Saturday, 31 July 2010


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Today we went to Nant Yr Arain, a kite feeding centre in Mid/West Wales. For the first time we went on the longer walk. Apart from a super abundance of Winberries, there was the most amazing collection of mosses holding huge amounts of clean, clean water.
As we walked through the dark forest paths we would not have been surprised to see Mr Tumnus, and the children of Narnia, such wonderful atmosphere.

Pistyll Rhaeadr

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The Seven Wonders of Wales
Pistyll Rhaeadr and Wrexham steeple,
Snowdon's mountain without its people,
Overton yew trees, St Winefride wells,
Llangollen bridge and Gresford bells.

Pistyll Rhaeadr is a wonderful fall of water is North Wales dropping a greater distance than Niagra Falls. It drops 240 feet from the lip of the falls into a fairy-like dell, covered with beautiful mosses.
The poem above is anonymous but tells of seven wonders to behold in Wales. There are even better ones than this!
The day was dark and damp on the day I took my camera. The camera decided to change the film speed setting to 1400ASA to be able to cope with the darkness ... at least we got something to show.

Sunday, 25 July 2010


Posted by PicasaI thought it was time to re-read my Nikon D80 camera guide having used it for some time without looking at the manual. I prefer to learn by trying, by stumbling upon, by accident and by enjoying the process ... then using the manual. I was learning about auto ISO-ing where the camera sets the film speed for the shutter speed or aperture that you set. In this 'dark' situation I got a result which was grainy but better than not being able to shoot at all.
About a year ago I wrote about using very small, fairly poor photographs as starting points for paintings. I will probably use these as starters. What I am looking for are 'patterns' of simplified colour or shadow to begin playing with. Well once again, we shall see.
If you could see me now I am 'SQUINTING' - this is the very special gift to all artists - to squint is to see.

Thursday, 22 July 2010


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This is quite a claim - an agricultural show that calls itself THE SHOW - Y SIOE. The Royal Welsh Show at Llanerwydd is THE big show of the year here in Wales. Farmers have been coming to the show for many years, many taking it as their annual holiday, meeting old friends and family. They have been coming for some 25 or more years, not going away anywhere else! It is the showcase of the best that Wales has to offer in terms of sheep, cattle, horses and many other areas.
In the large show rings spread around the site are amazing demonstrations of land management skills, one of which is pictured here. These are the skills of the foresters, climbing 120 foot Redwoods in less than a minute. The camera hardly had time to focus. It was too difficult to take good photos because of the massive crowds.
Set within a stunning basin, surrounded by the most amazing scenery this is very special day out.

Sunday, 18 July 2010


I have had quite a time of my PC slowing down, files misbehaving, strange things happening and yet virus free and 'clean PC' being shown each time.
I backed everything up ------ then found a wonderful piece of advice that showed how to completely restore Windows without losing any work or settings, saving hours of hanging around and reinstalling. I set this system going --- it was like a dream, wonderful. I got to the bit where I was told to remove the CD ... yes, that was just as expected. THEN, the computer said it needed 'such and such' a file. The file was on the CD I had just been asked to remove. %Q£%$H*&%&^%Q%J?:@L ... the CD then decided to launch into a complete wipe clean off my hard disc and a complete re-installation of Windows! Well at least all my problems have been cleaned away. 

My next job will be to add certain files to a separate disc!!!! 

Tuesday, 13 July 2010


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The problem with acrylics is that if the weather is hot the paint dries on the canvas before you have picked up your next colour. While this is a problem outside, inside it is great to be able to have a cup of coffee and work over a dry painting minutes later. Because they are quick drying 'blending' of colours as in oil painting is very hard to do with all but the runniest of acrylics.
But! .... Atelier have come up with an answer, a strong saturated, easy flowing, quick drying acrylic ... THAT CAN BE RE-WHETTED with a simple spray mister. There is even a spray that enables paint to be brought back to life weeks later.
I have enjoyed my first real attempt to use these paints and look forward to using them outdoors, where I can travel home with a dry painting that can be touched up at home after a quick spray.

Wednesday, 7 July 2010


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Always a risky business showing the final painting when some folks like the earlier versions. I have made lots of changes to the values, simplified areas, clarified the recognisable coastal feature, changed the sky a hundred times and added posts and wires to make sense of the levels of land. I may just add some seagulls and then leave it - THE END!
I enjoyed painting this so much that I may well paint it again, but this time using 'Interactive Acrylics' ... they are really good, but I can't get a strong dark yet from mixing red/yellow/blue or blue +burnt umber. We will keep trying.
Thanks for your very swift kind responses to my first effort.

For Sale - acrylic on canvas - £45 +P&P

Tuesday, 6 July 2010


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I have decided to post this while it is still fresh, even damp. Work needs to be done to correct and adjust all sorts of areas, but that is always a danger with people like myself who are very much 'immediate' painters.
This wonderful cottage is where we stayed on holiday this year, so close to home and yet a million miles away. I was squinting even behind sunglasses because of the brightness of the clear northerly airflow over Wales at that time.
Sorry about the photo quality which is somewhat dark on one side.
This painting shows the special lighting at either end of the day - early or late in the day.

Monday, 5 July 2010


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Things sometimes take on a life of their own when seen out of context. That's where photography comes into its own. The lock becomes a Welsh dragon, the 'end of post' transforms into a climbing hedgehog and the suds from falling blossom creates stunning patterns. I suppose you could say 'so what', but life would be very dull.

Saturday, 3 July 2010


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Sorry folks - my broadband decided to stop working in the middle of the night and has been very stubborn in being step up again. I am still only half way there. Silly little niggles keep popping up, my old anti-virus refuses to work (others have found the same after using it for many years).

I feel a painting coming on. This is the place we stayed at on holiday in Pembrokeshire. I just love the white sides of the cottages and houses and the shapely contrast that gives, many of which are single storied giving protection against the endless wind.


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