour and clarity of the images. I’ll show you the rest tomorrow……

 

 

Out Of My Comfort Zone!

30 Jun

Today! Right out of my comfort zone!

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Designing the book cover

 

I’ve been at Swansea Print Workshop on day one of a weekend course with the excellent printmaker Kelly Stewart. I’m learning how to make a hardbacked screenprinted concertina book inspired by my drawings.

I started with a group of mixed media drawings of Neolithic Standing Stones I had done some time ago, a series I called ‘Yr Helfa / The Hunt‘, done en plein air across South Wales. But it’s often a problem trying to develop work from one genre to another because no matter what ideas you have, you are constrained by new techniques and materials that you haven’t experienced before.

It was hard work and by midday I was almost ready to throw in the towel and leave. But I persevered with Kelly’s encouragement and eventually came up with six drawings / motifs that will be printed and overprinted to form the book’s interior and designs for the front and back covers. I photocopied them onto acetates and Kelly transferred them, via the ultraviolet unit, onto prepared photoscreens. All set for tomorrow now.

Hunting The Wild Megalith

14 Jul

HUNTING THE WILD MEGALITH: A FILM, A CONVERSATION, AN EXHIBITION

Monday July 31st, 6.00 – 7.30, Cinema & Co, Swansea

Rose

Looking happy (not) with my drawing board

Mud! Gales! Snow! Lurking ponies! Scary cattle! More Mud! That’s what you get when an artist, a prehistorian and a filmmaker go out and about over the South Wales countryside hunting ancient stone monuments.

This collaboration between Dewi Bowen , Melvyn Williams and me began back at the start of 2016 when Dewi enlisted us to travel with him to Neolithic and Bronze Age sites to research his latest book, “Hunting The Wild Megalith”.

Melvyn

Filmmaker Melvyn Williams with the Bryn Maen Farm stone

Eighteen months later, this meeting of minds has resulted in my current exhibition at Swansea’s Cinema & Co, a short film by Melvyn and the bulk of the research done for Dewi’s book. On July 31st my exhibition ends but on that last evening, Melvyn will be premiering his short film, at 6.30 and then Dewi will be in conversation with Melvyn, from 6.50, about the age-old mystery of Welsh standing stones.

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Prehistorian Dewi Bowen lounges on an Iron Age settee

Here’s a trailer to give you a taste of what’s to come.

 

And the quirky and lovely Cinema & Co is showing cult 1970’s movie The Wicker Man from 8pm (please book tickets for the film online in advance).

 

And there will be cake!

Victoria Sandwich

 

For a limited period I am putting a new drawing of an ancient monument on my Artfinder gallery every day.  If you’d like to check them out, please click on the image below or the Artfinder link at the top right of this page.

The Art. The Megaliths. The Film. The Rain!

29 Jun

 

Coming soon to Cinema & Co, an exhibition by Rose Davies, a film by Melvyn Williams, an illustrated talk by Dewi Bowen……..

 

 

 

For a limited period I am putting a new drawing of an ancient monument on my Artfinder gallery every day.  If you’d like to check them out, please click on the image below or the Artfinder link at the top right of this page.

 

 

 

From Pakistan To Pentre Ifan: Art, Cake And Neolithic Wales

26 Jun

My solo show, “Yr Helfa / The Hunt”, is now on at Swansea’s quirky artspace, Cinema & Co throughout July and we’re finishing with a fabulous event on Monday July 31st from 5.30 pm featuring a film from Melvyn Williams, an illustrated talk from Dewi Bowen and I’ll be launching a new edition of a lino print made especially for the event.

I am exhibiting a series of drawings made of ancestral Bronze Age and Neolithic monuments in the field – mostly muddy fields – drawn on my journey across South Wales over the past 18 months with prehistorian Dewi Bowen and filmmaker Melvyn Williams. This body of work has its roots in a life-changing journey I made to Pakistan some years ago, where I became fascinated by rock carvings over 10,000 years old.

 

Back in February 2016 I started trudging through mud and slurry, fording turbulent streams and climbing over brackish hilltops through hail, rain and snow with Dewi and Melvyn to hunt down Neolithic and Bronze Age burial chambers, ceremonial circles and standing stones that lie scattered across the landscape of Wales. Coming face to face with these ancestral symbols both of a long lost culture and of continuity in a rapidly changing world has had a profound impact on me.

