FINAL DAY OF VIRTUAL TRIP TO WALES – featuring some of the people.

This post is made up of random thoughts, paintings and photographs.      

Over the years I have painted countless watercolour portraits in many different countries.        In this post you will meet some of my friends from Wales.

Rain over the Brecon Beacons – watercolour/gouache52491586_10157017110895396_7404974263452565504_o-2Welsh mythology is deep and rich.    It consists of both folk traditions developed in Wales and traditions developed by the Celtic Britons elsewhere before the end of the first millennium.

Welsh mythology and history were recorded  orally by groups such as the druids (derwyddon).    Although much oral contact has been lost or altered as a result of outside contact and invasion over the years, the good news is that the Welsh language is now taught in all schools…and all signage through the country is written in Welsh. 

Ancient standing stones and burial cairns can be found all over Wales….including Crickhowell.harolds stones trellechLey Lines are believed by many people to be a series of metaphysical connections that link a number of sacred sites around the world.   Essentially, these lines, form a sort of grid or matrix and are composed of the earth’s natural energies.     Where Ley Lines intersect, there are said to be pockets of concentrated energy.      I was shown a Ley Line map of Wales and on it many lines cross and intersect around Crickhowell. the growing stone at cwrt-y-gollenWhen I first moved to Crickhowell and was living with my cousin and family I met Ken and his dog.    Every morning we would meet up and Ken would tell me about his life growing up in Wales

I painted this portrait of Ken about twenty two years ago and taped our conversation as I painted.   I did this with many of the older people in the town.    The tapes are a living history of the area and life way before the internet. 

watercolour469944_10151028916270396_282379273_oDuring my return visits to Crickhowell I stay with my dear friends Sally and Gareth Reese.    They live high up above Crickhowell at Curlews overlooking the Usk Valley and Glen Usk Estate – it’s a wonderful place to be and paint.     Over the years, I have painted all their children and now am beginning to paint the grandchildren….

Painting at Curlews – overlooking the Use Valley and Glen Usk Estate. 14103018_10154362645565396_2467743989664062432_o-2There are waterfalls all around Wales…wonderful for dipping into during hot weather. – and of course lovely to paint. 15032008218 (2017_05_30 12_37_10 UTC)Llantony Priory  – not far from Crickhowell, is a beautiful place to visit and paint…another place packed with history and atmosphere.     There are so many ancient churches, holy wells, standing stones and burial cairns…llanthonyBeth Harrison came to my cottage about 20 years ago and sat for me..     Beth’s family who are close friends of my cousin and PJ, were very kind to me when I first moved to Crickhowell.

What I love about these informal portraits is the intimacy.    During the process there is such a deep connection between me the artist and the sitter.    20200709_120044-2Portrait of Lizzie Wilson – artist, good friend – one of the most gentle, kind people I know.      20180725_084258Beautiful bluebell woods that can be found around Wales – this one in Crickhowell.

The perfume of the bluebells, along with birdsong open us to a deeper sense of reality…far removed from our every day 21st century lives. bluebell woods

Mrs Jones who was always surrounded with numerous dogs, horses and cats…baked cakes and bread all day – a wonderful place to visit.    

Although Mrs Jones had a twinkle in her eye, she was tough and determined.      She would walk the dogs, (maybe eight of them – none on leads of course) through very narrow country lanes and if a car dared come behind her she kept walking at a very slow pace….I am smiling as I think of her:)20200709_120419Watercolour from Bluebell Woods above Standard Street looking down the valley to  Crickhowell. 67673110_10157419349505396_1014823187755565056_oA recent picture of Cousin Lyn in front of a large ala prima (painted all at one time) oil on canvas that I painted of her 25 years ago at Ty Gwyn.    Note Bumble is on the wall next to her.20191116_174134My friend Heather with one of the ancient Yew trees that are found around Wales. 

Anyone interested in learning more about these ancient natural monuments might refer to my friend the artist Janis Fry’s books – they make for fascinating reading.     ‘The God Tree’ is a good place to begin.    20180708_125531My Mother sat for this portrait at 43 High Street Crickhowell soon after my arrival.     I am pleased to say that she enjoyed visiting Crickhowell and made some good friends like the wonderful Maragret Williams and Marion Fewster.     They are gone now, but never forgotten. 

watercolour of my Mother.20200709_120149During a service at St. Edmund’s Church a christening was being conducted at the font which happens to be in a darker corner.    I remember looking back at the font and seeing that the baby seemed to be glowing.    I rushed back to the studio and painted this large watercolour/gouache. 20200709_120228A very quick sketch of my friend Heulwen – (a beautiful Welsh name.)    Heulwen and I are part of the Griffiths clan – (you see the name all over Wales.)      

