“Urban minimal” paintings of Swansea
Swansea is full of hills. It’s why there are so many great views in this town. It helps keep you fit. We live on top of a hill that -gave its name to the area – Brynmill (Lit. “Mill Hill” in Welsh).
Bernard Street is a long tree-lined avenue that “hangs” between two hills. It leads from the uplands of busy Gower Road down a long slope past a small parade of shops and then uphill again to St Albans Road, which runs parallel to the north side of the ridge of Brynmill. This land was once part of the grounds of a country mansion called “Pantygwdyr” (Lit. “Stream of Glass” in Welsh) that longer exists, that was once owned by a John Richardson, a ship owner.
Bernard was, apparently, a family name that was given to this street that was built around the turn of the 19th century. The north end of Bernard Street is lined with elegant large Edwardian red brick houses. It is one of the red-brick houses I have painted. I love the fiery colour of the hard brick. Not at all like modern bricks. These are smooth edged and a reddish orange.
I also love the trees on this road. They are periodically pruned so that the branches are reduced to stumps but they always burst forth with verdant abundance in the spring. It hard to be minimal with such lush greenery! It is usually rare to find parking spaces at this end of the street. The summer and the absent students have left gaps. The shadow of the house opposite, encroaches into the sunny scene, possibly a hint of something ominous.
More on Brynmill
© Emma Cownie 2017