This oil painting is of an area that inspires many of my landscapes, the Brecon Beacons in Mid Wales.
Unlike most of my other landscape paintings of the Beacons which paint areas of the Black Mountains, this painting is on the opposite side of the central Brecon Beacons from the Black Mountains, in an area called, somewhat confusingly, the Black Mountain.
The Black Mountains are more rural and more farmland dotted whereas parts of the Black Mountain are quite desolate and coarse in their moorland bleakness. One area seems generally more cultivated compared to the wildness of the other. This is why I love both in different ways. I love the Carmarthen Fan as this is more wild and unkempt although this soon gives way to the farm lands and patchworked fields like the other side of the central Beacons, as the earthy colours of agricultural Carmarthenshire also slide down the sides of these great glaciated monuments and into the the dim distance as they do on the other side too.
I love to convey some of this “giving way” to this naturally quilted farm land from these hard glaciated rocks of the Black Mountain in this painting. From the sandy fair illusion of softness in the far heights to the lush fruity colours in the near distance. I have also attempted to show the wondrous movement of clouds one experiences throughout the Brecon Beacons too, rolling their awesome way like herds of fluffy sky giants, tickling the tips of hills and caressing scarred ridges as they go. The movement of these ever-changing clouds over hills and mountains produces this amazing silverly grey light that when illuminated by the peeping, fleeting sun makes everything more more clear and the depth of perception much deeper.
It appears to hold everything in is wrapped clear focus. Almost magnifies the clarity of our onlooking vision. This makes the foreground colours deepen and seem more rich. It is a particular feature of upland Welsh areas, this brilliant luminescent light. Always changing and bestowing it’s chromatic good fortune on whatever it traverses.
This people portrait is intentionally quite poignant as it features an elderly man who seems to be carrying some of his belongings in a plastic shopping bag. It is not clear if he is unkempt in his crumpled rain coat because he is homeless or has gone beyond caring too much about his appearance.Either way, he looks sad and almost life-beaten.
I wanted to contrast his sad, beaten, forlorn facial expression, and drooped shoulders and shuffling gait with the excitement of others striding off into the distance, either shoppers hurriedly returning home after a successful day’s shopping or employees from these shops doing the same after a hard day’s work. There is also a frission or juxtaposition between the elderly man’s crumpled slightly smudged coat and dishevelled appearance and the gleaming reflection-clean floor of the shopping mall and the tidy, orderly professional look of the shops.
The elderly man looks like he doesn’t fit in here or even maybe he has no where to go, unlike the others, where he can fit in. It is as if society has locked him out of what others have and perhaps even take for granted.
He seems lonely, and forlorn on his way to wherever he is going, to wherever he calls home?
This oil painting returns to Gower for inspiration. The area painted is further upstream from the earlier “Ilston” series”. I wanted to paint more of an expanse behind the trees and brook to give a heightened expression of that fresh, crisp, nose tingling feeling of early morning in late October.
The background morphed into burnished orangy-purple hills, perhaps unconsciously inspired by the rustic settings and autumnal colouring of the “Group of Seven” paintings and Tom Thomson in particular. I want the viewer to gasp, full lunged, the fresh air when viewing this painting.
“Returning again to paint one of my favourite views and areas of Mid Wales, that of The Black Mountains in the Brecon Beacons National Park.
This is a scene of the fleeting sun light through the clouds, brushed by the evening’s sunsetting colours of pinky oranges, purply pinks, turquoise, steely blues and mauve, as we look at evening light as it catches the Sugar Loaf and Table Mountain in the distance.”
Just arrived back from a wonderfully relaxing holiday in the Black Mountains – a week of walking, climbing up hills and mountains, taking photographs, painting en plein air and painting sketching for later art work. Great to get away from it all if only to come back refreshed and loaded up with inspiration for future artwork. The Black Mountains is a major inspiration, alongside the Gower Peninsula, in my art work. I love the clear mountain light, the shadows it creates, casting its long dark fingers across rounded hills, through tree and hedgerows and deep into the ragged craggy furrows of the numerous glaciated mountain faces strewn throughout this area of the Brecon Beacons.
Delighted to say I have just SOLD this painting “Toward Pennard Pill” via artgallery.co.uk
“This is a refractionist oil painting of a much loved inspiration for several of my works, the wooded area of Ilston in the Gower Peninusla, near Swansea. This brook or pill leads to the sea at Three Cliffs Bay, via Pennard Pill, hence the title.”
A new oil painting – 40 x 50cm – “Ice cream with Nan and Bampi” – this people portrait is a snapshot of life in Brynmill, Swansea where I live. This is a refreshments kiosk in the picturesque Brynmill Park where we can see two grandparents, after the school run, treating their grand child to an afternoon ice cream.
I love the colours in the painting, they remind me of the bright bold colours of Ladybird books from my childhood. I am especially proud of the movement in the figures I think I managed to achieve; the caring consideration towards the grandchild illustrated in the movement of the grand parents. Bampi is a slang name in South Wales for Grandad.
In a meditative manner, to the music of Eric Satie’s gorgeous “Trois Gymnopedies”, I attempt to describe how working close to nature but in the city is a major influence on my painting, blending with my technique to create my artwork. In fact, place and painting are inseparable. I am greatly influenced by the light and beauty in Wales and around the Swansea area in particular. Most of my paintings inspired by the bountiful beauty that surrounds me, the sounds as well as the images. You might even notice the odd inspiration that made it to be a painting too (as well as the odd painting of my inspirational Swansea). Welcome to my Attic Art Studio and the place that inspires much of my artwork. https://vimeo.com/104913701
This painting “A Summered Garden” is one of my favourite paintings, recently painted a few weeks ago. As such, it takes “pride of place” above the living room mantelpiece, beside my recent portrait of my husband and a small photo of our wedding, although Hattie, one of my cats seems unimpressed.
I like to show my paintings in lived in environments so that artlovers can see how they may look on their walls too!