Stunning Welsh mountain landscapes are showcased at The Albany Gallery

Rachel Mainwaring, October 2018

Artist Rob Piercy has married his love of painting and mountaineering to produce a beautiful array of oils and watercolours for an exhibition at the gallery.

The skilled mountaineer has based his latest show on Welsh mountain landscapes, depicting their dramatic, powerful nature.

Former art teacher Rob, from Snowdonia, is a member of the Alpine Club of Great Britain and, naturally, loves to paint mountains.  All the exhibition pieces are new works and most of them were painted in the winter, with snow-capped mountains in places like Pen y Fan, Crib Goch and Cwm Idwal.

He said: "Most of the mountain pieces, but not all, have been painted from up high and in winter. The winter months offer far more to the dedicated mountain painter than the friendlier flat light of summer, with changing light conditions, low sun, challenging weather conditions and, of course, it's easier to find somewhere to park!"

There are also paintings of the Beacons, waves crashing at Llanddwyn, waves crashing at Llanddwyn and some wonderful imagery of trees, including The Juniper.

"Drawing is a discipline which is close to my heart and I constantly search for opportunities to express my love for line. Trees are a wonderful subject matter when it comes to this - a mature tree can be such a powerful composition. They also display great depth within a small area, something which I love to explore."

The collection also shows buildings nestled in the shadows of mountains, like a derelict shed in the Dinorwic Quarry or the beautiful Portmeirion and Porthdinllaen.


"During my travels in search of subject matter I often come across situations which appeal to my sense of satisfaction. These very often involve buildings located in situations which are compositionally pleasing. I have elected to paint these in a lighter manner as a total contrast to my large more complete mountain pieces."

The exhibition also features ceramics by Richard Clarke, who has been making pots in Rutland for more than 30 years and owns the Old House Gallery.


The Albany Gallery's latest show links three painters who create stunning landscapes and seascapes


Rachel Mainwaring, September 2018

Many of us look at a view and are able to notice the stormy sea, the lush green grass or the blue skies.  We all have our own interpretations of colour, mood and atmosphere and that's certainly true for the trio of artists who are exhibiting at the Albany Gallery.

Its latest exhibition features newcomer Lou Moore alongside renowned Welsh artist Gareth Thomas and architect turned painter Gerald Green.  The exhibition is a perfect example of how painters interpret scenes, exploring the use of light and colour.

Lou Moore's mentor was the late Sir Kyffin Williams so she is very excited to be exhibiting at the Albany Gallery. Owner Mary Yapp and Sir Kyffin always had a very close relationship which began more than 40 years ago.  Lou, who is based in Macclesfield, said: "This is my first exhibition at the Albany Gallery and I'm so honoured that Mary Yapp has asked me to exhibit. I met her at a celebration marking Sir Kyffin's centenary so to now be included in a gallery where so much of his work was shown, is just brilliant."

"Sir Kyffin was my mentor. Meeting him changed my life. He was a true gentleman who showed such kindness and was a huge influence on my work. He told me to keep going, to persevere as an artist. He inspired me and to see that my work is now being exhibited in the same place feels like I've come full circle."

Lou is a landscape artist who paints beautiful pictures that not only portray the surroundings as she sees it, but that also act as a metaphor for different experiences in her life. Each painting has a reason for its creation, whether it be warm or happy, or dark and brooding.  There are gardens with the sunshine peeping through trees as well as almost ghostly pictures of trees sitting silently on a cold autumn morning.

Gerald Green's work portrays many things from alfresco dining to Welsh cottages and even a garden sink.

He relinquished his career as an architect to become a painter and he loves to paint pictures that become impressions of everyday life and events.  "My pictures are about seeing something in every day life that interests me and creating an interpretation of what I see. It's an impression of what's there. A celebration. Some are chance encounters, some are planned but all go through a journey of interpretation."

There are many images of Venice, including umbrellas on the Rialto Bridge, as well as moorings along the Seine and a boatyard in Sussex.  Gerald said: "I've had works in group shows at the Albany before but this is my first three-person show. It's great to know the support for my work is there."

