Three Welsh-born artists will exhibit together at the White Lion Street gallery in Tenby during May.
Sian McGill, born on St David’s Day, grew up ‘between the mountains and the sea’, always drawing her surroundings. As an adult she has sought teachers to help expand her repertoire of techniques, attending classes of practising artists such as David Tress, Andrew Douglas Forbes and Roy Marsden.
Walking – including the entire Pembrokeshire Coastal Path – brings Sian right into the landscape that inspires her. She wants not only to represent the actual place but also that feeling of being there, out in the elements.
She started painting with pastels but now uses acrylic paint – using a palette knife for landscape. With the knife she can shape the underlying structures, the clefts and roughness of rock and the sliding motion of waves.
Fascinated by a scene, lost in manipulating paint and excited by accidental effects, Sian finds both passion and peace in the process of painting - her time limited to when her children are at school. Her style – sculptural, clean, light-filled – in a shift away from pure representation. Pembrokeshire, the Black Mountains and areas of North Wales are included, recognisable and familiar but also remote and uninhabited.
Owen Lyndon Thomas, born in Llanelli and now based in Ceredigion, first exhibited paintings in the early 1960s. His subject then, industry within landscape, was inspired by the many South Wales’ works, mines and pits. Then, in a complete change of direction, he turned to pottery: he became renowned throughout Wales and the Marches for his domestic stoneware which sold in a wide range of galleries. In 2008, Lyndon resumed painting, trying NOT to emulate those artists he most admired but to develop anew what is now a clearly recognisable style.
He uses acrylic on paper, working it with knives to achieve both textured and scraped surfaces. Inspired now by the most westerly points of Wales – from North Pembrokeshire to the Lleyn Peninsular – he paints landscapes especially where there is evidence of human habitation. These dwellings appear almost apologetically in their isolated settings.
He says, ‘Exploring a subject may require up to five paintings to capture a range of moods that various weather conditions provide.’ Thus Lyndon’s work may include overcast or storm-laden skies, greys and yellows, often in wide letterbox format.
Eden Evans, born in Haverfordwest, grew up in Pembrokeshire. Now back in Pembrokeshire Eden has lived surprising lives in England – as a falconer and as a chef. Now like Sian he juggles time to paint between shifts with the Ambulance Service.
Eden’s first love is drawing, with light being the main inspiration - moonlight, street light, sunlight, light reflected up from snow. He is more interested in tonal quality than in colour so viewers can expect to see impressionist images with subtle earthy tones enlivened by sparks of silver, grey and white in his landscape and marine studies.
He has a loose, easy watercolour style and also paints in oils, en plein air. For him painting isn’t the relaxing activity people sometimes imagine it. ‘Painting requires constant questioning, making decisions about what to include, what to leave out, what marks to make to get the effects I want … if I’m lucky I’ll achieve it alla prima – all in one go – but often I’ll take the piece home to finish. Then I’m working with what’s painted and what I remember, still making those decisions in an almost unconscious process of thinking with the brush.’
The exhibition offers the best of three distinctive artists, using different mediums and styles to depict Welsh landscape, especially Pembrokeshire, in around 60 paintings. All work is original and some will be unframed.
The exhibition shows from Saturday 30th April to 28th May. The White Lion Street Gallery in Tenby is open 10am-5pm every day except for Wednesday. For further information phone 01834-843375 and view the website www.artmatters.org.uk