Please check Cinema & Co’s Facebook page for opening times during the exhibition.

 

 

For a limited period I am putting a new drawing of an ancient monument on my Artfinder gallery every day.  If you’d like to check them out, please click on the image below or the Artfinder link at the top right of this page.

 

 

 

The Place Of The Castle

19 Feb

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This is the third of the three drawings I did en plein air  at Penlle’r Castell (The Place Of The Castle) up on Mynydd Y Gwair this week, in the wind, the cold and the looming rain. I prepared Fabriano Accademico paper with white gesso and my home made walnut ink which suited the multi-layered, stratified landscape and I worked very quickly, indicating the colours of the scenery with Daler Rowney soft pastels.

I’m travelling across South Wales with prehistorian Dewi Bowen and filmmaker Melvyn Williams. Dewi is researching his new book, ‘Hunting The Wild Megalith’, based on the premise that the ancient Welsh legend, The Boar Hunt / Y Twrch Trwyth, from The Mabinogion, can be tracked across the sites of Neolithic monuments throughout the South Wales landscape and Melvyn is making a film of our journey. Here’s a short one he did late last year…..

 

 

I am putting my series of drawings 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.

St Elvis

Stratified With Walnuts

16 Feb

penller-castell-2

I managed to do three drawings en plein air up on Mynydd Y Gwair this week, in the wind, the cold and the looming rain. It was hard work! The Fabriano paper, prepared with white gesso and my home made walnut ink, dribbled and sponged, suited the multi-layered, stratified landscape and I worked very quickly, indicating the colours of the scenery with Daler Rowney soft pastels.

 

I’m travelling across South Wales with prehistorian Dewi Bowen and filmmaker Melvyn Williams. Dewi is researching his new book, ‘Hunting The Wild Megalith’, based on the premise that the ancient Welsh legend, The Boar Hunt / Y Twrch Trwyth, from The Mabinogion, can be tracked across the sites of Neolithic monuments throughout the South Wales landscape and Melvyn is making a film of our journey. Here’s a short one he did late last year…..

 

I am putting my series of drawings 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.

St Elvis

Murky Mountain

15 Feb

penller-castell-1

Up a mountain once again, Mynydd Y Gwair this week, with filmmaker Melvyn Williams and pre-historian Dewi Bowen, visiting Penlle’s Castell. Although it looks reasonably fine, it was shockingly windy and the rain clouds loomed murkily in the distance and I struggled to draw. It was very hard work, staying upright and drawing but one of the conditions of drawing en plein air. I used Fabriano paper that I’d prepared with several coats of gesso, rubbed with compressed charcoal and dribbled with white acrylic paint.The dribbles suited the grey rainy weather and I worked very quickly, just indicating the contours of the scenery in front of me with Daler Rowney soft pastels.

 

I’m travelling across South Wales with prehistorian Dewi Bowen and filmmaker Melvyn Williams. Dewi is researching his new book, ‘Hunting The Wild Megalith’, based on the premise that the ancient Welsh legend, The Boar Hunt / Y Twrch Trwyth, from The Mabinogion, can be tracked across the sites of Neolithic monuments throughout the South Wales landscape and Melvyn is making a film of our journey. Here’s a short one he did late last year…..

 

I am putting my series of drawings 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.

St Elvis

Preparation And Plein Air

10 Feb

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Here’s another view of Maen Bradwen, or Carreg Bica on Mynydd Drummau Mountain in Neath Port Talbot. It’s a massive stone and local legend has it that it bathes in the River Neath on Easter morning. I drew this fairly quickly with Daler Rowney soft pastels onto Fabriano paper that had been prepared with two layers of white acrylic gesso, then rubbed with compressed charcoal, then overpainted in parts with gesso again and finally I dribbled white acrylic paint from one edge. The preparation of the background took much longer than the drawing en plein air.

drummau-3b

I’m travelling across South Wales with prehistorian Dewi Bowen and filmmaker Melvyn Williams. Dewi is researching his new book, ‘Hunting The Wild Megalith’, based on the premise that the ancient Welsh legend, The Boar Hunt / Y Twrch Trwyth, from The Mabinogion, can be tracked across the sites of Neolithic monuments throughout the South Wales landscape and Melvyn is making a film of our journey. Here’s a short one he did late last year…..

 

I am putting my series of drawings 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.

St Elvis

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