Tag Archives: feeding the senses

A magical visit to The Magical Town of Crickadoon

watercolour capturing the light of Wales. 

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The view  from where I was staying high above The Magical Town of Crickadoon 

20-11-15 - 1 (216)This past weekend I stayed with my very dear friends, Sally and Gareth Reese in their beautiful home.     The house sits high up  overlooking the Usk Valley ….part of the beautiful Brecon Beacons National Park.

The landscape is never changing and yet constantly changing. 20-11-15 - 1 (208)I met Sally and Gareth shortly after I moved to Crickhowell 23 years ago….and have  been friends since.    They are some of the warmest most generous people I know.

Gareth, Sally and their son David on a walk through the bluebell woods. 

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The bluebell woods….at Coed-y-Bwnydd – As we walked through the only sounds were those of birds singing…..and the perfume from the bluebells……a feast for the senses.

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I am reminded when I return to Wales of just how much noise and light pollution we live with in London and other big cities.      To hear the sounds of nature so clearly is blissful, and to sleep in such peacefulness brings a quality to life that many have forgotten.

Typical of many Welsh people the Reese family are very musical, especially Sally and David…..In this photograph you can see Sally’s harp…..which she plays beautifully.

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There is  even the family kitty kat…..which is guaranteed to bring a smile to my face:)

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I was reminded of the passage of time, and the importance of making the most of every single day…..Twenty years ago, I painted the three children, Becky, David and Nicky….they were all young teenagers….and now are all married with children of their own.

Watercolour – of Becky 1996  – 17 years old…Now a mother with three children. 

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watercolours of David and Nicky 1996 – teenagers then and now both parents with their own children…..

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Of course we talked about my plans for living in Marmite Heaven – which brought up a new recipe using marmite.     Gareth had heard that peanut butter and marmite work well together….Well yesterday, I tried it….and I love it:  which probably says a lot more about me than the mix….    Unless you are a lover of Marmite…it might be one to avoid:)

A watercolour from the weekend…

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I am off to France next week to see more good friends, and to paint  a group of actors as they rehearse for a production on the 29th.      which means I will write my next blog in a couple of weeks.

A Bientôt

Away for a couple of weeks….Olhao Portugal

Olhao Portugal – http://www.artinthealgarve.com     From one of my many sketchbooks.20-11-15 - 1 (63)Those who follow my blog will know that I take a break from all social media including my blog when I go away to paint.

Given this, I thought the following passage from my book, ‘The Apple Exercise’ would be appropriate.

‘Given the fast pace of life today and the fact that so many of us are plugged into technology of one kind or another, our collective senses have been deadened. 

Along with this comes a feeling of loss.   A loss that in many ways we are unable to identify.

As we constantly try to fill the ever widening holes with more and more frenetic activity and stuff, our frustration levels grow.

Feeding our senses through the creative process, in all its many forms can produce almost miraculous changes, which lead to a sense of well being and fulfilment.’

11083819_10153183552095396_1247590049461091690_oI will be back here at the beginning of May…..

A Bientôt

Feeding our senses through the creative process……

‘Feeding our senses through the creative process, in all its many forms, can produce almost miraculous changes, which lead to a sense of well being and fulfilment’.    From my book ‘The Apple Exercise’.

rapid watercolour sketch –  Monet’s Garden at Giverny.

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A Bientôt

The Garden

It’s that time of year when the sap has begun to rise and thoughts of Mother Nature’s bounty come to mind.

My little cottage garden in the Magical Town of Crickadoon (Crickhowell, Wales)  til August 10 1037

After having lived and worked in the States for twenty eight years, In 1993, I returned to Crickhowell, Wales to stay with my cousin and her family.

Crickhowell is a small market town which sits in the Usk Valley where the Brecon Beacons and Black Mountains meet.

During the twelve years that I lived and worked there,  I designed a small cottage garden, which gave me immense pleasure and taught me a great deal.

I saw this picture in a magazine and used it as the template for my garden….

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The plot behind the cottage was small and had laid fallow for twenty years.    The first thing I did was to clear and dig the garden over….and then lay flag stones.

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Friends with established gardens gave me cuttings, and slowly but surely, the garden began to take shape.

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Before my eyes, I watched the transformation from uncared for patch to a place that welcomed birds, bees, butterflies, cats and humans.

Note Christeve the Cat climbing the ladder which took her into the neighbour’s garden:) Image

Growing a garden from scratch requires commitment and patience, however  the satisfaction gained is enormous…

As the garden began to mature, I was able to throw open the french doors and have all my senses fed, whether I inside or out.

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When I moved to London in 2005, I was very sad to say goodbye to the garden, but at the same time grateful for what it gave me.

Clearly the hummingbirds were weaving their magic.

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A Bientôt

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