Sunday, April 6, 2008

The Drab Demure of Wales

Dinas Cromlech
Mixed Media on Paper


A brochure arrived in the mail yesterday, for the Welsh Sale 2008 at Rogers Jones Auction House in North Wales, UK. They asked me to send them eight pieces, and I was flattered to see in the brochure that I'm keeping some esteemed company at this event. Most of the other artists I either studied under, worked with, or organised their exhibition when I was a young Exhibition Coordinator at the ogilvy & estill art gallery in Conwy many years ago - including William Selwyn, Wilf Roberts, Kyffin Williams, Mary Lloyd Jones and David Lloyd Griffith.

Looking through the paintings and drawings these artists, whose work I have admired and been influenced by over the years, I felt a nostalgic longing for the Welsh landscape - which I haven't felt since I was at university in the 90's.

My Welsh friend Joe asked me if I missed home recently, in the most poetic way: "Do you miss its drab demure? It’s sullen, brooding beauty… I’m sure America is a place filled with grand and inspiring wonders. Is there still a place in your heart for this soggy end of the world?"

Looking at these dark paintings of Snowdonia, the dramatic, passionate markmaking, the diffuse light backlighting familiar ridgelines - yes, I do. I love the American landcape, with it's infinite variety, sheer vastness and meteorological extremes - but there will always be a place in my heart for the dark, damp slate quarries, intimidating cliffs and valleys. And also the spring flowers, lush green hills, oak trees in the Autumn, and the chilly Atlantic waters I occassionally dipped my toes into.

But not the seagulls. I can live without them.

Rogers Jones & Co. Abergele Rd, Colwyn Bay, N.Wales UK

The Welsh Sale Auction: Saturday April 26th 2008 at 12.00
Viewing Friday 3-6pm and Saturday 10am-12.15pm

Tel: +44 1492 532176

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