Tag Archives: Ystradgynlais

Drawing Obsessively

1 Jan

1546378514022~2-401697363..jpeg

I’m getting a bit obsessed with drawing Mari Lwyds; I’m thinking of doing some larger artworks incorporating them so I’m drawing them from lots of different angles as preparation studies. I’m choosing random photos from the Internet at the moment, but I’ll be going out to do some en plein air drawings on the 13th and 19th of January. The first is an appearance by the Ystrad Mari (from Ystradgynlais) at Gellionen Chapel, the second a ‘meet’ or even a ‘mayhem’ of Mari Lwyds at the Chepstow Wassail (I don’t know if there’s a collective noun for them).

 

Echo From The Past

10 Jan

mari-1

This is the last drawing I did of The Mari Lwyd, Y Fari Lwyd, at Gellionen Chapel last Sunday. Sitting in the pew during the visit from Mari Ystrad (the Mari Lwyd from Ystradgynlais) gave me the time and space to do more detailed drawings than I was able to do a couple of weeks ago when I followed Mari Trecopwr (Coppertown Mari) around pubs in North Gower, which was raucous and hectic but loads of fun.

The tradition of Mari Lwyd was very common until the 1960’s when it had almost died out but it’s now having a revival and it’s terrific to see and draw this echo from the past.

I drew with white, black and sanguine conté crayons into my A4 brown paper sketchbook. I’m enjoying this sketchbook, it gives me a good mid tone to work into. I really like this drawing, I might eventually develop it into a screenprint.

 

 

I am putting my series of drawings of ancient Welsh monuments on Artfinder.  If you want to buy one, you can see them by clicking on the image below or the Artfinder link at the top right of this page.

St Elvis

A Thin Veil

9 Jan

mari-2

Drawing the Mari Ystrad at Gellionen Chapel yesterday was a much more peaceful experience than drawing the Mari Trecopwr around the pubs of North Gower a couple of weeks ago and I had the chance to take my time, observe and record at leisure. I finally drew the full figure – the Mari’s skull atop a two legged creature in a decorated white shroud, baggy white trousers and white socks. The huge horse’s skull dwarfs the homo sapien below.

The white – or grey – colouring of the Mari Lwyd dates to pre-Christian times and is the colour of animals that could cross the divide between this world and the underworld. White is also associated with Rhiannon, a Welsh horse goddess and queen of the underworld. At this darkest time of the year, tradition has it that the veil between this and other worlds is at its thinnest and some beings could pass through.

Husb noticed that the spiral pattern on part of the shroud is the same as carvings on ancient stone monuments and temples across Malta. Coincidence? hhhmmmmm

 

I am putting my series of drawings of ancient Welsh monuments on Artfinder.  If you want to buy one, you can see them by clicking on the image below or the Artfinder link at the top right of this page.

St Elvis

Singing In The Chapel!!!!

8 Jan

chapel

Anyone who knows Husb and me knows that we’re a pair of unrepentant godless heathen. And would be very surprised that we went to chapel today! A gorgeous Unitarian chapel up on Gellionen Mountain, completely deserted and shrouded in this morning’s thick fog. The lovely wood-lined interior was decorated with holly and ivy and there was a chalice and large candle lit in front of the simple pulpit. I did a very quick sketch before the service started with the rousing Welsh hymn, Calon Lân, one that Husb and I hadn’t sung since childhood. Surprisingly I really enjoyed singing it. But that’s not the reason we were there. The chapel had organised a visit from Mari Ystrad, the Ystradgynlais Mari Lwyd and I’m getting a bit obsessed with the tradition of The Mari and jumped at the chance of drawing another one, after following Mari Trecopwr, the Coppertown Mari around North Gower last week.

mari-3

The Mari Ystrad was incorporated into the simple and moving service with great hilarity and afterwards we munched on delicious home-made Welsh cakes. Mari Ystrad seems less sinister and more skittish than the Mari Trecopwr and now I’m just going to have to go and draw some more to see how they differ……

 

 

I am putting my series of drawings of ancient Welsh monuments on Artfinder.  If you want to buy one, you can see them by clicking on the image below or the Artfinder link at the top right of this page.

St Elvis

A Dandy, An Exile And Cult Pens

25 Jul

Went to the little village of Ystradgynlais this evening to see some new lithographs. They’re created by a very talented young Welsh artist, John Abell, who won a bursary from the Josef Herman Foundation to spend a week at the world-famous Curwen Press to develop a new body of prints. Josef Herman was a refugee artist fleeing the Nazis before the second World War and he settled for a long time in this part of Wales. John is the first winner of this bursary and it’s very exciting to see an artist developing at the start of their career and it’s also great to see work of such passion.

Of course, I took my sketchbook with me, the little A6 recycled paper one in a leather cover and my Pilot V5 pen. It’ll run out soon – I’ll have to get onto Cult Pens and get some more. I drew the artist (a self-confessed Dandy) and then another artist. The drawings are a little bit wonky because I forgot my specs :(.

 

Cult pens. Honestly. I’m SUCH a geek!

%d bloggers like this: