Spent a few days with artist friends over in Ruthin, North Wales. Must be honest, they’d stayed in their caravan – a.k.a. ‘the love tin’, while we’d stayed in some luxury at the nearby Manorhaus Hotel. The awning of the caravan served as a very useful informal art room and shelter from the rain outside.
Here’s a pen and ink sketch of some trees in the distance that I did after a hearty lunch.
And at the entrance to the farmer’s field was this unusual tree – we decided it should be called the candelabra tree for reasons that might be obvious.
I’m currently reading The Yellow House by Martin Gayford – based on an intense 9 week period Vincent Van Gogh spent in Arles in Southern France with fellow artist, Gauguin. You may care to check out this review – http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2006/apr/08/featuresreviews.guardianreview11
Now I’m no Van Gogh or Gauguin – merely a happy amateur – but I do get the appeal of a special location for painting and drawing – and this area around Ruthin is the area that works for me. Here are a couple of shots to give you the idea.
A virtual deluge the evening before had left the grass looking particularly lush.
The speed of the brook also testifies to the previous night’s weather.
Finally, one more of my pen and ink sketches – this time looking out across the farmland to the hills in the distance.
So there was an exhibition of sculpture at the Ruthin Crafts Centre. My favourite was somebody called Guy Taplin who carves and sculpts birds.
The white seagulls on weathered blue planks were fabulous. They’ll look great in that house by the ocean I’m going to have one day.
And then there were these birds rooted to terra firma, each with their own distinctive personality.
Nice attention to detail, too, with some of the birds complete with fish in their bills.
Great use of colour and texture …
Finally, here’s that flock of seagulls again.
Clocaenog Forest lies high above Ruthin in North Wales and in yesterday’s heavy rain it looked particularly remote and atmospheric. I painted this view looking across from Clocaenog as the conditions worsened. It was a pen and ink wash with rainwater for effect!
Detail from a watercolour sketch near Ruthin, North Wales – and a charcoal sketch of an apple tree in the garden. I make no claims for their merit.
The Japanese Flag is currently flying in North Wales.
At the Ruthin Crafts Centre to be precise. To celebrate a stunning exhibition of Japanese arts and crafts simply called Japanese Style. Among it’s main exhibits are an incredible collection of Japanese cloths and silks that combine traditional and contemporary skills and designs.
The range and variety of textures and designs was quite breathtaking. The work is by Nuno textiles and is overseen by it’s artistic director, Reiko Sudo. As the exhibition guide says – Reiko Sudo and her design team create some of the most innovative cloth being designed and produced in the world today. Who am I to argue?
while others displayed the Japanese eye for delicacy and subtlety …
The exhibition thoughtfully provided small samples of the cloths and silks to study up close and to feel.
Meanwhile, the main pieces were hanging eerily around the gallery.
This was one of those exhibitions that you really need to see for yourself but I hope these photographs give a decent impression.
I’ll be posting again shortly – this time covering the ceramics and wood carving skills on display. Meanwhile here’s a link to the Ruthin Craft Centre – http://www.ruthincraftcentre.org.uk/
Postponing the Ruthin Crafts Centre – http://www.ruthincraftcentre.org.uk/ – always worth a visit – I wandered not too far off the beaten track and down a country lane in the shadow of the Clwydian hills and Moel Famau. The day was crisp and cold and the sky a beautiful blue.
The colours were intense and rich in the late afternoon light and the shadows were long on the ground.
There were wide panoramic views to be had as well as some interesting and abstract detail in the hedgerows.
Great clarity in the close ups.
Really like the way these twigs in the hedgerow are framing the shot. How did they know how to do that?
A little further down the lane was a rusty corrugated iron shed that was covered in ivy. Time for that green filter. Here’s the result.
It was really starting to get cold now. Like the way the blue filter seems to give a sense of the chilly conditions. Time to head to the craft centre in Ruthin, just a few miles away, for a warm cup of tea!