David Bellamy – The Battle for Llandegley Rhos

When I visited Llandegley Common to see the extent of the construction of the wind turbines I carried out some sketching, especially those delightful corners, as well as the beautiful panoramas of this much-loved landscape, now under severe threat.

    The early morning sunlight lit up the tangled undergrowth at the entrance to the common, a delight for nature-lovers and wildlife. In the ensuing painting I have changed the greens in the main for warmer colours – I do so love the Daniel Smith Transparent Red Oxide, so powerful and transparent. Here I have tried to show the backlit effect of sunlight catching the rims of the trees, and dropping the Transparent Red Oxide into the trunks while they were still wet with the initial green and yellow ochre mixture. Background trees have been rendered with the wet-in-wet method to suffuse them into the distance, even though I could see them in clear outline.

    The situation with the development at Llandegley Rhos has become appalling: the county council were asked by protesters to stop the developers’ access across the common until they had permission to do so, but the council planners have failed at every turn. They are running around like headless chickens, not knowing what to do, to the disgust of residents and some council workers themselves. One lady living nearby has had a dead fox planted in her drive, its tail cut off – a clear threat. They want these turbines up by 31st January so that they can claim millions for producing absolutely nothing. What other industry works in this way?

    The Campaign for the Protection of Rural Wales has put in for a judicial review, but will it be too late? It was in by 6th December, the cut-off date, but with the developers working round the clock it may well be fait accompli before the case comes to court. CPRW is only a small organisation, unlike its sister in England, but has shown far more professionalism than the Welsh Assembly, Powys CC or the developers, who have shown arrogance and bullying tactics all along. This is an absolute shambles as far as planning law and local democracy is concerned: it simply doesn’t exist in Wales.

    Thankfully I shall be spending Christmas in Sussex with my gorgeous little grand-daughter, and I wish you all a very Happy and peaceful Christmas. May you find lots of lovely arty things in your Christmas stockings!!!

Artists and the environment

The main purpose of this blog is to show the delights of being an artist, helping people foster their creative artwork, and to offer tips on painting, all spiced with as much humour as can be crammed in. The reality so far, has revealed a much greater interest by readers in environmental concern for our glorious countryside, with a marvellous response to my post on Stopping Environmental Destruction on 24th May, and my letter in the national press about the appalling way the landscapes of Mid-Wales are being treated by government.

As a landscape artist I have always tried to put back something into the natural environment in which I work, but sadly, most of the time this means highlighting threats which are now increasing in scale. Nature cannot fight back – well, apart from the volcanic sort, I suppose – and neither can it argue its case; it cannot entice politicians with incentives, rewards or bribes. Many artists feel that protesting in this way will badly affect the response to their work, but for me the countryside is far more important than my painting, but see  http://www.artistsagainstwindfarms.co.uk

The photograph shows typical Mid-Wales rolling countryside, the sort that the authorities wish to saturate – and I mean saturate, not just one turbine here and there, not just one wind farm here and there, but obliterate much that is dear to locals and tourists alike, so that all they will see is their hills and mountains through the massive, garish prison bars of the totally out-of-scale wind turbines that are far higher, far more intrusive, and completely alien to anything else in the natural landscape. It will destroy the economy of the region and force people into poverty.

I grew up with a deep love for the countryside. I never questioned that one day it might be lost, that the greed of man, the voracious appetite to control the world by the corporations and their political acolytes might one day destroy our way of life. I have nothing but disgust for the Welsh Assembly and if you feel the same way please tell the first minster:   carwyn.jones@wales.gov.uk

What would the world be, once bereft
Of wet and wildness? Let them be left,
O let them be left, wildness and wet;
Long live the weeds and the wilderness yet.
Gerard Manley Hopkins