Miniature Mountains – A Confusion of Scale and Having Fun With Photos

If the walkers on Rhosilli beach (see Thursday’s post) gave a true sense of the scale of the space the beach and cliffs occupy, then these photos of the remnants of a sand castle could be said to confuse scale completely.

The way the sand had slipped and created miniature cliffs and mountains fascinated me. I thought there may be an even greater sense of a larger landscape if I converted to monochrome . . . and then I wondered if over exposure and increased contrast might create the conditions for a “white out” on the “mountainside”.

sand cliffs

sand cliffs

sand mountain

monochrome sand mountain

sand mountain!

Walking To Fall Bay

The Walking Forum Tastes of Gower walk at Rhosilli on the Gower Peninsula took us round from the Worm’s Head to Fall Bay, a place I had not been to for many years. Being a beautiful day there were inevitably more people than us out for a walk, but even though I prefer a solitary walk to a group walk generally speaking, Fall Bay is secluded enough to enjoy in almost any circumstances.

The series of cliffs that form the south Gower coastline are particularly impressive at Fall Bay. This is enhanced by the fact that you can approach them from the seaward side as the land curves around towards the Worm’s Head which is behind us in this first photo.

walking on the Gower Peninsula

Cliffs at Fall Bay

Cliff Walk Views

My posts this week are about a recent walk along the cliffs at the end of the Gower Peninsula.  Gower Landscapes Partnership and Swansea Walking Forum have been organising a series of walks on the Gower peninsula this year. As a member of the Walking Forum I have been taking part in these Tastes of Gower walks. The most recent was at Rhosilli where the Worm’s Head spits out into the sea.

It was a very enjoyable walk on a beautiful day. Walking out from Rhosilli to the tip of the peninsula and the Worm’s Head, we had spectacular views from the cliffs over Rhosilli Bay. People and dogs on the beach looked smaller than ants!

We didn’t venture onto the Worm’s Head, though the tide times on that day would have allowed it. The tide times are shown on a large notice at the start of the path to the Head but despite this many people get caught out and end up stranded on the island. Many of these, so I am told, are from China and don’t speak English, yet it has not occurred to the Coast Guard that has top go and fetch them by boat, to put up a similar notice in Chinese (and other languages).

Rhosilli Bay

Rhosilli Bay, Gower

Rhosilli Bay, Gower

Worm's Head, Gower

 

 

Historic Elements of the Landscape

I photographed these old fence posts towards the end of my production walk on Rhossili Down. I don’t know what their history is with regard to the pattern of holes but the second image shows an old WWII radar station facing out to sea at the end of the Gower Peninsula.

Also included in todays post is the collection of images from this past week along with a few that were not included in the individual posts – I hope you enjoy 🙂

Old Posts

Ruined WWII installation

Walking the Cliff Paths

Rhossili, Rhossili Bay, Rhossili Downs, the cliffs, the beach – all are popular places throughout the year at the end of the Gower Peninsula. It’s not difficult to see why and fortunately the large expanse of the bay and the hills above mean that it rarely feels overcrowded.

Cliff path

Man on the Downs

Round Stones and Flat Rocks

The pattern created by these smooth round stones was the second thing that interested me about this small area at the foot of the cliffs near Monknash on the South Wales coast.

I took a closer look and, on my iPad, I started a couple of sketches of the the harsh light and shade.

This revealed the disadvantage of recording observations with this method – namely heat! The sun was shining and it was a blistering day. Although I started my drawing from a vantage point in the shade, the sun soon moved round and I found that the glass of the iPad got extremely hot to the touch quite quickly. Had I been using a stylus, I might not have realised what was happening which may well have done some lasting harm to the iPad.

Click below to view the iPad animation of one of my attempts at drawing these stones on the iPad using SketchBook Pro.

Monknash stones

flat rocks

Flat Rocks

Rockpool

Layers and Layers – Recording Observations 2

I took a small sketchbook with me on our walk and draw day on the cliff lined shore near Monknash on the South Wales coast – and I found it much easier to work with traditional drawing media than with the iPad. However, I have not had much practice with the iPad in this way.

One of the reasons for bringing the iPad was to get a bit more experience and make a better assessment of it when using it with a traditional approach to drawing – i.e. the SketchBook Pro program I used was set to use a “pencil” at 50% opacity. It would have been easier if I’d had a stylus! I found the strata of the rocks quite a difficult subject but that may have been my lack of practice!

I first used the iPad for drawing when preparing for the Josef Herman Art Foundation Schools Award 2014 project. My first attempts were tentative, but practice obviously helps. Restricting myself (and the children) to using the “pencil” tool was intended to help us learn the basics and become familiar with working in this way. One thing I thought might be useful was the ability to record the process of drawing as an animation.

Below are two of my earliest drawings on the iPad. I hope the viewpoint of the first is clear and the second is of one of the Rosa Mundi flowers in our garden. The flower is the one that would make attempt using colour on the iPad!

iPad drawing of my foot

Rosa Mundi iPad drawing