Dyffryn House Project – Coal Mine Paintings – No 3

After visiting the mine, I drew this image based on what I remembered seeing, including the iron stabilisers used to hold the structure of the rock. This was something that was a particularly hard and important job for the miner as it wasn’t just a case of extracting the coal, but also putting up wood and steel stabilisers to make sure the rock didn’t cave in above their heads.

I wanted to convey more elements of mining in this painting so I have included the iron bars and a coal cart. Orange became a new colour used in this painting. On reflection this is my least favourite so far. I found drawing from memory a challenge but it was mainly the colour that seemed to be the problem. Now there is too much going on. Before with just the black, white, blue and yellow, the palette worked well, the orange I feel doesn’t quite work. I have struggled with the use of black with colour throughout doing these paintings however I now have a better idea of what works and what doesn’t. Another part of creating this painting was the detail. This is the most detailed but it didn’t work so well. My second painting was much more spontaneous where I only drew out the rough outline and this worked better.

I have been using chalk and charcoal with paint which I think has encouraged me to become looser and create spontaneous marks as it is less controllable . I have found using these materials quite refreshing as I am used to creating things slowly and in detail. My decision to use charcoal came from the idea to make a visual connection between the physical coal and my work.


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