My heart sings

I have just returned from a few days away in North Wales. Snowdonia is my spiritual home and I spend time in meditation being there but being there in reality is so much better.

It was good to see the snow capped mountains while walking on Llandudno pier. That was only the start though. The following day was a tour round through Betws y Coed to Llanberis. There was the rushing river over the rocks, refreshing and exhilarating and new buds on the trees. There was  a lovely view of one of the mountains I have not managed to climb in my younger days, Moel Siabod, standing there proud against the sky. Llanberis gave another view of the mountains and the stark landscape of Vivian quarry.

The second day was Caernarfon followed by Anglesey and then back round the mountains to Llandudno. Each time we stopped  I breathed in deeply, by the sea and in the mountains. It refreshed me and replenished my soul.

The final day was the best. Two friends for whom I am truly grateful organised a taxi up the Great Orme. To stand there with my feet on the earth where ancients have trodden was wonderful. To stand and look out over the sea and the mountains made my heart sing. We walked back down, me with my walker,  to the little church of St. Tudno, and sat on a bench looking out over the sea watching a ship go past and the sun glinting on the blades of the wind turbines. Peaceful as well. I not only have new memories but more photos as well.

I am going to copy here the words of a poem I wrote many years ago but which came to my mind on the Great Orme.

I felt the earth beneath my feet,

I saw the sky above,

I felt the throb of my heart beat

In wonder and in love.

I give thanks for the days spent there and for my two friends, Viv and John who made the trip up the Orme possible. It has meant so much to me to be able to tread the land of the ancients and of my forebears. Despite the pain I feel it was a wonderful time and I am blessed.


Conflicting thoughts

This blog is about walking the druid path so how does this heading fit in with that. So a bit of life history here first, I think. I have always painted having taken Art at school in the 1950’s. Since then I have gone to a few art groups where there has been some kind of teaching but I have always painted how and what I like. I started with oils in the late 1960’s when I had a boyfriend who was an art student. He taught me a lot about technique and still inspires me with his current works.

My main paintings are landscapes, mostly of mountains, lakes, the sea and sunsets. The mountains for me are spiritual places and in my paintings there is much that the ordinary observer will not see. Nearly all of my paintings of landscapes have ways of drawing you in to the picture.

Over the last 3 years I turned to pastels and tried painting flowers, and birds but in the flower pictures there are fairies and angels hidden away for the sharp eye to find. This is almost psychic art.

But where do the conflicting thoughts come in? Well, I have been offered an exhibition at the end of this month and discussion with friends at the art group about my paintings bring up this conflict. I paint for me alone, my thoughts and feelings are in my paintings. They are not painted in order to be sold as I know some people do this. They are painted for me to look at, to share in exhibitions if necessary and sold if people would like them but mainly they are for me and they express my spiritual essence.

I have been asked about commissions as this could bring in money; that awful word. That is not the issue for me. But commissions well, again this is not for me. Last year I knitted a giraffe pyjama case for my son and then everybody wanted one. I think I knitted about 16 in all but the requests to knit them, put on the pressure and eventually took away the pleasure of the knitting. So I will not take any more orders or commissions.

It took me time over this last weekend to think all this out and decide exactly where I stood regarding my paintings. I think what really brought it home to me was a memory of a painting I did around 1973. It was of the Snowdonia mountains, in reds and purples and when I was painting it, a figure appeared in the sky. My current art tutor asked me what I was going to do with the figure. He advised me to either blot it out or make it stand out. I did the latter. This painting was named ‘Sanctuary’ and I refused to sell it. It meant a lot ot me as there was quite a bit of turmoil going on in my life and the mountains have always been a sanctuary for me.

However, in the 1980’s I had an exhibition in Beddgelert in Snowdonia and a woman came every day to look at this painting and wanted to buy it. I refused day after day until the last day of the exhibition, then I asked her why she wanted this particular painting so much. When she told what it meant to her than I reduced the price and sold it to her.

I feel this is where this blog stops. What do you think? Does my attitude reflect my spiritual druid path?

Here is an old photo of that painting.