In April I was supposed to be taking part in a pop-up exhibition at the lovely Plas Bodfa, an old country house in Anglesey. I worked hard on creating an installation, which unfortunately had to be postponed at the last minute due to the dreaded coronavirus. Hopefully it will take place later in the year, but in the meantime, the wonderful Crumps Barn Studio have made a video of what might have been. Click here to watch it on vimeo, but here are some stills from it:
Stargazing peacock, oil on Himalayan rag paper, A1 size
Stargazing gannet and toucan, oil on Himalayan rag paper
What it might look like!!
Very excited to be taking part in the Plas Bodfa Unus Multorum exhibition in April! I’m going to be filling a room with stargazing birds! You can find more about it here.
I am using acrylic inks and some gouache on Himalayan Washi paper, it’s very pleasing to work with. The pictures are each A2 size. Here are more…
All welcome to drop in to our pop up Exhibition in Treffnant, near Denbigh, North Wales, to chat, browse, and have a drink, cake and/or lunch at the on-site café.
Handout with all details below. Here is a picture I’ve just finished for it, after a visit to Dolgellau in mid-Wales.
Cader Idris, oil on canvas; 40 cm x 15 cm, £300.
I love mountains, always inspired by low cloud playing around the top. It was especially alarming that day as one of our party was climbing to the summit, but he got back safely!
Here is the handout, with full details:
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Tagged art, Cader Idris, Denbighshire, Dolgellau, exhibition, fine art, mountains, north wales, oil painting, pop-up exhibition, Wales
At Parys Mountain I, oil on canvas
Recently I’ve been sketching and painting at Parys Mountain on Anglesey, a desolate area where copper has been mined since Roman times, leaving interesting staining and bleaching on the landscape. It is colour and form that interests me most at the moment.
At Parys Mountain II, oil on board
I love the underpainting on this, the gold glows through the pink….
This started life as an icon with a hinged front but has now become a diptych. The hinged front was really heavy, especially with slate glued to the front, and was a danger to passing artlovers! It didn’t really work, we’ll have to see if it works better in this format.
Blodeuwedd, egg tempera on wood and ink on slate
It is flying off shortly to Oriel Ynys Mon to join my exhibition there, as there is a gap where another icon has been sold off the wall.
It is called Blodeuwedd – she was the wife of Leu but she fell in love with Gronw Pebr. Together they murdered Leu, but he turned into an eagle and was brought back to life by the wizard Gwydion. Leu sought out Blodeuwedd and Gronw Pebr, and threw a spear at Gronw Pebr, which went straight through the rock he was hiding behind and killed him. It is now called the Slate of Gronw can be seen somewhere above Blaenau Ffestiniog (I must go and look for it sometime!) Blodeuwedd was turned into an owl by Gwydion for her part in these shenanigans. I love the stories from the Mabinogion, more Mabinogion inspired work to follow shortly perhaps?
What a week! Finishing, framing, mirror plating and wrapping 40 pictures for my exhibition at Oriel Ynys Mon Long Gallery, at Llangefni, Anglesey. This represents about two years’ work, watching and drawing seabirds in the UK and the Falkland Islands. It’s been fun! The work has really changed over that time: I started off with oils on canvas that I stretched myself:
Gentoo Penguin, oil on canvas
and finished by using mostly egg tempera on board:
West Indian Whistling Duck (seen at Slimbridge!), egg tempera on board
and also started my very exciting (to me, anyway!) Icon series – interactive pieces with a hinged front.
Icon: Rockhopper Penguin, egg tempera and gold leaf, inside
Icon: Rockhopper Penguin, front
Going to go and have a look at the exhibition tomorrow!! Then taking a few days off !
Ruddy Headed Goose, egg tempera on board
See how this image pops! Just been to a Helfa Gelf (the North Wales Open Studio Event – click here to look at their website) workshop on Photoshop, really good. Now dithering about whether it’s worth spending money to rent the programme. It makes such a difference to the presentation of images on the webpage, but not sure there’s an economic argument in favour? What do other people advise?
Cormorant Icon, oil and gold leaf on board
It makes a massive difference to the presentation of my images because I like to have white backgrounds, which always come out grey or blue in reproduction. Hm, meditate….
My visit to the Falklands Islands is now paying off! Oil on canvas. This is Rock Hopper Hop!! Rock Hopper Penguins are really charming and comical, and very interested in people.
Four Rock Hoppers and a King Cormorant. This is in egg tempera, a new departure for me. I love the way you can use it to do detailed work. More details shortly.
Three Guillemots, oil on canvas, 60 cm x 60 cm
I had a super visit to South Stack on Anglesey a week or so ago. It was a good time to go as it was late in the season, and the fledglings had left the nest, so there were a lot of birds to see, both mature and this year’s young. Lots of puffins of all ages – well lots for South Stack, there’s never a lot of them there because there isn’t enough pockets of soil for a lot of them to dig burrows in. Also rows and rows of guillemots, standing shoulder to shoulder along narrow ledges as they do, the Red Army of the bird world perhaps. After mulling this over for a little while on my return home, I sprang into paint, and here are two completed Guillemot pictures, more in the pipeline. In September they will be exhibited in Galeri Betws y Coed, so see them there if you’re in the vicinity! Lots of other super things there also. It will be part of the Helfa Gelf Open Studios Event, which takes place on 4 weekends in September across North Wales. Above is the link to my studio, Ladder Store Studios, Llandudno, where you can come and meet me and my colleagues! Check the link for our opening times.
One Guillemot, oil on canvas, 40 cm x 40 cm
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Tagged Anglesey, art, Betws y Coed, birds, fine art, Galeri Betws y Coed, guillemots, helfa gelf, Llandudno, north wales, oil painting, Open Studios, South Stack