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.
A new painting – “Sugar Loaf and Table Mountain” – oil, £285 – 60 x 50cm
“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 shades the Sugar Loaf and Table Mountain in the distance.”
I love painting snow, whether brillant midday sun, blue-tinged, snow or pinky sunset snow. I love how blues and pinks hover above the snowy white. I love the snow’s power to transform, to turn a plain town into a lovely town, and a lovely town in something quite majestic. In “Crick in the Snow, the lovely village of Crickhowell in the Brecons is transformed into a picture-postcard beauty by the snow and the dramatic background of the snow glistering hills.
I live by the sea where the salty sea erodes most heavy snow drifts. Thus I have to travel inland to the Welsh Valleys and beyond to find my snow-laden landscapes. In this painting I love the intricacy of the hedgerows climbing up the hills, the lacy threads of winter hedges, the patterns, and the line and shapes. It has a “brueghelian” Christmas feel. All that is missing is the sleighing children and swirling skates. I love the warm colours of the houses in the foreground contrasting with the cold blues in the distant countryside. The habitable back-lit with the inhabitable. This heightens the feeling of Christmas, all wrapped up in each other’s shops and homes, and lives; reassuringly, comfortably, necessarily away from the icy outside, the outer reaches, around this human fire of company. This is a painting of a winter community as well as winter community more generally.
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