The monuments

March 2011  Acrylic on canvas 70 x 50cm  (27.56″x 19.68″)

9 thoughts on “The monuments

  1. How very very interesting! The foreground form is made ever so much more beautiful by having set it off with that man-made monstrosity in the background, Sonya. Love the contrast, starkness and creativity of this.

  2. Thank-you very much Leslie.

    I’ve been wanting to paint a menhir for a long time. I always find them fascinating, especially their chosen place in the landscape which seems to always connect to other high places which often also have megaliths. The funny thing is I’ve often thought about this connection of space aspect & wondered about the people whose culture they represent, whereas I can’t say I’ve given much thought to repeater stations/antennae & satelite dishes!
    And yet the other day on my way to work I realised that the repeater station at the top of the hill in San Sebastian was actually connected to this one (obvious of course really) & it made me feel somehow connected back to the wilder place.

    My alternative title is “Western religion, past & present” but in the end I decided perhaps it was a bit too obvious.

  3. I like the monuments. I, like Leslie had to look up menhir although I sort of guessed what it was from your painting. The stark landscape is beautiful and I like the repeater station too.

    Western Religion Past and Present may have been a bit obvious, but sometimes I’m nothing if not obtuse so I’m glad you put that in your response to Leslie.

  4. I can almost feel the cool surface of the stone. The long shadows suggest early evening. The juxtaposition is very clever. We have some nice examples of standing stones and their circles, they have a magic all of their own. One day I’ll visit Callanish on the Isle of Lewis. However, your wonderful painting will keep me going for now.

  5. You’re right about them having a magic of their own – it’s almost as though the stones themselves have a presence that defines the space around them. The one I’ve painted here is not part of a circle, but stands alone.

  6. No I haven’t. Is it a bit like “Watership Down” which I know I liked when I was a kid? I wonder why the English ( I don’t feel like it’s so prevalent elsewhere) have this tendancy to want to humanise animals? I remember as a child visiting a museum in Brighton I think, full of stuffed kittens from the Victorian era dressed up in clothes & set up for school! Also I remember all those postcards I had as a child with paintings from the 30s of cutsy bunny rabbits all dressed up as humans too!

    To go back to books…!
    One of my favourite (non fiction) books on prehistory is “The mind in the cave ” by David Lewis Williams. He looks at cave art & comes up with some very interesting ideas I think. I bought it after visiting the grottes de Niaux near Tarascon because I found it such an amazing experience.
    Afterwards I really wanted to know more about who were these people who had made such incredible paintings in a deep cave around 13,000 years ago & why?
    To reach the cave you have to walk about a kilometre through a tunnel. When it opens out into a domed cave I got a similar sensation (but much more intense) to that which you can get from the space & the acoustics in a cathedral.
    There’s another book by the same author (& David Pearce)called “Inside the Neolithic mind” which is also very good if you are interested in finding out about the culture of that period. It’s more based around the evidence from tombs such as Newgrange in Ireland for example.

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