Tuesday, 26 December 2006

Tuesday, 19 December 2006


Some of you have been asking for the BBC website link where some of my work, along othe Welsh painters is being shown. These pages are in responce to a request by the BBC for artists in the many corners of Wales to get in touch.
Please add comments if you want to in the space provided.


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Thank you to everyone who has sent us Christmas cards.
Sian loves catching up with friends by cards, letters, email and phone.

The Christingle

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One of the highlights of the Christmas season for the children of All Saints Church is the wonderful Christingle Service. At the end of the service each person is given a Christingle to take home. Each part of the simple symbol tells a tale.
The orange globe is the world God made.
The four cocktail sticks, the seasons of the year.
These are filled with the fruits of the earth - food to eat - provision.
The red ribbon tells of the cross and pain
The candle tells of the light coming into a dark world in Jesus.

Can we stay here?

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POSADAS - a Mexican Christmas tradition

All Saints Church here in Newtown this year has used an ammended version of the old Mexican tradtion of Posadas.
'It represents the difficulties that Joseph and Mary, the mother of Jesus, faced in finding a room when traveling to Bethlehem. In it, groups of children (or sometimes adults) go from house to house singing a traditional song requesting lodging (posada). In each house, the owner responds with refusal (also in song), until they reach the designated site for the party, where the owner recognizes Mary and Joseph and allows them to come in. Latin American countries have continued to celebrate this holiday to this day, with very little changes to the tradition.'
Here in Newtown the two figures in the photo have been taken from house to house, staying with their host, a prayer being said welcoming in the Christ child. The next day it is taken on to another house to find room.

Friday, 15 December 2006


According to the BBC, shortly after the showing of their series ‘The Monastery’ & ‘The Convent’ the website had a record number of hits (contacts).
Most people will be aware of one or two major monasteries mainly through travelling the ‘tourist routes’ through Yorkshire etc. But, scattered around this country & abroad are monasteries of varying sizes. There are a number of one-person sites run by ‘anchorites’ in and around Newtown. I am particular interested in a small monastery called ‘St Barnabas the Encourager’ at Lower Bryn Mawr. It is the home of Dorothy & Bryan Scrivener.
Bryan and Dorothy came from Kings Heath, a small district of Birmingham, just a few miles away from where we once lived.
A little known fact is that Bryan was the originator of the now countrywide scheme called ‘Community Transport’. His wife Dorothy is a very accomplished artist and also author of a wonderful book called ‘Mud, Paint and Prayer’.
To find out more about them and keep up to date why not visit their new website (hosted from Birmingham) .

Wednesday, 13 December 2006


I don't remember taking this photo but it sums up the kind of weather we have had recently. It is wild to say the least. Posted by Picasa


Following the 'rejection' of two painting for the Christmas 'OPEN' exhibtion at the RBSA (Royal Birmingham Society of Artists) I made a mad dash into Birmingham from Wales. I say mad dash - it was more of a slow walk. To begin with a vehicle had hit the bridge again at Machynlleth. Evenually coaches were sent to rescue us. From the coach windows I saw field after field flooded like vast broken lakes. From Shrewsbury by train the message came that it would be a very slow journey due to '~#*!"%$^&* on the track' (it had been pollen during the hot summer!). So from leaving th house at 8.00am I arrived in Brum at close to 12.00 noon.

I was so pleased to see the exhibition that had rejected me! (It's not as bad as it seems, as space is at a premium and paintings are increasing in number.) To be rejected from this show was no problem - the standard is superb, probably the highest standard I have seen for an 'Open'.

The thing that suprises me each time I go to Brum (my home for over 60 years) is how I just can't wait to leave it... and I have always been a massive fan of Brum. The traffic is scary, the people are everywhere, ever increasing. Generally folks are not so helpful .

It was good to see the light were Christmas based once again.

I love getting back on the train, any train as long as it points towards Shrewsbury (it's a new art form, believe me). The best part is still to come ... seeing the green and the hills again. Even in the carriage things relax and people chatter.


Sunday 10 December was a date we had looked forward to for a long time. This was the annual 'Christmas Meditation' at the Bleddfa Centre in Powys. We were very keen to get a place as it was to be the final time that it was to be lead by James Roose Evans.
The meditation opened in the black darkness of a converted barn. Slowly James spoke of the beauty of the darkness, a time actually filled with life itself. Every night for years he has walked in the darkness, listening, and hearing the shift and shuffle of insects, birds and creatures. He said you can almost hear things growing if you take time to listen.
Every people group in the world has at one time considered LIGHT to be of great importance. Christians will read again this Christmas of 'a light coming into this world'. That same light is, they believe Jesus - the Light of the World. This light comes after long waiting. It is the light that comes after the struggles of the dark just before dawn.
A single candle was lit in the room which in its frailty went out and had to be relit. Light is always fragile. From this single light many other candles were lit. Soon the room was lit up, revealing parcels large and small to be shared.
James mentioned one of the Gospels starts with a long list of people names. These all add up to a long time of waiting. Even when Mary became aware of the movement of her new baby she still had to WAIT for 9 months. After that many years of just growing up until at the age of 30 the speed picks up.

Saturday, 9 December 2006


As a painter you soon realise that not everyone likes your paintings. Some people like best the one you were just about to tear up and put in the bin.
Soon you have to come to terms with the strong words 'accepted' and 'rejected' from galleries and exhibitions. Initially this is quite unnerving and can easily make you feel like giving up. But, then comes along a special treat.
In the same week that I won a prize at an Open Exhibition, I received through the post a letter informing me that both my entries had been 'rejected'.
We keep going forward!.

Friday, 8 December 2006


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What weather we have had inNewtown this week. Today blue, blue sky, but throughout the week it has been so fantastic that I think Turner would have moved here to paint. The skies have been very dramatic, changing at an incredible rate. The river Severn is so high but now poses no threat as in the past, but wil, no doubt show its power from Shrewsbury onward. I have enjoyed reading a book on the appreciation of clouds.

Thursday, 7 December 2006

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Well, here is one success story. Having entered two items into the Theatr Hafren I was both shocked and delighted to find that I had won 'Second Prize' in the 'Open Exhibition' for my picture of 'Commercial Street - Newtown'. This street was in times past the centre of the town's very important cloth trade.

This picture was only my second attempt at mixing acrylic with gouache. It is a great feel, not unlike oil paint but of course very quick drying in comparison. I was inspired by the work of Ian Houstan who uses a very restricted palette of three colours plus B/W.


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