Maiden Castle

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I just took this photo of a painting I did of Maiden Castle in the 1990’s. It’s a hill Fort in the countryside near Dorchester in Dorset, England. Sorry for the shine on it, my camera flash reflected off it.

What is Maiden Castle? A series of ramparts of soil, rising and falling until it reaches a plateau in the middlewhere the Fort is situated. It can be reached by a pathway through the maze of hills.

My painting includes a dancing and decaying figure. She is meant to represent the spirit of the place and its history. I was studying radiography at the time, and had found a rabbit skull on one of my walks. I also liked watching the archaeology TV programme, ‘ Time Team’ and this was my attempt to embody the feeling I got as I stood up on that hill.

Sadly I haven’t been back there since. But I just read a post by Sue Vincent and her visit to the place and it reminded me of the place. The Maiden Castle scene was taken from a photo and the dancing woman was imagined.

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Panto scenery? Oh yes it is!

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Now the panto is over I can share the scenery paintings I did. The market scene was painted with the help of John who started it, (he’s one of the stage cew) and he helped me with the sky on the desert scene. The flat figure came back out of the “mangle” after the character playing a policeman crawled through it in search of Aladdin. I also added clothes to the front of the “washing machine”, the man playing a second policeman crawled into it, and after a few seconds a child climbed out, as if shrunken, but with a full sized uniform!

I had a lot of fun doing these, and I may be painting a mural in Wales now I’ve finished doing this.

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Shattered

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I’m only showing you a bit of sky and some rocks I painted today as the scenery for the panto is secret. Basically I painted a desert. I had help with the sky (the black is a short curtain above the scenery). I’m too short to reach the top of the scenery. I am absolutely shattered now. 2.30pm to 6pm!i know I paint fast but that’s ridiculous….. About ten foot tall by 30 to 40 foot wide. I will publish the full image when the pantomime is over. Its thin acrylic paint on flat boards.

Old painting, maiden castle

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Painted several years ago, my painting of Maiden Castle Hill Fort imagined a woman dancing in the landscape, and also her bones as if they were found in the land.

The idea was inspired by visiting Maiden Castle in the 1990s,thinking about it being a hill Fort and part of the Celtic world.

It is located in Dorset near Dorchester. If I remember correctly it is reached by a small road, then you walk up through the ditches and mounds that lead up to the top of the hill Fort.

I think I got the idea from watching archaeology programmes on TV. I imagined the woman being aware of the changing seasons and how time passes. The little skull below her is a rabbit skull we found on a walk.

It’s a bit weird, but I wanted to include a figure in the dramatic landscape.

Last making session

I’ve finished painting for the penkhull mystery play, here is the willow pattern backdrop together with a school sign (set in the 1840’s). Im not the only maker, this is my friend Mark. There are others but my phone is playing up so I can’t find the pictures . Mark did the, ‘do not touch display’ sign. ( the play starts in a museum in 2019). So¬† having a rest for an hour.

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