The West Arms

Life in the valley: Rosie Davies

Life in the valley: Rosie Davies art gallery north wales

Inspired by our lush landscapes and the drovers tracks of our valley, Rosie talks about what draws her to the canvas, art gallery in North Wales, and why aspiring artists should pay a visit to our glorious valley this spring. 

Rosie Davies North Wales artist 1

Rosie Davies – North Wales Artist.

Her work is to be seen in her Studio & Gallery in Llanarmon and has been on display in the West Arms Hotel for many years where it captures the imagination and admiration of hotel guests and diners.

Was there a pivotal moment when you decided to follow your path as an artist? 

“I have sketched and painted all my life, though up until I moved over the border to north Wales in 2000, most of my painting was either part of my career as a fashion designer / illustrator or as a relaxing hobby when on holiday.  

“Three years later my career came to an abrupt end when cancer and its consequent treatments meant an enforced retirement, meaning I had more time to paint. Then my artistic skills really came to the fore, painting helped my recovery, gave me a new release of life, and a new purpose.”  

What piece of your artwork would you like to be remembered for? 

“My favourite watercolour from those early days is also my best seller and won me an award of which I am very proud. It was inspired by one of the drovers tracks that thread their way from valley to valley.  

When you aren’t putting your brush to canvas what makes you happy? 

“When I’m not in the studio I can be found, still in creative mode, in the garden. The love of plants and the desire to shape my immediate ‘landscape’ is inherited from my mother and I’m happiest when the fusing of colours used on my studio palette can be repeated in the garden.”

“Living in the Ceiriog valley means I am never without inspiration”

Rosie Davies

You have some works up at the hotel, can you tell us a bit more about these? 

“I have my own gallery in the studio at the Tithe Barn across the road from the West Arms and have had works on display in the Hotel for some years. But when Nicki and Mark started to reinvigorate and update the inn they approached me for works to display local views on all the walls.  

“The West Arms has become my second gallery! There is a mix of originals and prints on display, showing watercolours, oils, acrylics and iPad prints. It’s all for sale which has been very successful with Nicki and Mark promoting my work and I am extremely grateful for their support.”

What inspires you to paint landscapes? and why do you choose the mediums you use? 

“Living in the Ceiriog valley means I am never without inspiration either, the beauty of the hills and valleys that my husband and I often walk are sheer temptation to take out the sketchbook and sit for a while making notations to take back to the studio.  

“My early works were mainly watercolours, this being the medium I mainly used for fashion illustration, it’s a difficult medium in that once pigment is committed to paper there’s little chance for correcting a mistake unlike acrylic or oils, both of which I now paint and enjoy.” 

What are your favourite landscapes in North Wales? 

“The gnarled ancient treelined lanes are just waiting to be pencilled into my sketchbook. We walk the Mawddach estuary a lot, between Dolgellau and Barmouth along the disused railway and I am working with a number of sketches done of the estuary at present, the sandbanks form such lovely shapes depending on whether the tide is flowing in or out. Upland freshwater pools are a joy too, just painting cloud reflections in the clear waters is a delight (particularly if I get it right!). Swiftly after completing watercolour sketches in my notebook, I decide which images will make successful paintings and the decision to paint in acrylic or to use oil on canvas, use watercolours or gouache is down to instinct and available time but I also enjoy using an art application on my iPad and this gives my art a more graphic touch. I have recently also tried egg tempera, and enjoy trying new mediums.” 

Where would you advise passionate painters to paint in North Wales? what advice would you give? 

“North Wales, Snowdonia in particular, sports such dramatic scenery there’s a wealth of inspiration for all those who not only want to paint the flora and fauna but there are also many disused quarries and quarry buildings that are fabulous subjects introducing architecture to the list.” 

Are you running any workshops or exhibitions at art gallery in North Wales this spring? 

“My first exhibition this year will be held in the Glyn Wylfa Caffi in Chirk from April to July. I also host a weekly art group for local amateur enthusiasts and have just completed my first watercolour demonstration and workshop this year. After the problems over the past two years some art groups have completely folded so it was lovely to be asked to host the workshop for Wrexham Art Group, and it is always part of my work to encourage and inspire them to see more of north Wales for themselves and get out there and paint.  

“My latest commission work will be on display as it is particularly relevant to the Ceiriog valley. The deserted and derelict explosives factory buildings hidden within the wooded hillside below the stone quarry of Hendre were a pleasure to paint and several of the works are to be seen within the pages of Gunpowder, Granite and Grit, this is the latest publication on the industrial past of the Ceiriog valley by John Milner and Beryl Williams, this publication now adds book illustration to my repertoire!” 

You can spend the afternoon at a art gallery in North Wales or take your canvas into our famous Beer Garden and have a go at recreating the beautiful views from our hotel of the Berwyn hills.  

Tithe Barn Open Studio art gallery in North Wales is open every 2nd Saturday in the month between 11.00-5.00pm  

Browsers welcome. You can call or email Rosie for private viewings