Tag Archives: brecon beacons national park wales

1st September – beginning of my new year………

1st September always signifies for me the beginning of a new year.     After a period of reflection during the slower summer period, September is when I start to get excited about my new work goals for the coming months.

I am pleased to report that the magical hummingbirds (tiny flying jewels)  are definitely in place this year….symbolising for me the unseen magic in our world.

watercolour

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Speaking of which, I have just had a very special time with my friends who live high up on a hill outside of The Magical Town of Crickadoon in Wales, overlooking the beautiful Usk Valley, where the Brecon Beacons meet the Black Mountains.

Watercolour painting – overlooking the Usk Valley

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Along with sketching, relaxing, eating superb food – and enjoying good conversation – I had time to reflect.

Early morning watercolour/gouache in my sketchbook….

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I left London, filled with it’s fast pace and noise on a very hot summer’s morning….and arrived in Wales to find cooler temperatures, sweet tasting air, and the sounds of Mother Nature……

The sounds of sheep in one of the fields beneath where I was staying…

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The ever changing landscape….is a joy and excellent for honing observational skills.       I remember when I first came to this area 23 years ago, I was mesmerised by the colours and constant changes in light.

The clarity of early morning light….   

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The atmospheric quality of misty evenings and mornings……

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And the beautiful sunsets…..

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To top it all the resident cat, Tarantino, who is now 18 years old, completes the picture.     He is so very sweet…..

watercolour/gouache sketch of Tarantino

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sketch of Tarantino sleeping….watercolour/gouache

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Although I need routines and rituals – (they give me the freedom to create)………more and more I am able to go with the flow of life.     I find that in doing so, I am can follow life’s clues more easily.        I tend not to miss those  little gems of information – and moments of deep intuition.       

My friends and I talked about time and the fast pace of 21st century life.    Sally then said something  which I found to be quite profound.     “We do things because we can”….We get in cars and drive long distances simply because we can.   We are able to keep in constant contact with one another through new technology…simply because we can….. 

Of course,  just because we can, doesn’t mean that we necessarily have to do it!:)     Which means that discernment is ever more key to sane living.

Watercolour from my May visit to Wales. 

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I realise more and more that no matter how much we mere mortals try, we can’t control the timing of things….We can make plans, but in doing so we have no idea what other plans are being made around and beyond us.      None of us is ever creative enough to know how things will actually work out………’

Always reminding me to stay in the present moment like the magical hummingbird.

watercolour

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A Bientôt

Colourful landscape exercise

This colourful landscape is inspired from when I lived in the beautiful Brecon Beacons National Park, Wales where the light is so dramatic.

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The following landscape exercise is excellent for warming up and uses the same techniques.

Working on white paper, I add lots of water to the top half of the paper and then add juicy red and orange watercolour paint into the wet area….allowing it to bleed.      Feel free to use any colour combination you like.

Note that the bottom part of the paper is still dry.

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In this frame, I use a clean wet brush to  gently pull down some of the paint from the horizon line, making sure to leave some dry white areas between the foreground and the horizon.

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I now add some of the same intense dark shown on the horizon line to the bottom of the image to give the image a sense of balance.   I have also indicated the boundaries of fields…leaving dry white areas.

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Given that the sky reflects directly onto the land, I brought the same colours from the sky into the foreground.   Note that there are still dry white areas showing…..

Also I have allowed the paint to settle and do its own thing which is one of the exciting elements of watercolour painting.    

Using a knife I scraped out some paint in the foreground.

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Floating free of time like the Magical Hummingbird

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A Bientôt