Crowdy Cairns

“Silent Stones, Crowdy Bay”

80 x 60 cms

Luminance & Supracolor pencils on Canson pastel board.

My own reference & imagination.

This is not a post concerning the population of Cairns (Australia), instead, it’s about my fascination for rock cairns, especially those that I’ve seen during my travels throughout Australia.

A cairn is a deliberate structure made from various sized stones laid on top of each other one at a time. One must choose the right size and shaped stone to use in order to maintain the structure and balance of the cairn.

Cairns have been used from prehistoric times to the present day for a variety of purposes such as landmarks, burial sites, relating to astronomy, trail markers and sculptural reminders left by visiting tourists.

About 80 klms south of Port Macquarie lies Crowdy Beach where there are a number of cairns very close to the beach. They have inspired my latest drawings, both for my forthcoming adult colouring book (edition 2) and my folio of coloured pencil drawings.

Last week I was part of ArtWalk 2018 at Port Macquarie and I spent close to 4 hours working on the drawing featured at the top of this post. It ‘drew’ a great deal of positive comment and following its completion yesterday, has been added to my art shop on Redbubble:

I have begun a second drawing, this one being more sculptural and three- dimensional. The emphasis here is on the grandeur of the cairns, building from the large stones at the front to the peak of the cairns towering over all below, flanked by hills in the background along with part of the beach and bay.

The ‘sculptural feel’ of these stones is my major source of motivation with this subject, whether it be in solid colour or simple line drawing. These structures are ‘3D jigsaws’ in colour and intriguing patterns when recorded in line.

I have drawn stones ‘seriously’ for over 30 years and find the subject of cairns as good as any that I’ve drawn. When given the opportunity, I like to build my own cairns, then photograph them.  Recording them in one’s sketch book when time permits, is an excellent way of recording what you see at the time and is often quite different to what a camera ‘sees’. I won’t work from other people’s photos or royalty-free images, the only exception being certain commissions. I want to have ownership (and appreciation/experience) over what I’m working on and I want to ‘know’ my subject and (hopefully) understand it. Isn’t that was art is all about?


About artkleko

artist, art curator, art teacher, art judge, art critic
This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Crowdy Cairns

  1. Maxine Donald says:

    Interesting to read about cairns and your interest in ‘stones’ Richard. Very evident in your work. I certainly agree with your perspective of working from your own references/experiences. It is difficult to ‘get into’ commissions using references of others. Enjoyed the blog as usual 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.