Welsh hills, Dare valley

A couple of weeks ago , we went to the Workers Gallery in Ynyshir to see Rose Davies’ exhibition, “The Hunt”.  The next morning the family went for a long large breakfast while I took the chance to walk and draw.  The marked path I took out of the Dare Valley park fizzled out into barbed wire and bracken so I never made it to the hill tops, but here are the sketches made on the way.

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A time lapse film over decades would show these wooded hillsides eroding and falling as the roots wrench apart the rocks, and their branches are pulled outward and down by wind, rain and gravity.  On that one morning, I saw a single frame from this sequence, trees still gripping the ground, and growing first horizontal and then pulling themselves up to the vertical with a mighty effort. The film, speeded up, might show them balancing, teetering on the brink of ruin.

The picture above shows the remains of a tree and the whitened skeleton of its major limb, ripped from the trunk.  Below is the view across the valley to the wind turbines beyond.  Both used the technique of fountain pen and water, then conte crayon textures built by drawing on the wet or dry surface.

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This was the first sketch that morning, at the pool on the valley floor, with a cormorant close by, drying its wings.

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The sketch I wish I had done there would have shown the myriad webs spun between reeds and grass blades, catching the morning light, white against the golden glowing meadow.

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