Reputed Swansea artist Gareth Thomas is also exhibiting and the paintings for the exhibition are mostly oil paintings, with landscapes and seascapes of the Gower, North Wales, France and Venice.

Gareth, from Swansea, has recently suffered from two strokes, which means that he now paints in his studio from sketches, rather than on the spot. As well as paintings from the Gower and Venice, there are also ones from France, a country of which he is very fond.
"I spent a year out in France when I was younger and used to be able to travel from the Gower to the South of France in my car without a map! Unfortunately, I can't drive anymore but I'm still able to paint and though I work in watercolour too, the paintings for the exhibition are all oil paintings that I did from sketches in my studio."

Despite his health setbacks, Gareth is so grateful that he is able to continue as an artist.

"I've been painting now for more than 30 years. I always say I'm not the richest man in the world but I'm certainly the luckiest."

The Albany Gallery is bringing together three artists Nick Holly, David Porteous-Butler and Penelope Timmis for its latest show

Rachel Mainwaring, August 2018

All three established artists bring something unique to the exhibition, meaning visitors will be spoilt by the stunning array of artistic work on show. There will be a huge seascape featuring Rhossili Bay by Nick Holly, beautiful bouquets from Penelope Timmis and examples of both brush and knife painting techniques from David Porteous-Butler.

Nick Holly, who studied at Swansea School of Art and Design, is now widely recognised as one of the UK's most accomplished artists, and he admits that he is getting more and more obsessed with including animals in his work as he gets older, which can be seen in some of the work on show at the exhibition.

He said: "I am not ashamed to state that the older I become I find I have more compassion for animals than mankind and perhaps this is why more and more cats , dogs and other four legged friends are appearing in my works - the sooty black dogs, a Labrador and Scottish terrier have become my trademark appearing in every painting I produce."

"I'm generally inspired by cities, the hustle and bustle, mams, dads, children, gran and grandad, the business executive rushing with briefcase in hand going about their business in the city or the old gent simply heading to the corner shop at the end of the street for a newspaper. Every day observations, chapel or church on Sunday or children rushing home from school or a day out at the seaside have been my subjects for many years."

"For his exhibition I have been inspired by the natural landscape/seascape. Two very large paintings will feature in this show - Rhossili Bay, Worms Head to Causeway I know well and swim there regularly throughout the summer months, with the scene dotted with sheep, seals and seagulls."

"Church Doors cove at Skrinkle Haven, Manorbier, Pembrokeshire is the subject for the other large painting. There is something magical about the place and it does look like a doorway or gateway through the cliff into another world. Feline friends feature in my work also. Having three at home gives me plenty of opportunity to observe their quirky characters, each of them different."

David Porteous-Butler, from Suffolk, studied under the late Welsh artist Sir Kyffin Williams, of whom he is a great protégé. He shares Kyffin's fundamental belief that drawing and draughtsmanship are vital to an artist's work.

He said "When I first started my career as a professional painter I visited Sir Kyffin Williams at his Anglesey home (2014). He had taught me at Highgate School and I had been a friend and patron of his from that time. His advice was that I shouldn't paint with a palette knife as I would be an outcaste from the art world. I replied that I had nothing to lose as I wasn't an in-caste. I painted a few brush canvasses, but I felt they were lacklustre and certainly not going to attract much of an audience. As soon as I turned to the knife I was off."

"The working showing at the Albany is from yet a new era in which I have started using knife and brush together, something that KW said was a not viable. You will see in some paintings how brushwork has made the sky and far away landscape a great sense of distance. In each of these same canvases the near ground subjects benefit from the extra vigour that the palette knife provides. In ‘Twilight - Vauxhall Bridge' the sky and distant buildings have been brush painted, whereas the Thames and the foreground was executed by knife. Stark straight lines were given a sharp definition with the knife and essential small points of light, again with a brush."

"Kyffin always said to me that brush and knife combination would not work. I'm sure that if I had used both from the start of my life as a painter I would have failed miserably. I have now started to use the two in combination and understand their contextual balance within a painting. I am particularly interested in the combination of knife and brush in figure painting, allowing skin texture to contrast within the surroundings."

Penelope Timmis is a renowned artist with work on show in more than 30 galleries around the UK. Her style is characterised by colour.

