Our newest location, Beddgelert in Snowdonia, opens this weekend and we’ve been looking at one particular feature that you will enjoy when you stay – the views. The great thing is, you will be enjoying them twice…
We commissioned popular local artist Jan Gardner to paint some of the views in and around Beddgelert and we are absolutely delighted with the results. As Jan herself says, “This has been a lovely adventure.”
Jan, whose childhood was spent exploring the mountains and woodlands of North Wales, has a deep, almost spiritual, connection to the area. Her distinctive style draws you into a dreamlike world while capturing the natural energy of this beautiful part of Wales. The views are familiar, yet the colour and depth of Jan’s interpretations presents them in a new light.
Here is a preview of some of the wonderful - and exclusive - artworks that now adorn the cabin walls at Beddgelert.
Beddgelert Forest, 80cm x 60cm
This ethereal scene follows a path deep into the forest next to the Beddgelert cabins. It has a dream-like quality and captures a sense of the freedom that awaits in the never-ending vista. Jan has recently been inspired to match her pictures with lines from poetry and other inspirational sources and her choice for Beddgelert Forest is:
“Looking through, on the edge of the forest, live joyfully, without desire” The Buddha
From Gelert’s Grave towards Yr Aran, 60cm x 60cm
The story of how Beddgelert – or Gelert’s Grave - was named is one of the enduring tales of Welsh folklore. Jan says “I’ve always loved the story, since I was a child. Here, I have tried to capture the beauty and splendour of the landscape in the contemplative mood that the legend evokes.”
Find out more about the legend of Gelert’s Grave in our introduction to Beddgelert.
Across Llyn Cwellyn, 60cm x 60cm
Llyn Cwellyn, a short ride on the Welsh Highland Railway from the Beddgelert cabins, is a scene of natural beauty and stillness. For Jan, it evokes a warm sense of nostalgia “The peace and tranquillity, the ebb and flow of the water’s edge, endless dreaming of special times.”
Towards Llyn Dinas from Sygun, 120cm x 70cm
Jan matches this picture with a Henry David Thoreau quote, “Live in each season as it passes: Breathe the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit, and resign yourself to the influences of each'.
This is one of the largest of her works for Forest Holidays, and Jan says of it, “The joy and spectacle of the hills and views, the river running through, all endless journeys to explore and enjoy.”
Jan’s method for this series of pictures (and indeed for much of her work) was to create free-flowing water colours and soft pastels on location, which she marked up in ink. She then took these sketches back to her studio, where she worked on canvas, building up those extraordinary colours with myriad techniques and materials including acrylics, pen and brush-work. The result is a series of stunning paintings that invite you to fall into them and make you want to explore the landscape for yourself.
Jan has a rare talent for creating colour-drenched scenes that merge dreams with reality and convey something of the energy within nature. Find it more about Jan and her work on her website, http://www.jangardner.com.
Welcome to Beddgelert
Stay with us at Beddgelert this summer and you can explore this landscape and see more of Jan’s work. Our smallest location, Beddgelert in Snowdonia, is an exclusive collection of just 16 cabins. They are set in a forest clearing in the heart of this area of legend and beauty.
Jan has produced seven artworks in all for the Beddgelert series, which are hung in various rooms in your cabin. All the views are within a walk or a short drive of the cabin location and add up to a wonderful sense of the natural beauty of Snowdonia.
We’ll leave the last words to Jan, words that we wholeheartedly agree with:
“Art is an amazing gift. It says so many things to so many people. Welcome to the beauty, welcome to your holidays.”