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Gwyn Roberts

Gwyn Roberts comes from the Conwy Valley in Snowdonia.  He studied Fine Art at Norwich School of Art, before returning to Wales to do a postgraduate course at Cardiff College of Art.  He taught Art in the Cardiff area for over thirty years.
Since becoming a full time artist, Gwyn Roberts’ work has been in great demand and over the last few years he has had sell out shows in Wales and England.
He has received high praise from both art critics and enthusiastic collectors.  His work has featured in Country Life and a number of mountaineering and art magazines, and on television.
His striking paintings, and use of thick paint, capture the dramatic nature of the Welsh landscape and reflect his love for Wales.

Gwyn Roberts - Bywgraffaid

Mae Gwyn Roberts yn enedigol o Ddyffryn Conwy yn Eryri.  Ers ei arddegau, mae wedi mwynhau crwydro  Cymru, o fynyddoedd Eryri  i arfordir y de a’r gorllewin.
Astudiodd Gelfyddyd Gain yn Ysgol Gelf Norwich, cyn dychwelyd i Gymru i wneud cwrs ôl-radd yng Ngholeg Celf Caerdydd.  Dysgodd Gelf yn ardal Caerdydd am dros ddeg mlynedd ar hugain.
Ers iddo weithio fel artist llawn amser, mae wedi derbyn cryn ganmoliaeth yng Nghymru a Lloegr, a dros y blynyddoedd diwethaf mae wedi cael sawl arddangosfa un dyn hynod o lwyddiannus. 
Mae ei waith wedi cael ei arddangos mewn nifer o gylchgronau, o Country Life i rai celf a mynydda, ac mae wedi ymddangos ar sawl rhaglen deledu.
Mae ei ddarluniau yn llawn egni a drama, ac yn adlewyrchu prydferthwch tirwedd Cymru a’i gariad at ei wlad.  

 

Western Mail Saturday Magazine Article: 15 March 2014 by Jenny White
Gwyn Roberts Solo Show 15 March - 5 April 2014

Gwyn Roberts’ latest exhibition at Swansea’s Attic Gallery may include views of places as diverse as Cornwall and Norway, but the dramatic beauty of Wales remains his favourite subject, as Jenny White discovered.

Over the past few years Gwyn Roberts has established himself within and beyond Wales as a powerful portrayer of Wales’ dramatic mountains and coastline. Previously known for his meticulous artwork, he switched to painting with a palette knife after injuring his thumb, and the rest is history. What could have been a handicap turned into the greatest opportunity of his career.
Roberts’ style is instantly recognisable, not only because of his firm, blocky strokes with the palette knife but also because of his knack for intensifying the dramatic contrasts of blues and greys, browns and greens in the Welsh landscape. These are not bland pictures to prettify a room; they have the power to stop you in your tracks with an earthy blast of craggy beauty.
“The more dramatic the better,” says Roberts. “If it’s got a bit of drama and I can get a strong composition I can get out of it then I’m happy. I’m not really into a flat countryside with fields; I prefer to paint something that’s got dramatic cliffs or structures that suit my way of painting.”
Roberts is a keen walker, and as a result he is able to take the viewer deep into the landscape, capturing dizzying views of hidden lakes, secluded coves and high mountain paths. His latest exhibition – now on show at Swansea’s Attic Gallery – includes views of north and west Wales but also of Scotland, the Lake District, Cornwall and Norway.
Best known for his paintings of Wales, Roberts has enjoyed branching out into other scenery.
“It’s so nice to see something fresh and new – things I can’t wait to get back and put on canvas,” he says. “Even when I go back to my familiar haunts, I am always looking for different aspects or different views. Being out there is such good fun; it inspires me to come back and start painting.”
“Although I’ve travelled farther afield for this show, I’ve always been drawn back to the Welsh landscape because I realise how amazing it is,” he adds. “I’ve seen some spectacular landscapes but there is something about the Welsh landscape. There is such a lot going on in such a small area and such a lot of drama and inspiring views that I keep on getting drawn back to it.”
Born and brought up in the Conwy Valley, Roberts has strong family connections with north Wales. One of the paintings in his new show - Tryfan from Glyder Fach – includes a distant glimpse of the highest farm in Wales, which belongs to his relatives. Although based in Cardiff, he makes frequent painting and walking trips back to the area.
“I’ve been going out walking more than I have for a number of years,” he says. “I’ve been going to North Wales and spending time in one of my favourite areas, which is the Ogwyn/Glyderau area of Snowdonia. I’m very familiar with it and it’s a wonderful place to spend time.
“I love creating a picture in layers, so you feel you could be drawn into the distance, maybe with a hint of a path there that draws your eyes. The path gives a suggestion of man – the way he tracks his way across the countryside. Even on dramatic rocks there’s a hint of man.”
While Roberts has typically favoured a tonal approach using relatively limited palette, some of his latest paintings are remarkably colourful – a result, he says, of time well spent last summer.
“I realised there’s a lot more colour in them than before, maybe because last summer was actually quite nice, especially on the coast where there was so much sun and yellow sand.”
Despite these changes, his approach continues to be expansive and bold.
“I really like putting dramatic marks down rather than being too precious in a small area. If you try to put too much in a small painting, you lose the directness and the flow that you get from moving paint across the canvas. On a large scale you can put it in and it doesn’t look crowded and crammed in.”
One of several significant Welsh painters to have embraced the palette knife, Roberts believes the tool has a special place in Welsh art.
“I think it lends itself to the nature of the Welsh landscape,” he says. “When you look at the Welsh crags and rocks they are cubist in their nature, and dramatic. If you put a mark down with a palette knife it does give you a feel of that. It is particularly Welsh in many ways; on the whole, Welsh art is quite strong and powerful, like the landscape.”
Roberts’ latest exhibition makes the point well; small wonder that for all his travels, he keeps coming back to the landscape of home.

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