Sketching day at Llanymynech - panel from Limescapes comic (2012)

Sketching day at Llanymynech – panel from Limescapes comic (2012)

Had a great sketching day at Llanymynech Rocks on Sunday.  About ten of us met up at the quarry carpark and braved the chill for a morning and afternoon of exploring, photographing, painting and drawing. We were met there by Steve Evison from Underhill Farm, where we stopped for lunch and a welcome cup of tea. Actually, it wasn’t nearly as cold as I expected it to be, and as the day wore on, it was actually quite warm in the sunshine. After lunch, Steve took a group of us on a tour of the older limekilns underneath the brow of the quarries, and then up to the toposcope for a view out over the canal, the railway line and the long oval of the Hoffman Kiln across the other side of the B-road.

This was not our first visit either to Underhill Farm or to the “limescapes” in Llanymynech, but it confirmed it as a place rich in creative possibilities. A number of us are now starting works that focus on the quarry, the limekilns and the wider natural and heritage landscapes that surround the quarry. Dorothy was muttering enthusiastically about centring at least part of her MA work on the quarry, Al was interested in also directing some of his course work towards the area, and I know Gill has also been working on a series of paintings set up in the quarries. I’ve also now started work on two graphic novel projects – one which Steve and I have talked about previously, about the heritage and environment of the quarries and the limekilns, bringing a number of different aspects – industrial history, archaeology, geology, social and community history and leisure – together; the second a more explorative graphic work which uses the quarry as its geographical focus.

With all this interest in the quarries and the kilns, I’m glad we’ve got a good working relationship with Underhill Farm. Both Steve and Irene are keen to have us Inside Out artists make the most of the place, and would welcome individuals or small groups back to use the farm as a base for working and sketching days. I know a number of us will be returning individually through the winter, making headway with our individual projects – but if anyone is interested in another sketching day out at the quarry, just say so!

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