Tag Archives: welsh landscape painting

A magical visit to The Magical Town of Crickadoon

watercolour capturing the light of Wales. 


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

Wednesday Warm up landscape

When I returned to the UK from the States in 1993, I moved to Crickhowell (the Magical Town of Crickadoon)  in Wales.

Crickhowell, sits in the beautiful Usk Valley where the Black Mountains and Brecon Beacons meet.

Having living and worked in the States for 28 years, I needed a place where I could immerse myself in nature and get back to basics.

The following landscape exercise reminds me of the surrounding hills where I walked just about every day that I lived there.

I start out by painting over an old sketch….I am using a mix of watercolour and gouache to give necessary coverage.     


Using Winsor & Newton Designer Gouache, Permanent White,  I indicate the sky next to the mountains.

When I first arrived in Wales, I didn’t consider myself to be a landscape painter, however the drama of light play against the hills was far too exciting for me not to record it.

Note that some of the underlying original sketch is showing through….this helps to give the image a sense of luminosity, and depth.


I now add some darker clouds and blue into the sky and add the same colours into the foreground.

Moving colour around an image, brings a sense of balance and harmony.


Using a wash brush, I drag some of the white from the sky into the mountain area.    This is a spontaneous watercolour and so this is done while the paint is still wet.

I use a smaller brush to indicate the sun’s rays over the dark hills.    Note that the underlying original sketch is showing throughout the painting….just hints of it, but enough to give the desired effect.


Remember to allow your brush to dance across the image.    This is all about warming up and PLAY. 

Here’s a Magical Hummingbird for the day.




A Bientôt