I thought you might like to know about my unique studio/gallery overlooking the Menai Straits in the picturesque town of Beaumaris. It is situated in the BEST WESTERN Bulkeley Hotel, a superb Georgian hotel built in 1832.
I have been here now for the last 11 years and my gallery overlooks the stunning mountains of Snowdonia. In the summer time, many visitors relax by eating and drinking in the grounds by my window so my self discipline is often put to the test! I also have to keep an eye out for seagulls as they try to steal the left over food on the tables and often disturb the tranquillity by knocking over plates and cups etc.
I like to paint quickly in an impressionistic style in oils and I find that listening to up-tempo rock music by Rush, Led Zeppelin and Deep Purple helps to speed my brushstrokes along. I think most people are surprised not be hearing classical music but that would send me to sleep. They sometimes have funeral receptions next door in the ballroom so I had to turn down the music one day when AC/DC were on playing “ Highway to hell “!
Most visitors enjoy looking around my gallery and often buy greeting cards, prints and sometimes originals. I specialise in beach scenes that often feature my three children and these sell in various galleries around the UK and USA and I am presently looking for a galleries in Australia.
People often call in and see that I use photographs as reference so I often get asked to paint commissions of other people’s children at the seaside. I have also started working together more with the hotel so that art lovers can come and stay for a couple of days learning how to paint and draw with my tuition. These Art Classes have proved very popular with many deciding to return again to learn more about painting whilst enjoying the surroundings of Beaumaris.
Last year, I published my first book titled “ The Anglesey Coastal Path “ with over 200 drawings and paintings of the outstanding coastline of the island. This can be purchased from shops in the area and from Amazon.
I only sell my own work in my gallery and many people ask questions regarding painting techniques etc. One day I was taken aback by a lady, who had only been in the gallery five minutes who told me that I had not painted everything in my gallery. She pointed at a print and said “ Look. You have not painted that one. Lyn Padarn painted that. “ I then had to explain that “Llyn Padarn“ was the title of the print which is Welsh for “Padarn Lake“ and that my signature was to the side of it. (There`s always one!)
The set up here works really well for myself and the hotel. Visitors who call in to see my work then sometimes have a meal or a coffee and I get people calling in who are staying in the hotel or part of a wedding party etc. Are there other artists working from a best Western hotel? Would other hotels benefit from having an artist in residence?
You can view all my paintings, prints and greeting cards on my website www.stevenjonesgallery.com
By Steven Jones