Friday, 20 April 2018

Devil's Den

Devil's Den, oil on linen canvas, 46 x 38 cm
The Devil's Den is a reconstructed (c. 1921) dolmen (neolithic) near Marlborough in Wiltshire. As far as I can tell, it is the closest such monument to where I live (there seems to be a shortage of suitable stone in Hampshire; certainly the chalk and flint in the immediate vicinity would make very poor building material). Dolmens, which look like stone tables, are actually the structural remains of burial chambers that were once covered in earth. Most have three or more uprights; this has two, but one of them rests on a third, recumbent stone. The stones are sarsens, which are blocks of sandstone created by glacial flow. They are plentiful in that area (which is not far from Avebury and Stonehenge).

I have visited the Devil's Den before, with sketching equipment, but this time I took my painting gear. It was a gloriously, unseasonably, hot and sunny day. I spent maybe two and a half hours on site and completed the picture in the studio, where I empasised the darks (which have a tendency to get lost on site) and the reflected colour on the stones.

Included in the group exhibition, Traces of Prehistory (Artikinesis).

Devil's Den
oil on linen canvas, 46 x 38 cm
£160

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