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Not a Bridge Too Far!

Delighted to say I have just SOLD this oil painting “Ilston Brook Bridge via Artfinder a few days after adding it to my collection –


Large limited edition mounted prints can be bought here

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Up Landeilo Way

Oil painting on linen canvas – I use a linen canvas with a white covering for certain types of painting such as landscapes set in Wales as there is a particular type of “Welsh light” that can be captured accurately on this type of canvas. It is extraordinary how a canvas is so conducive to a certain “national light” but all light is different depending on where one is located in the world. My husband hails for the north of Ireland where the light is brighter and more shrill, high pitched, more crisply blue white, whereas in Wales, it is often slightly or noticeably softer and in certain places tinged with warmer yellowy white. Although in this painting which is heading towards West Wales, and towards the Irish Sea the light has become more crisp and slightly tinged with blue. One can almost feel the lung filling fresh air in the blowing clouds and nasal tinging blue sky.

llandeilo way
Llandeilo Way (SOLD)
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Sapling Wood

This is another refractionist painting – I was drawn to this painting because I love the colours that come alive not only in misty backgrounds but in backgrounds in the sun, viewed from the more darkened interiors of the wood as in this painting. I love the cool blue of the distance trees and the purple mingling with the ground and the purples there sliding across the ground, following the sun’s light into the dark of the wood. I love the spectrum of colours in the light and how the light is refracted by the tips of the trees, the last burnished leaves and the spindly branches. It produces a kaleidoscopic effect of colour.

Sapling Wood (SOLD)

Buy large limited edition mounted prints here 

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Inner Light

“This is another ‘refractionist’ painting and is almost an inverse of ‘Up Cwmdonkin’. Instead of the refracted light creating a stain glass effect falling on the outside fringes of a wood, here it illuminates within the hidden chamber of a forest, which gives it a heightened, magical or enchanted feel. It feels like a secret wood of childhood fantasy and imagination. I like how the brilliant rainbow colours contrast with the jet black and how the inner sanctum of light is framed naturally by the surrounding trees, inviting one into the shower of light and colour.

But is this scene too good to be true? Is there a Brothers Grimm malevolence here, in this painting? Do the black trees signal a menace, a foreboding or do these encircling trees call one into a place of wonder and a child-like joy, where the light and colour, silence and peace rain down and let the soul rejoice? Or is it a broody chimera? Depends on your own imagination, I suppose!”


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Fauvist Wood

This painting was heavily influenced by the fauvists, especially Paul Gauguin and particularly his painting “Jacob wrestling with the Angel”. The use of brillant red shows the influence and the patches of blocked colour on the tree bark is used in a similar way to that used in to heighten light falling on the faces of sitters in fauvist portraits. The painting also uses this effect on the colour used to depict light draping the edges on the trees in the background. Also like the fauvists, the rule of using green and red, a fundamental fauvist tenet, is also gleefully broken here to interpret the effect of green shoots of grass poking through the autumn burnish leaves, lying decaying on the park ground.

fauvist wood
Fauvist Wood (SOLD)



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Redded Up (SOLD)

Lovely being in beautiful West Wales yesterday – This paintings is from that area but the name “Redded Up” is an Ulster expression meaning to take someone’s views to task. It might coming from meaning to clean up or to paint one’s door red to make one’s thatched cottage a bit more presentable, this last bit is a theory. If you have any theories let me know on where this expression comes from? The painting is also inspired by Hopper’s paintings of sun drenched buildings.  up, oil paintings, emma cownie, swansea-based artist,

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Penmaen Bend

Penmaen Bend Revisited

Penmaen is in the Gower Peninsula, near Swansea. This painting is of a ‘peeking out’ view from a car slipping out of a parking area which serves as a place to park and then walk  down a rubbly, foot twisting lane, which sports a green grassed mohican, to either the bays, Cliffs or Tor.  The view of the road, double yellowed lined, shows a distant bend. The yellow lines warn off and discourage day trippers and tourists from the temptation of parking here, illegally and dangerously. A temptation which is ripe when the wee car park is full, and that  doesn’t take much doing. The lines run perpendicularly  to the heavy, wooden gate which swings outwards creakingly and inwards invitingly to the ankle damaging, unkempt lane that worms it’s way to the gorse cwtched paths which stumble their way down to the bays. Three Cliffs straight and Tor on the left turn. Each heart sighingly beautiful.

Given their beauty, the wee car park at the head of the walk, around the corner from Penmaen bend, is normally crammed with cars. Hence this area is a busy,  at times hectic, part of Gower, in a normally tranquil stretch of road. I have tried to catch this incongruity in my painting. I represent this ‘frisson’ or tension even in the use of a ‘london bus red’ post box  and the alarmingly bright yellow lines which are normally associated with more inhabited locales. The double yellows seem to offset the playful trees, bushes and far away hills which balance the painting. The yellow lines also ‘drive’ attention into the distance and the ‘bend’ itself.  To those who don’t know or are not familiar with this bit of the world, this tranquil idyll can surprisingly cause some anxiety as the ‘pull-out’ onto the country road requires a heightened vigilance and precise timing as not only does the long distance view, you see in the painting, partially obscure the oncoming traffic, constant during the heady summer days in this awarded area of outstanding beauty, but the obscuring bend to one’s left is acute  and allows a limited distance in which to get out onto the safety of the road, with the boot tucked in and away from oncoming traffic, often seen too late as it careers around this left bend. ‘Pulling out’ requires the quelling of the beating heart and a ‘bit of gas’ to make sure.  This sudden need for heighten attention always seems odd and jarringly juxtaposed to the meandering absentmindedness of the leisurely dog walking, full lunged, brow sweated  rambling, gorse smelling appreciation  and generally sunbaked revelry that has preceded it.

I hope there is a hint of quiet, lurking menace in the painting as a result. One of my husband’s favourites this, also. He likes the light in it, particularly. He suggests that the light, to him, is ‘heightened’ and similar to the sophisticated, precise ‘Pixar’ like animated light. Which is an interesting observation. I seek to paint the ‘experience’ of light on colour and form. To achieve this requires the heightening of the effect of light otherwise light can often be dampened or subdued by the absorbing colours. I am much more interested in how light invigorates, resonates, generates or dare I say it animates colour and form, rather than simply dressing it, licking or caressing it. The light is thus generated in this painting, almost coming from within not from without. Without having had the life sucked out of it by colour. This may be what my husband means by ‘animated’ light. This effect is underscored by my use of drawing lines around colours and form, as with the fauvists, and others have suggested this too gives off an animated feel or quality. I also appreciate this observation as I want colour to  be the product of being generated, animated by light as if light was the genesis of colour. Thus light creates the colour in a sense rather than colour simply being illuminated by it. 

Penmaen Bend Revisited (80×6 cm /31.49 x 23.62 inches) 

[wpecpp name=”Penmaen Bend Revisited ” price=”250″ align=”left”]

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Winter Lane

The mix of the vibrant lime green and the greys with the light wispish grey of the sky are meant to provide a frission between more so-called rich vibrant alive colours and those usually associated with being drab, boring, muncipal; to express that heightened feeling of energy and aliveness that one often feels after the rain has gone, when the atmosphere is charged with negative ions, and the grass seems to be luscious and excited. After the beating drabness of the rain, the suffocation of possibility comes the energy, the possibilities, the promise…everything refreshed and ready to move. A friend tells me is is menacing, or broody at least, pregnant with threat (perhaps of more rain), these are some possibilities of how to look at it .Image