Posted by Rosie Farrar

"I have lived and worked in Pembrokeshire for some 50 years. I trained as a graphic designer, and illustrated a number of books before gradually moving entirely to painting. My work is exhibited in France, Cardiff, Pembrokeshire and London, as well as at my studio in the Preselis.

My paintings evoke the landscape of France as well as of Wales and, although grounded in observation, are frequently described as surreal and dreamlike.

I have been Artist in Residence at the National Eisteddfod and other venues. I am particularly interested in working with young people in the sphere of the Arts, and have a PhD in Philosophy from the University of Wales.

My work is in the collections of the Contemporary Art Society for Wales, The National Library and the University of Wales, as well as numerous private collections worldwide"

Where do you work from and what is your studio like?

I work from my studio, a renovated cowbyre on my farm in the Preseli Hills. It has a wonderful atmosphere, and is usually fairly untidy. The barn behind, full of interesting things, is used for painting too, both by me, my friends and my grandchildren. A newish wooden building which joins them is for relaxing and showing work.

What is your preferred medium and why? 

Different media for different ideas. At the moment it is oil pastels, I started to use them in France partly because they are easy to carry around. Glorious colours and tactile qualities.

What is your earliest memory of painting or creating art?

Drawing on the wall of my bedroom aged about three, and also digging out the plaster. My mother said, well you might as well cover the whole wall and then we can paint over it when you want to do new ones.

What is the best compliment you have received as an artist?

When a 10 year old bid successfully for one of my pictures at the Oriel Q Auction.

Do you have a favourite piece from your own collections?

Of mine – the one I will do tomorrow. Of other people ‘s work on my walls – at the moment it is a Roger Cecil, but tomorrow It could be a Jacob Buckland, a Maurice Cockrill, an Ozi Osmond, a Dick Evans….or the mural which the grandchildren did on the barn wall.

Which artists or designers do you admire, locally and natively?

I enjoy many of my contemporaries’ work. I have been influenced and inspired by the ancient artists of Lascaux, Van Gogh, John Piper, David Jones, Paul Klee and others too numerous to mention in the course of some 60 years of looking at art.

What brought you to Pembrokeshire? And what is your favourite place locally?

 I came to Pembrokeshire with my parents, who had a cottage on a farm in the Preselis. I met and married the shepherd. My favourite place is here at home.

Have you ever had a painting disaster?

Hundreds of them.

Do you have any advice for an aspiring artist?

Work. And look at great art.

Many thanks to Elizabeth Haines for a beautiful insight into your work and life. 


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