Tuesday, 30 June 2009


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This is the grand Baptist Church where I preached on Sunday. Drenewydd has many fine churches of every denomination. The Baptist church is modelled on the great Westminster Chapel in London, having endless rooms on many floors, the lower ones being dried out at present from recent flooding. The meeting place is enormous with a fine organ. Singing in this building, built for sound, is a dream come true. Sadly the numbers in the congregations have dropped since the time of the Welsh Revival but we are not without hope.
In a few weeks time I will be taking the service in another wonderful building - The United Reformed Church.
These old photos show the riches and the poverty wthin the town ...but it was the home of a great social reformer who tried to change things. Many great things have happened because of Newtown.


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Drenewydd, a small Welsh town has many different areas. These photos are mainly within the 'conservation area' of the old commercial weaving part of town, made famous for supplying the Queen with special flannel weaves. The buildings are all very different, from workers mill houses, to warehouses and interesting little alleyways. It is a wonderful town, full of variety, new, old and VERY VERY OLD ...right back the 1200's with evidence of bronze age settlements on the hills. Not bad for a little one!

Y DRENEWYDD (Newtown) can be very hot

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Not a soul to be seen. It can be very hot here at times but with surprising differences from low in the town by the river, to at the top, on the hills. Often the hill is slightly cooler.
As a market town, Drenewydd is quite active throughout the day, many similar towns have a lot of activity early morning and then fall asleep for the rest of the day. Walking through these quiet market towns is a wonderful experience in SLOW LIVING.

Friday, 26 June 2009


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The wonderful thing about both photography and painting is the use of isolation, not the isolation of being alone, but of being selective. So often we do not look up or really look at the things that are around us. Just going for a short walk anywhere in the world can bring back a clutch of treasures. I can't imagine what it might be to not see the place where I live. Yet I am blind to so much. The geologist sees a very different Newtown, as does the car enthusiast and train spotter.
For many years in Birmingham I used to set myself a 'focus' for my daily walk to work. One day it would be look at a certain colour, another to look at the way trees hold up there branches, another might be sound, or shape, of line, or textures ....the list was just endless. Go on! - have a go.

Saturday, 20 June 2009


Posted by PicasaI am busy at present writing bits and pieces for my 'Welsh Landscape Art' course. So, to keep things moving I would suggest that if you haven't done so yet, that you read these two books. They are very special. Even though I have been painting for quite a few years these books have caused me to almost start again. They will tighten you thinking, give you wonderful advice. Between them they will offer different points to begin from, one very much indoors (plus landscape), the other very much outdoor (plus still life). I could ramble on ... but you need to get your hands on them yourself and slowly soak them up.
Sorry - you can't look inside the lower one unless you go on Amazon, then you can in fact look inside both books.

Friday, 12 June 2009


I have just rushed out between showers to plant my 'third try' of French Beans, .....the EASY ONES! Maybe the seeds were from a dud packet, but I'm starting again, with a new packet and a different variety. We don 't give up do we? NO WE DON'T!!!

Wednesday, 10 June 2009


The first sign of the promised 'sizzling summer' has come with a BANG, flash and white stuff.
Seven hours later there was a pile of what looked like snow outside the church we go to.
On the radio it was forecasting frost about 40 miles away!

Tuesday, 9 June 2009


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As a painter I am especially fond of the new tool offered by digital photography. Within seconds I am enabled to make very severe 'crops' from photographs, exposing potential paintings. Cropping down to just a few millimeters opens up new landscapes. Because they are no longer sharp this actually helps me to see the bold patterns created and concentrate on the shapes that caght my eye in the first instance.

Monday, 8 June 2009


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Sorry - no new paintings at present due to other art pressures (history of the Welsh Landscape), but while I have been getting on with other things the weather has been showing off all its splendour.

Wednesday, 3 June 2009


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So subtle. Just blues and greens ... well at least, until you start looking.


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How many reds in a poppy?


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