She said "I am delighted to have a return exhibition at the Albany and have been painting towards it all year. I am fortunate to travel a lot and am influenced by all the new landscape I see. So from Wales, my home county of Shropshire and even Africa, the bulk of my paintings this time, have been influenced by a stay I had earlier this year on the island of Lismore in the Hebrides."

"I lived in a bothy for a couple of weeks and turned the whole space into a living studio. That with sailing around the islands gave me so much inspiration, especially with the arrival of Hurricane Hector!"

But Penelope says flowers remain a constant inspiration. She said "Generally, a reminder of a bunch given or picked by me. I try to keep the flowers fresh and ‘alive' in my paintings so that you can virtually smell them. Of course, I have included a group of my iconic bird paintings to add a bit of fun. Having farmed for many years the cockerels, geese and pheasants were always around. And with the recent visit to Lismore, a few puffins have squeezed in!"

The Albany Gallery puts on a spectacular summer exhibition with more than 50 artists on show

Rachel Mainwaring, June 2018

It's officially summer time and that means that The Albany Gallery is preparing for its annual summer show.

The gallery will exhibit the work of more than 50 artists during the summer exhibition which runs from Thursday, July 5 until Saturday, August 18.  The majority of artists are regular exhibitors at the gallery but there are also some new to the gallery, both established and emerging.

Jenny Wheatley is making her first appearance at the gallery's summer show. Jenny trained at the West Surrey College of Art and Design, gaining a BA honours in Fine Art/ Printmaking in 1981. She is renowned for her exciting, colourful and highly original watercolours and mixed-media paintings, covering a variety of subjects including buildings, still life and landscapes.

Her work is also currently on show at the Royal Academy summer exhibition.


Award-winning painter and printmaker Anna Perlin is also exhibiting for the first time. She creates her distinctive mixed media work in her Hertfordshire studio, inspired by the glorious British landscape around her.

She said: "Having rolling fields, woodland and the changing colours and seasons on my doorstep is a huge inspiration for me to paint and create. The British landscape is endlessly beautiful and much of my work develops from something catching my eye when out walking- the shapes and colour combinations of branches and leaves, or hedges and fields.
"I love coming back to my studio to make my own window onto the peace and quiet of the countryside. My aim is that you feel you could step into an autumn morning or spring day straight from the room you're in."

There will also be work on show from gallery regulars including Pembrokeshire's Maggie Brown, who loves to record and capture quiet times of observation, of wild, scrubby moors and hedgerows that otherwise wouldn't get much attention; self-taught Welsh artist Peter Morgan, whose paintings are rich in character with buildings set in landscapes with atmosphere, evoking a sense of isolation and solitude and Nicholas St John Rosse, who paints brilliant images of children playing at the beach.

Rachel Wood, a renowned ceramics expert, is also making a return to painting.
The mixed show means that the themes of work are richly varied, catering for all tastes and it provides the the chance to buy "off the wall" - it's a rolling exhibition so once a painting has been sold, it will be replaced with a new one.

Coastal landscape painter Tim Fudge exhibits his work at Cardiff's Albany Gallery

Rachel Mainwaring, May 2018

When artist Tim Fudge creates his wonderful paintings of coastal scenes, he's usually created them within a studio rather than by the sea.

His latest exhibition at The Albany Gallery is called ‘Coast - At the Heart of Memory,' because it describes his way of thinking of the landscape but also his working practice as a coastal landscape painter.

He's chosen to paint the artwork in his studio - relying on memory, photographs and sketches that he makes on his coastal visits.

Tim, famed for his exuberant use of colour, says: "When in the landscape I prefer an approach of total absorption and freedom to roam; sketching, photographing and just thinking. Crucially, this separation from the subject matter back in the studio then allows memory to play a vital part in the process.

"I am fascinated by the way both our personal memories of iconic trips to the coast in childhood, and our wider cultural memory of coastal landscape, have such a powerful resonance for us in adulthood. For those of us lucky enough to live near, or visit, the coast on holiday as kids, those earliest memories of perfect light-filled days on the edge of our known world seem to remain burned upon our retinas. As an artist, an almost subconscious desire to recapture or recreate the purity of these early experiences provides endless inspiration."