My grandfather’s name on my Mother’s side was Henry Christopher Lawson Griffiths. A musician, he came from Leominster – about 30 miles from Crickhowell just across the border into England.    As a young man he hiked the Malvern Hills in the footsteps of Elgar, and of course the Black Mountains.    

  20200709_120358Beautiful ethereal mists over the valley….When this happens it really is magical.       This was taken from Curlews, Sally and Gareth’s house.   Mist 3One of many paintings from Curlews…watercolour/gouache71178514_10157576029210396_6165651095025614848_oI can’t finish our VIRTUAL visit without mentioning Christeve the Cat

Here she is as leaving the front door of 11 Mill Street where she and I lived very happily together.20200709_131347An illustration from the little children’s book I wrote entitled ‘Christeve the Cat Finds Her home’.        She is of course surrounded with hummingbirds:)

78355591_10157793459630396_5811765954706669568_oWhen one of my American friends who visited frequently kept saying that Crickhowell reminded her of Brigadoon and that she would call it The Magical Town of Crikadoon, the name stuck.

I hope everyone has enjoyed the trip.     I can see that  artists who have been following me have made some wonderful sketches which I will show here next week. 

Lechyd da….and don’t forget to Warm up:)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

34 thoughts on “FINAL DAY OF VIRTUAL TRIP TO WALES – featuring some of the people.

    1. janetweightreed10 Post author

      Thank you very much for reading and for your lovely comments. So pleased you enjoyed. Next week I will show the sketches done by some of those who have been following. I hope you have a lovely weekend. Janet 🙂

      Reply
  1. Joy Nada Perkins

    I’ve followed your work for a number of years now and have now created my own art room. I journal and illustrate everyday and absolutely love black ink pen work, watercolours and excellent pencil! My days as a Sketch artist at the office of Lands & Titles was my foray into calligraphy and lithographs for land section prints. I do look forward to your blogs and wish you joy! Kind regards Joy Perkins Australia

    Reply
    1. janetweightreed10 Post author

      Good morning Joy and thank you for this lovely comment. I am so pleased that you have now created your own art room and are clearly immersing yourself into the creative process. I there a place where I. can see your work? I hope you enjoy a very creative weekend. Best wishes. Janet 🙂

      Reply
  2. Judith

    I love all your portraits, and the landscapes, too! Quite simply, I’m a huge fan of you and your art. I’m so glad I had the opportunity to “tag along” and learn from you during this visit to Wales. I hope we will travel together again.

    Reply
  3. snowbird

    You have excelled yourself with this utterly beautiful series. I have really enjoyed sharing the beauty, the culture, the history and your memories, not to mention the fantastic artwork. This could easily become a book that I would happily buy.xxx

    Reply
  4. libertadipensare

    Gorgeous! I grew up in Pontypool and haven’t been able to go back since I was in my 20s. Your photo of the bluebells perfectly captures what I remember (this is one of the mental places I go when I meditate). I tried to describe it to my husband as it truly is a transcendent sort of place but now I can show him the photo from your great blog. Wonderful and thank you for sharing this with us! And the Usk Valley, how lovely!

    Reply
    1. janetweightreed10 Post author

      You are most welcome. I am so pleased that it touched your heart. Wales is a very special place as are the Welsh people. Let’s. hope you get back there and that you can sit in the middle of a beautiful bluebell well:)X

      Reply
  5. Jet Eliot

    I am smiling from ear-to-ear, Janet, having just enjoyed a watercolor extravaganza and touching stories and memories. Your enthusiasm for life is what shows through in each of your paintings, your reverence and joy. Hearing how intimate these sittings are does not surprise me, and just the few words you relay about the person along with the expressive painting brings their spirit shining through. I love the story and painting of the glowing baby. Thanks so much for this series.

    Reply
    1. janetweightreed10 Post author

      So pleased you liked the ‘glowing baby’ it is one of my favourites. When I look at the painting I am right back at that moment in time. Thinking of you as you write. Janet 🙂

      Reply
  6. America On Coffee

    Hi there Janet! What a beautiful virtual journey with so much artistic realism and enchantment. And how nice it was to meet the elegant cat from your book. You have painted my evening with the perfect colors for relaxation. I needed that fire sure! Happy Monday and have a sensational week. Healing hugs back to you!🍃🍂💐🌺

    Reply
    1. janetweightreed10 Post author

      Good morning and thank you for this beautiful comment…putting a big smile on my face:). So pleased you liked the virtual visit to Crickhowell, (aka The Magical Town of Crickadoon:). I look forward to being back there soon for an actual visit as soon as lock down permits. It is such a wonderful place and I have very dear friends there. I think it’s a place you would love. Have a beautiful week my friend. XXX

      Reply
  7. Goff James

    Thanks for sharing this wonderful post with us; filled with such superb watercolours of your virtual journey through Wales. I have shared; and, made the appropriate attribution and link to your original post; scheduled for Friday. Best Regards.

    Reply

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