Sunday 10th September 2000, Anglesey, North Wales
Snowdon from Anglesey IT'S DIFFICULT to catch the sheer presence of Snowdon and the surrounding mountains in a medium as fleeting as watercolour. It is nearer to the sky in tone and colour than it is to the green fields and trees in the foreground.

As I paint I'm trying to resolve what I actually see with what I know to be the case in my mind's eye; far from being a cloudy illusion Snowdon is in fact a very solid pile of volcanic ash some 400 million years old, sculpted by the action of fleeting ice ages during the last one million years.

So solid and enduring, yet something as insubstantial as the shadow of a passing cloud can radically alter its appearance.

Watercolour Challenge

When you see someone sitting painting a watercolour it seems to be the most relaxing of activities. In reality I often find myself franticly trying to catch some lighting effect which I know will last just a few more minutes, or worrying that I've got the arrangement of trees all wrong.

From an artistic point of view it probably doesn't matter if I don't get every tree in just the right place, but I have such respect for the trees themselves and the history of the landscape that I can't help but worry about topographical accuracy.

slate fence around group of trees

Slate fences

Slabs of slate have been used as fence posts in the pastures by the Meniai Straits. Slate circles guard groups of trees in front of the elegant 1820s farmhouse that we've been lucky enough to book as our bed and breakfast. next page

Richard Bell
Richard Bell,
wildlife illustrator

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