Tim is originally from Edinburgh but has lived in Maenchlochog in north Pembrokeshire for the past 16 years, and it's that coast that is the centre of his inspiration as an artist.
The exhibition will contain 50-60 paintings largely of the Pembrokeshire coast with a handful from Scotland, Ireland and Cornwall.

"As visitors will see I don't limit myself to a single signature style of work. Some subjects are carefully observed and others are abstract, but the majority play with the tension between realism and abstraction within the same painting.  I have a strong connection with the Albany Gallery, still run by the amazing Mary Yapp, since I first exhibited there as a second-year degree student in 1998. It's an impressive space to display work."

Tim's work will be on show at the Albany Gallery from Friday, June 7 until Saturday, June 30, 2018

An interview with Kyffin Williams' godson, Nicholas Sinclair, in honour of the centennial

Jessica Bancroft, 15 March 2018

View here:  Intimate portraiture & the centennial of Kyffin Williams RA

Kyffin Williams RA, ROUGH SEA TREARDDUR BAY, 28x36 inches

New exhibition from hotly tipped young painter Peter Kettle RCA FRSA records Patagonia trek and adventures in Wales

Jenny White, March 2018

A remarkable body of work by Peter Kettle RCA FRSA, painted in Wales and Patagonia, goes on show at The Albany Gallery.
One of the UK's most hotly tipped young artists, 30-year-old Kettle has been featured in MoneyWeek magazine as one of the "young Turks of the art world" and has already achieved membership of the Royal Cambrian Academy and become a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.

Born in Wales, Kettle has an enduring fascination with the Welsh landscape, particularly the lights and textures of its coastline - but for his new show he also explored another landscape with intimate links to Wales: the mountains and desert of Patagonia.

The motive for the trip was twofold: first, he wanted to follow in the footsteps of the Welsh settlers who sailed to Patagonia over a century ago and whose descendants still maintain a strong Welsh identity.

He also wanted to pay homage to the famous Welsh painter Sir Kyffin Williams, who made his own trip to Patagonia in the last century.  "A few years ago, I saw a lot of the landscape paintings Kyffin made there and I was struck by how different his palette was when painting Patagonia. I wanted to understand why he chose those colours, and to experience the places he visited," says Kettle.

Just as Williams did, Kettle has a passion for plein air painting, and for his Patagonia trip he took not only sketch books but also a six-metre canvas which he unrolled on arduous mountain hikes to record his experience of the landscape, using dirt from the ground as one of his painting materials.  "Getting out there and seeing the sunrise and sunsets was extraordinary - the light is completely different," he says.

Back home in the studio, the work from the canvas led to four new paintings, while his copious sketchbook notes led to many more.

A mixed media artist, Kettle has broadened his choice of materials for this show, incorporating French chalk and shellac along with his more familiar ink and oil paint. The pictures reveal that as well as discovering the sites Kyffin painted, Kettle also found his own Patagonia - a land of earthy tones and unearthly light.

Back in the UK, he also completed a new body of Welsh work. Now based in Bristol, Kettle makes frequent painting forays into Wales and is well known for his depictions of the industrial architecture of the Port Talbot Steelworks as well as for wilder coastal scenes. For this show, he ventured further west along the coastal path into Pembrokeshire.


"I'm fascinated by the story of Wales, and how settlements were created within that landscape," he says. "The Welsh landscape can be wild, windy and wet yet it can also be serene and beautiful, and within a short distance of a couple of miles you can experience both. This is something that has drawn me back time and time again."

Kettle's style has been shaped by that love of landscape, and the influence of such greats as Anselm Kiefer, Joan Eardley and John Piper is also evident. Perhaps most striking of all, however, is that this is an artist who relishes being outdoors amid the elements, experiencing his subject at first hand - even if that does require a long trek up a mountain - and after hisPatagonia experience, he promises to take his canvases to further far flung places soon.

"I loved taking the canvas up those hills - it is something I have always enjoyed doing in Wales and to be able to do that continuously for 4 weeks in a new landscape is an experience I want to repeat," he says.

