Tuesday, 24 April 2007

SUGGESTION ... a wonderful thing!

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This is the scene looking toward Llanmerewig. It comes from a recent painting. It has been said 'If a painting works when photocopied, it's probably OK'. Using our old friend Picasa2 a freebie from Google the painting has had all its colour removed followed by a simplification of the tonal system. It is this base layer, 'the tonal' that dictates whether a piece of work will, 9 times out of 10, succeed. This particular painting has a number of other scenes/paintings underneath. After struggling for days to get the tonal suggestion right I abandoned all hope and started with another subject. The work above took just one hour from start to finish mainly because of its defined tonal shapes. Our wonderful brains are wired to read 'tone'. From even this simplified piece of work it is easy to see, 'Through Suggestion' that the sun is shining. We even know where the sun is. The tone along with scale tell us something about distances involved. The three carrots are actually people talking. I never cease to be amazed at the creative ability of suggestion.

Sunday, 22 April 2007

St Barnabas - near Llanmerewig

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This is the Monastery of St Barnabas the Encourager. St Barnie's is a very small chapel construction that can hold about 10 people for each of its services.
These are held throughout most days of the year at:
8:00 am.
Morning service with a hymn, scripture reading and prayers
12:30 pm.
Midday is in a form of a silent vigil with a closing prayer.
5:00 pm.
Evening Service with scripture readings, prayers and intercessions for the persecuted church and other needs.
9:30 pm.
End of day service (Compline) with a hymn, reading and meditation.
Find out more from the website: http://www.saintbarnabas.co.uk/
The Monastery is not to be confused with the vast castle-like structures full of monks, surrounded by imposing walls. Here is a very friendly, open resource for those who seek a retreat from the noise and bustle of life. With prior booking it is possible for adults to stay for a day, night, week or more. The accommodation is not luxury but is more than adequate and includes a kitchen for self catering or just making a cup of tea. But there is no need to stay, why not pop in and recharge those tired batteries and perhaps include a service as well. St B's is fully ecumentical in its appeal and function.
Finding this place of quiet, set in beautiful Mid-Wales is like finding a secret. So many peoples lives have been transformed through just being able 'to be' for a short time.
St Barnabas is part of the Worldwide 'Quiet Gardens' scheme.

Father Bryan

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Father Bryan is the main contact at The Monastery of St Barnabas the Encourager.
Lower Brynmawr, Kerry, Newtown, Powys SY16 4NQ
Tel:01686 630 575

Bryn Mawr near Llanmerewig

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This country lane, just 3 miles outside of Newtown, Powys is worth a visit in its own rights as it overlooks the most beautiful Powys, Mid-Wales countryside. From here it goes on to the hamlet of Llanmerewig, just walking distance from the monastery. At night, away from the lights of town and main traffic routes, the sky is filled with a miriad stars ... a rare sight these days.

Thursday, 12 April 2007


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This is Cader Idris overlooking the beautiful (but traffic hairy!) town of Dolegllau in North Wales. It is a most imposing sight, dwarfing everything under it. The route from Drenewydd is breath taking and always changing as mist comes and goes. Man is not in charge here!

Welsh Course - Easter 2007

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A few days after Easter we were very fortunate to get on a highly subscribed two day Pasq Welsh School with waiting lists. The numbers were so large that four separate venues in Dolgellau were used to accommodate the various levels of Welsh learners. People seem to have had a very encouraging time. Welsh is not an easy language to learn because of its grammar structure and its unusual mutations which appear apparently at any moment to confuse the unwary.
The 'tiwtor' said something at the end of the final session that I had already become very aware of since coming to live in Wales. The Welsh are very comfortable about being asked to sing compared to English people. In the church I attend, both children and adults generally very quickly say YES if asked to read or sing in public. Apparently this seems to be the case in schools also. Performance in public seems to hold less fear - this probably comes from being introduced to eisteddfod from an early age.

Friday, 6 April 2007


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This morning a number of Newtown churches marched through the main street, along with silver band, telling parts of the Good Friday story.
Before the schools broke for the Easter holidays the Churches of Newtown put on an 'Easter Experience', following on foot through the story of Easter and travelling from church to church, . It was so good to see the children and teachers learning the fuller story, along with details of the Passover meal in the Upper Room and the other parts of Easter so often left out these days. I would not be suprised to see this being repeated.

Tuesday, 3 April 2007


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I have just been to the new Cardiff after some 50+ years .... what an amazing place it has become. Often marina's or similar sites have become like most city shopping areas, all the same. Cardiff really has excelled in creating what seems, a very Welsh identity in its redesign. The imagery in so many nooks and crannies are really special. In both displays, large and small details has been very carefully considered. Material, image, colour, layout, all seem to have been thought of .... I am IMPRESSED!


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