Saturday, 23 June 2012

North Wales Open 2012

Above Llanferres (Pastel/Watercolour)

This picture was painted on the Offa's Dyke path along the section 
that links Clwyd Gate to Moel Fenlli. The painting will be on 
display in the Main Gallery at Clwyd Theatr Cymru until the 
end of August.

It's that time of year again, The North Wales Open art exhibition is open from 23 June to 31 August. 

Recent work by artists from the counties of Flintshire, Denbighshire, Wrexham, Conwy, Gwynedd and Anglesey.

Friday, 22 June 2012

Swimming and painting

My wife likes a good swim, peaceful, relaxing and warm and no noise and definitely no divebombing. I can't swim. Many well intentioned people have tried to teach me but I was not a star pupil. We have discovered an inviting, secluded pool in the Conwy area that Mair enjoys. A couple of hours floating on water does the trick and we visit as often as we can. Piped music and The Independent can only sustain me for half an hour and I get restless, restless for the hills. Within a few moments I can be up on the northern part of the Carneddau overlooking both the Great Orme and the Conwy Valley. I am more familiar with the whale-back ridges of Carnedd Llywelyn and Foel Grach and the drama of Cwm Eigiau further south than the softer, greener hills above Penmaenmawr. I have returned to one particular spot a number of times over the last few weeks and have produced the painting below. For the first time in my life a swim has been successful.

The picture has been accepted for
The North Wales Open 2012
Clwyd Theatr Cymru 23 June - 31 August

Above the Conwy Valley (Pastel)

Sunday, 17 June 2012

Make the most of

A couple of week ago I was approached by two energetic ladies who were bursting with enthusiasm and invited me to join them on their adventure, read their story below.

‘Make The Most Of’ grew out of our love of beautiful things and our belief in, and commitment to, community. Our story starts in 2011 when, inspired by some extraordinary local artisans and a genuine desire to showcase their talents, we started to develop our ideas for a web site and shop that would provide a fitting outlet for their wonderful creations.
We couldn’t have predicted how quickly things would move forward, nor the amazing support that we have enjoyed, not only from our local community, but also from the many artisans that quickly wanted to be part of our venture. We discovered an amazing breadth of creative talent producing exquisite and unique pieces of work for which they had no real commercial outlet. Many told us that sales were falling and that they were finding it hard to find buyers who appreciated the skill, flair, craftsmanship and love that they put into each piece.
With such incredible interest and a lot of hard work from a host volunteers, we were able to open our delightful “Make The Most Of’ shop in November 2011. ‘Small but beautifully formed’ it is located in Caerwys, in the heart of beautiful rural North Wales and stocks a wide choice of one-off, sophisticated items that are all pieces of art in their own right. Many items are made from recycled materials, but shoppers will find an extensive choice, from practical home wares to alpaca shawls and exquisitely carved love spoons to original artwork – and everything in between.
Customers have already commented how wonderful it is to find something ‘special’ and encouraged by the positive feedback we have developed this web site to take the hand-crafted items to a wider audience. Learning as we’ve gone along, we’ve tried to make the site as wonderful as the shop and hope that visitors will enjoy the same positive experience - shopping for beautiful pieces that you simply can’t buy anywhere else. By including our artisans’ stories, we hope that visitors will feel part of this resurgence in creative crafts and come to appreciate the wealth of talent that has been ‘hiding its light under a bushel’.
In addition to providing an outlet for artisans to show their pieces, ‘Make The Most Of’ is fully committed to nurturing and developing creative crafts and skills and also developing and strengthening our local community. We have set up a private local community trust to help local need and are also supporting our artisans to recruit and train people who want to learn a skill that can support them financially in the future - whatever their age. We all have skills to share and there is always room to learn!
To complement the artisans’ work we occasionally buy in other products, usually from small British companies and communities. We are also looking to formulate working partnerships with small existing cottage industry. When we do venture overseas – ecologically aware, fair trade and community led organisations are our first and only port of call.
We have tried to design the web site to reflect our ethos and our commitment to the fantastic skills of the artisans that we are working with and hope that you will enjoy browsing and buying from our hand picked selection.
Our small shop in Caerwys is located at Liverpool House on the High Street, which is just off the square. It is open on Saturdays and Sundays between the hours of 11am and 4pm. Our community of Artisans will from time to time demonstrate their skills and craft and all relevant dates will be displayed on our Facebook page. We look forward to meeting you.
You can contact us at the shop on Saturdays and Sundays in person or by telephone on 01352 721888. At other times during the hours of 9am - 5pm - Monday to Friday - you can reach Lynne on 07734082690 or Louise on 07917876819.