Wales' diverse and beautiful scenery captured in new Albany Gallery show

Jenny White, February 2018

From light gleaming through a chapel window to the sun blazing on a south Wales beach, the four artists in this exhibition capture some of Wales's most enchanting moments and magical scenery, creating a diverse and inspiring snapshot of Wales in all its moods and seasons.

Cardiff-based painter Mike Carter, who was one of three artists featured in the BBC2 programme about the RA Summer Exhibition last year, captures the moodier side of the Welsh landscape. He is fascinated with the point where the land meets the sea. Inspired by energetic and expressive painters such as Kurt Jackson, he combines different materials through a layering process such as charcoal, chalk, sawdust, PVA, black ink, acrylic and oil paint to create a range of effects and marks.

In contrast, valleys-based painter Karl Davies turns his attention inland, capturing a world of lonely farmhouses, mining villages and moonlit walks. He uses a mixture of deliberate and intuitive brush marks in each composition and prepares numerous sketches before beginning a painting. Recently he has begun to explore more complicated compositions including architecture and figures and he aims to capture atmospheres and the seasons.

Dai David, who lives near Craig Y Nos in the Swansea Valley, loves the Welsh shoreline in summer. His sun-drenched paintings capture families at play, beachcombers and boats - although he is also known for his depictions of the green, rugged grandeur of the Brecon Beacons. He aims to express the ephemeral beauty and wonderful nature of light, whether it be an intimate, solitary portrait, a joyous group study, or sun-kissed landscape, it is the actual light falling upon the subject that inspires him to paint.

Cwmbran-based painter Paul Weston has a similar scope, creating evocative, sunny seascapes and sweeping views of the Brecon Beacons and Black Mountains. He also paints Wales' post-industrial scenery around Blaenafon and the eastern valleys of Gwent, and ventures into Cardiff to paint city scenes. His watercolours concentrate on fine detailed brushwork, capturing accurate scenes of the hills, valleys, countryside and coastline. His oil paintings are much looser, painted quickly with a greater freedom, whilst retaining elements of detail and they are painted on the spot whenever possible.

Original artists' posters by some of the 20th century's greats

Jenny White, January 2018

Artist-designed posters from exhibitions held by such greats as David Hockney, Andy Warhol, Marc Chagall, Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse and Joan Miro are on show this month.

Many of the leading 20th century artists enjoyed designing their own exhibition posters, often in the form of original lithographs printed by some of the great Parisian print ateliers such as the Mourlot Frères studio.

"The show is a rare and affordable opportunity to buy work by big names," says Albany Gallery owner Mary Yapp. "Most of the posters were produced in the 60s and 70s, and they still feel as alive and vibrant today as when they were first issued".

The posters were usually designed by the artists in collaboration with a designer, and the combination of original art and graphic elements also lends the poster a cooler, less ‘stuffy' feel, allowing them to hang as easily in an informal creative office as they would on an upstairs landing.

As the posters were designed with a specific function in mind, they are usually large in size, and make a big impact.

Unsurprisingly, artists' posters have always been popular and in recent years have become highly sought after. Their appealing design, relative scarcity, and their built-in history and contextual background with the exhibition they were attached to have meant these prints continue to entice long-time buyers around the world.

"Because of their distinctive feel and tone, with original artwork and graphic design working in tandem, posters look especially good when put alongside one another and make for wonderful collectible sets on their own, as well as special works within artist-specific collections," says Mary.

"Although they are relatively rare, the posters are surprisingly affordable. Most artists' posters in this exhibition can be bought for anywhere between £500 and £2,000 depending on their rarity, condition and collectability. However, we do have one special poster signed by Picasso himself which will be for sale at over £10,000," she adds.


Original paintings and sculptures by artists like Picasso, Matisse, Miró and Braque can fetch many millions of pounds in auction houses.   "While those prices remain out of reach for most of us, artists' posters offer the chance of owning an original work of art by hugely important artists for mere fractions of those prices," says Mary.

This exhibition is being held in collaboration with Goldmark Gallery, in particular Mike Goldmark, whose association with The Albany Gallery goes back many years. Goldmark Gallery is a family run business that has been selling art in Uppingham, Rutland for over 40 years.




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