Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Coming up: Welsh mountain artist-James Dickson Innes

Augustus John's lover and muse-Dorelia McNeil in their Romany vardo.
Photo:Augustus John

"The evening journey across the moors had washed Innes up at the isolated inn of Rhyd y Fen which was a rare refuge for the weary traveller crossing the moors twixt Bala and Trawsfyndd. Mine host at the Inn was someone described at the time as 'the playboy of north Wales'- Washington Davies, who took in the exhausted artist and after providing a supper of 'fine local mutton' washed down with home brewed 'cwrw', showed him to his sparesly furnished but comfortable room and bid him... rest well.

The following morning, the artist dragged a chair out of the kitchen at the rear of the inn,slumped down between its polished arms and drank in the scene before him.

The morning drew the mountain of Arenig Fawr from its cradle. It's twin peaks trailing wisps of cloud between its rounded horns. The hollows and gullies frothing with rain and mist. The mountain instantly captured Innes's imagination in all its raw elemental glory.
Later,his close friend and fellow Arenig school artist, Augustus John wrote that at that moment Innes had arrived at the heart of his mythical magic kingdom....

'His passionate love of Wales and the mountains of Wales was the mainspring of his art....though he worked much in the south of France,mostly in the neighbourhood of Mount Cagnion, Mynydd Arenig remained ever his sacred mountain and the slopes of the Migneint his spiritual home.

This Friday,to coincide with a special BBC4 feature on The Arenig School of artists .. The Mountain that had to be painted. BBC 4 Wednesday.18/05/11: 21.00 hrs. John Appleby writes about the Arenig's schools creative mainspring- James Dickson Innes who with Augustus John created a unique mountain school of art situated in one of North Wales's wildest and least populated areas. The wild and lonely Migneint. 

Arenig Fawr and the rolling Migneint from the summit of Carnedd Filiast.