Ladies who lunch, light hearted banter, art and an unexpected harp recital….

Sometimes an ordinary day turns into an exceptionally wonderful day…its a rare and wonderful phenomenon.  When they happen I wonder if they are by luck or by state of mind.  Probably a bit of both.  I do know for sure that those days I’m in a bad mood, more negative things happen.  However, this Friday, just gone…that would be yesterday(!) was highly anticipated as a planned busy but nice day.  The resulting day was glorious.

As you may know I am mid way through my first ever solo art exhibition.  it was quite a long time in the planning and prepping and quite emotional in the setting up and previewing… but it’s there now. It’s actually going well in terms of feedback and I am definitely extremely proud of it.

A small group of wonderful friends who I know mainly through teaching them stained glass during the wonderful Welsh Legends Window Project, had arranged a jolly to the Radnorshire Museum to see my exhibition and I had arranged to go with them and do our fave thing “Ladies Who Lunch”, first.  So as you can tell, it was already going to be a lovely day.

These, lovely, colourful, energy filled, inspiring women gathered to join me at The Herb Garden for pre-exhibition food.  The Cafe is my very favourite in Llandrindod Wells, a community cafe , serving wholesome, freshly made, delicious delights with top quality organic ingredients. It has friendly staff, cosy sofas, a selection of newspapers and magazines, a pile of toys for any kids, a local information board and a gallery wall.  In this instance there was a display of stunning photographs of China by a local photographer/friend of mine, Mike Lewis. A perfect accompaniment to our lunch with it being Chinese New Year. (sadly I didn’t take any photos at it would have meant leaning across strangers who were eating their lunch and I thought that might appear a tad rude!  the place was packed)

As we trotted round to the museum, it was a gloriously sunny early Spring day, the type of day that fills you with optimism and joy for new beginnings and the arrival of Spring flowers and the hope of Summer not too far away.

There was quite a buzz of excitement from my friends climbing the stairs (or using the lift) to reach the exhibition space.  I think there were genuinely impressed and enjoyed the exhibition, which really gave me quite a boost.  Additionally, because of the location, they had the bonus of discovering this quaint and eclectic collections within the museum itself.  So a fabulous afternoon..

… but there was icing on our daily cake … on arrival we were told that three internationally acclaimed harpists were about to arrive to look at the Welsh triple harp the museum has in its collection and that one of these harpists was going to play it…. we were allowed to sit in on an impromptu harp recital by Robin Huw Bowen (head to discography and click the listen button, its exquisite …  ).Robin proceeded to discuss the history of this harp, his interaction with the ancestors of the owner who donated it to the museum in 1952, and played some classic Welsh tunes and some Welsh gypsy popular music of the time

Those gorgeous looking ladies sat by the harpist are Camille & Kennerly Kitt, otherwise known as The Harp Twins here as part of a world tour, having just finished a 4th gig in Wales.  They play rock music on electric harps – something to behold!

Here’s a little clip from the recital.  Robin did apologise, he said if he’d known there would be an audience he would have arrived earlier to tune the harp!!!  Still …we were happy !

acrylic art, orion, great nebula, exhibition, acrylic on wood
TITLE: “There is beauty all around; we simply have to open our minds to see”. DESCRIPTION: Based on the Great Nebula in Orion, spirals of gas resemble a gargantuan flower. ……My friend , D particularly wanted a photo of me beside this piece as she said it was a perfect artistic impression of me and my personality ! how lovely XX
Mission Mindfulness

 

My Random Musings

My first solo exhibition…..eek

On Wednesday I finally set up my long-planned (I booked the space a year ago) , first ever solo art exhibition.

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I did what I always do when out of my comfort zone. I wear ALL the colours and blag it. So here I am heading out to the gallery (via the hairdresser) to meet the curator and set up my show.

And here I am with talented illustrator and wonderful friend Amanda Rose , post hair transformation (thank you Sadie of Meraki Salon, Llandrindod Wells ), and somewhat more relaxed , having nearly finished the set up .

So that was Wednesday.

Friday evening was Preview night. The venue, Amgueddfa Sir Faesyfed (Radnorshire Museum), in Llandrindod Wells, county town of Powys.

It’s a weird thing exhibiting your own work , well certainly so the first time, I can’t speak beyond that. The overwhelming feeling for me is embarrassment. I’m an untrained artist, other than some local community lessons both in art and in glass, I didn’t study it at school or university. Part of me thinks I’m going to be unveiled as a fraud or laughed at. Another part of me, the biggest, feels typically British… one does not invite ones friends around and layout their stuff and ask them to publicly say nice things about you and your things “Come on people, praise me!”. My fear that my lovely friends would come along and feel they had to be nice because I needed some positive affirmation (which I did/do) but which might not be genuine. I’m transported back to being a child and handing a picture to a parent with great pride, and as it’s blue tacked to the fridge door them saying “that’s lovely dear, what is it?!”.

all glammed up (all the colours!) ready to face the crowds

But the other feelings I had by Friday evening other than fear and embarrassment, were excitement and pride. I was desperate for Hubby to walk into the room for the first time. He was genuinely emotional and very proud. I knew then that I’d done OK. Actually, I think I knew on Wednesday. The gallery space at the museum is fantastic, well-lit, good proportions, nice feeling. The curator, Will Adams, is fabulous, both in his skills and in his reassuring nature. My friend Sue helped me with pricing and then offered so generously to cater the event with some of her amazing canapes had provided oodles of encouragement and reassurance. Sues catering is second to none. She founded the business Tea ad Sympathy, which continues to offer excellent services in the Wiltshire areas even since she retired to Wales. Her and husband Paul arrived early too with said canapes and it was reassuring to get feedback on the exhibition from them before the arrival of others. Paul is an amazing wildlife artist in his own right (despite what he may say himself), his skills are incredible.

