Saturday, 31 March 2012

Last day of March

I took some photographs of the Millennium Stadium as I walked to work this morning. It's a difficult thing to do because it sits in the heart of the city so there's no way to stand back to view it from a distance. Bits of it emerge suddenly and dramatically above buildings reminding you of it's presence. Three weeks ago we were among the crowd of 75,000 cheering Wales on to winning the Grand Slam. It seems a long time ago now but I dare say we'll be watching the DVD when it comes out later next month.

Thursday, 29 March 2012

Sunshine Day

Why go to the South of France when the sun is shining in Cardiff? It was idyllic weather today as I sat on the platform reading my book, waiting for the train to take me from Penarth to Cardiff. The short walk through the city centre to the studio was a delight and after completing a painting that had previously baffled me, I returned to Penarth in the late afternoon to sit in the garden and pick up my book to carry on reading.

Sunday, 25 March 2012

St Mary's Church Panteg

St Mary's Church Panteg.
From time to time I make the trip home, to the place where I was born. It's a journey of around 55 miles or so and in the past I travelled the route on a weekly basis but I have no family living here now. I go to visit the church to take flowers for my parents. This small church has been here since Norman times although a lot of the building was repaired by the Victorians. It nestles in a small hollow at the end of a narrow country lane surrounded by farmland. Panteg or Panteague as it's shown on old maps means "fair hollow" and it's an apt description. I was christened, confirmed and married here and it's an emotional journey each time I visit. This morning the sun was shining and the songs of the birds competed with the sound of singing coming from the morning service in the church. I could imagine my parents walking together across the fields to go to such a service. Nothing has changed here and that in itself is very comforting.

British Summertime

British Summertime begins today only a blink of an eye since it was the first day of Spring.
The weather is going along with it and we have a weekend of sun and high temperatures. Cardiff was full of people in summer clothes sitting outside the bars in St Marys Street as I walked to the studio yesterday. When I left, the numbers had swelled and it started to feel very festive like last weekend - except the French had all gone home.

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

First Day of Spring

First Day of Spring Oil on canvas

Yesterday it was the first day of Spring and I thought about this picture. It was painted in 2003 and sold soon after. Was the sun shining then? I think so. March is often a month of sunny days in Wales even if they are intermittent!
I am at home painting the sides of paintings, preparing them for framing. At the end of the week they will be ready. Some paintings are are still drying in the studio and will have to wait for a few weeks more. One canvas sits on the easel unfinished and it is this one that occupies my thoughts. Tomorrow I plan to return to the studio.

Thursday, 15 March 2012

Rugby and painting.

I am getting ready for a house full this weekend, all gathering for the big match on Saturday. Not much painting done this week but I'm working my way through a list of things to do. I have moved paintings from storage in a friend's loft to my studio; organised the framing of new work which will begin next week and borrowed a tungsten lamp so that images can be taken this weekend of new paintings for the show.

Friday, 9 March 2012

West Wales

Today I drove west to Pembrokeshire to take paintings to the gallery at St Davids. It was a lost day in terms of painting in the studio but lunch with the owners in the gallery more than compensated. We have been friends for a long time now and these brief visits are always enjoyable. I had hoped to refresh my images of the Pembrokeshire countryside along the Welsh coast but a heavy mist obliterated almost everything. The occasional glimpse of yellow gorse was all there was to remind me of where I was.

Thursday, 1 March 2012

The flags were out.

The flags were out on St Marys Street for St Davids Day. The morning started out grey and foggy and not at all promising. By lunchtime the sun was out and it felt like Spring. I missed the parade through the city; I was too busy working. (In truth, I didn't realise it was happening.)