We are in the midst of lockdown in Wales, the schools are shut and the good news is that the covid numbers are falling. They need to fall a lot further because when the schools and the university students come back they will shoot up again. I had in a mind a longer blog post, but I find that after I have got up, done my yoga/ankle exercises and painted in the morning light, that I am too tired for much else. That post will have to wait a little longer.
So I have decided to show you my most recent work. I have been painting Tenby, which I can only visit in my imagination.Tenby is a harbour town and resort in southwest Wales. It’s known for its 13th-century town walls and its stretches of sandy shoreline, including Castle Beach.
I have been working on a triptych (which is three paintings) but I have only finished two of them, so its a diptych (two)! I will add the third one when I have completed it. I was trying to find unusual angles to paint. As much as I love painting Tenby and its colouful houses and boats, I need a fresh angle to present my brain with a new set of challenges to solve. This first painting, the challenge lay in how to paint the headland off in the distance and balnce it with the very dark shaows in the foreground. In the end I simplified the details and make sure that the tone was cool with warm grey and mauve. I was particularly pleased with the shadows on the beach and the blue house.
My second painting is a view of the pier or quay from Castle Hill. This is a headland on which the ruins of Tenby Castle overlook the harbour. I liked the fact that this was the “underside” of the view we usually see of the harbour. The pier is a working pier as can be seen from the lobster pots stacked at the far end. It’s also where the Caldey Island boat picks up supplies for the islanders and the abbey every day (so long as the wind is not from the South West or over 20mph). Apparently royal mail has continued to visit throughout the pandemic, so that the monastery shop has been able to continue to operate. The boat that takes visitors to the island leaves from Castle Beach round the corner. The island is usually open from Easter to September for visitors, I don’t know whether that happended this year. A visit to Caldey in the boat was a pretty outdoor affair in ordinary times, so maybe they will start again in the summer, who knows.
I will add my third painting when I have completed it.
Update:Here’s the third and final painting of the three.
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.
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,
This painting is of the back of the beautiful gardens lying behind the Caldey Island Monastery on the holy Island of Caldey Island, off Tenby in West Wales, UK. Caldey Island is a veritable ‘Eden’ when the sun illuminates this tree bunched island, the only Welsh island to have trees planted, and so many of them and in such rich variety, each speckling and sculpting shadows in their own way.
The atmosphere on this Holy Island is so relaxing, while peculiarly uplifting at the same time. There are seals frolicking around in the salt-watered topaz and jade, rich turquoises and biro blues which lap on to the gorgeous rough and ragged coastlined ridges which strain and arch to keep this island out of the Bristol Channel.
Peacocks honk and ponies bellow, all meshed in a pot pouri of sound with a medley of birdsong and the plaintive sound of the Cistercian monks singing Divine Office drifting from the Chapel to intermingle as it does with this natural orchestra of the island. The all rejoice in this Creation, give thanks for this plenty. Psalm singing with and without words. It is a very special place to be particularly when God showers the island in sunshine and His glad tidings.,
I have been suffering from writer’s block. I started this post in March this year. I keep writing, rewriting it and then not publishing it. The problem isn’t that I don’t have any thing to say. It is more that I have too much to say and I didn’t know where to start or how […]
You have may well have seen images of County Sligo, Ireland, without necessarily knowing that’s where it is. It’s home to one of the most poplar views on Social Media. Here’s an example: And many more… It’s quite disconcerting to come across a view that you are very familar with but have never visited […]