The evening was fabulous. I received so much support and it wasn’t just friends and people I knew . I’m going to leave you with a gallery of images from the night and you can decide for yourself. If you are in Mid Wales between now and 17th March, please do pop in and take a look. If you let me know you’re coming I will try to come and meet you for coffee and cake. The local Herb Garden Cafe is excellent for that sort of thing.

Pictures courtesy of Hubby, the museum, and good friend Craig….

“Out of the Darkness, Comes the Light”

When I began this body of work in 2014 it was as a result of the awe and emotion evoked when I looked out at the huge expanse of the dark night sky from my home in rural Mid Wales. There were so many more points of light and smudges in that darkness than I had ever seen before, having previously lived inner city. I would look up, with wonder at the prospect of the infinite new beginnings and endings; the energy that must be existing, living, dying and flowing beyond beyond.

Then I started looking at images taken from space telescopes and felt a spiritual connection to all that light and energy exploding out of the darkness. These energetic outpourings millions/billions of years ago still shine bright today; still impact on the here and now. For every action, no matter how large or small has an impact. A smile, a frown, a wave, which road we take, which path we walk. Everything makes a difference.

They say that something as a small as the flutter of a butterfly wing may ultimately cause a typhoon halfway around the world…

Bernice Benton – acrylic and stained glass artist

Before moving to Llanwrtyd Wells, Powys, Mid Wales I felt there was ‘an artist within’. It wasn’t until I moved here with my partner and our son in 2005 that I felt I had the opportunity to explore and develop my creativity. We all say that our landscape inspires our art and creativity and it definitely does. By finding the time to connect to the earth and the sky, I also began to tune into my own inner rhythm; was more able to connect to those around me; and to follow my own energy patterns, which has enabled me to find a balance, joy and a vision I did not find before.

I attended some art classes and stained glass sessions, and for those tutors I am truly grateful for their enthusiasm, inspiration and guidance. They gave me the basic tools, confidence and energy to explore and develop. The journey is far from over and for that I not only thank my surroundings, but the amazing people whose souls and personality have guided and enhanced my vision. If you are reading this you are probably one of them.

Every chapter of my life to date has led to this one. Those beyond will evolve from these now. Each moment that has been experienced, guides me through the here and now and forward into the light of my future.

Everything is connected.

My Random Musings
What My Fridge Says

Brilliant blog posts on HonestMum.com

Lucy At Home

Monday Stumble Linky

 

Loonies Unite….

weirdos

This year will mark the first time that an annual Party Conference for a national party has taken place in Mid Wales.  Not only does that make it pretty special, but it also provides a damned fine excuse to partaaay!
screaming lord sutchThe Monster Raving Loony Party, under its founder and original leader,  Screaming Lord Sutch, had a particular affinity with this area: with his unique personality, penchant for rock n roll (remember The Savages?) and a liking for a sociable get together; he opted for regional HQs in his favourite drinking holes.

behind the bar of Neuadd Arms - proof that this is the official HQ of MRLP
behind the bar of Neuadd Arms – proof that this is the official HQ of MRLP
thats quite a codpiece you have there m'lord!!
that’s quite a cod-piece you have there m’lord!!

Within Powys, we have The Neuadd Arms Hotel for Brecknockshire and The Ridgebourne Inn  for Radnorshire.  Radnorshire also has its very own Loony representative, in the form of Lord Offa of the Dykes.

My alter-ego "Lady lily of the Pink"
My alter-ego “Lady Lily the Pink”

And whilst I don’t stand, I remain happy to represent Loonies in the Brecknockshire area under my alter ego of Lady Lily the Pink.

Current leader of the Party, Alan Hope, is bringing the annual party conference to its Radnorshire home, offering all us loonies (both those lauding it out in the open and you closet types 😉 ), the chance to enjoy a weekend with our alter ego(s).

yes, you really are the leader - don't look so surprised!
yes, I really am the leader – don’t look so surprised!

To this end, and until after the Conference I officially declare myself on FB by my alter ego, AKA Lady Lily the Pink.

If, like me, you too have an alter-ego or would like to create one in celebration of all things alternative; then why not go ahead.  If you have FB, start by adding an alternative name.  Then having found your inner Loony, why not join the reveries?  You don’t need to join the OMRLP to join in the fun.  Just come along and explore your Loony side amongst friends, in Llandrindod Wells, 26th – 28th September at the Monster Raving Loony Conference.

There’ll be loads of great live music courtesy of Lord Offa and Habit Formed Records), plenty of beer swilling, joviality, laughter, a spot of Morris Dancing and plenty of alter-egos.  I guarantee a friendly and welcoming weekend.    And… of course… you can witness a full on Cabinet Reshuffle…

 

so come on, release your inner Loon and join us for a PARTY …

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