Cader Idris

This motif came from a drawing made of a large rock at the base of this iconic mountain behind Dolgellau in North Wales. I went on holiday there with my husband and we decided to do the ridge walk.

Whilst on this walk I noticed a large rock at the base of the mountain, with great scratches and splits in it that I knew would be a great subject for a painting. However, my partner’s goal was ,understandably, to complete the whole walk and not to have to sit around whilst I drew. So, I decided to treat the walking day as a kind of ‘recce’, and I made a pact with myself to go back at some other time, on my own, to do some proper studies.

I kept my promise to myself and booked a bed and breakfast in the summer. It was a perfect day when I walked up the approach path with my equipment, and set myself up on a large stone with my sun hat on. Again, giving myself permission to just go and draw was the best thing I could have done. I heard walkers wish it was them as they went past! I managed to get all the information I needed before I got too sunburned.

Once I got back home I was able to produce the painting I had wanted to do from the first ‘recce’ visit. I was finding a way of working that suited me, and fitted in with everyone else. To give yourself permission to pause, just respond and draw is really special. Everyone should do it! Even if the process is organic and grows over several months, or even years, it has a momentum of its own if you let it! We see and know what holds us as we walk through this world.

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