October Residency: Lois Hopwood

October Residency:  Lois Hopwood
  • Monday 14th October -

October Residency: Lois Hopwood

For the month of October we have given the Bleddfa gallery to artists, for one week each, as an alternative space to work.  We think that this will be a great way to keep the creative flame flickering in the hills for a while longer as our 2019 gallery events draw to a close.

The gallery space offers a large, warm studio, free of clutter, to five writers and visual artists.  Perhaps it provides a different light, or the opportunity to work bigger, to start something new, or simply a different creative bolt-hole. However it works we are delighted to be nurturing the creative spirit for a little while longer this year.

First up is Lois Hopwood.  Lois's visual art practice centres around drawing and painting the landscape that surrounds her.  

Seven Days in Bleddfa (7th - 13th Oct).

Day One. 

If I can create the right parameters within which to work I can work almost anywhere.  It’s just a question of remembering 'the rules’.  So when I got the chance to work at Bleddfa I enacted my own series of rules:
Rule one: Go in with a large mug of coffee and put the music on. *1
Rule two: Stay and work for two hours without interruption.
Rule three (pinched from David Nash): Do what I know how to do for three consecutive days, after which something will begin to surface.

I like to work through drawing first; using my sketch book I project small studies on to large sheets of lining paper tacked to the walls. It’s quite a nerdy practice, using fine drawing pens, but it has a process and is very therapeutic. I have done three big landscape drawings over the past week and because I have a bit of time on my own with no exhibition looming, I can allow the other pieces to evolve as a cross pollination between techniques and materials.  

*1 music that goes with each body of work, which I listen to on repeat.  Prophesy: Nitin Sawney.

Day Four.

Today I moved from large scale drawings to a series of 'postcards from Bleddfa'.  The Postcards are about setting different horizon lines. I used rollers instead of brushes and printing inks on panels of ply.

Day Five.

I love living here but it is very green.
Anyone who lives on the borders, especially in Radnorshire, will agree that the base colour that underpins everything, even the light, is every shade of green.  I did a lot of little green pictures yesterday. So this morning I posted one of my landscape pictures on instagram, but in black and white. Lightbulb moment.  I can be a bit like Daniel Crawshaw, my paintings of landscapes don’t have to be green, they can be black and white too. 
Visit from Jo King and Susie Cawley.  We sat outside in the field in the light drizzle with Susie drawing the old farm buildings opposite Bleddfa. 

Day Six.

Visit from Rhiannon Hooson drawing ink lines together, a bit like the pages of writing you do as a child before you can write. We visited the cold old church, talked about wolves and learning Welsh. 

Now I am clearing up, taking away a lot of work on paper and hanging a few pieces on the walls as an exhibition before leaving.  It’s interesting to see what makes the cut and tells the story.


In addition to her own practice, Lois runs Castle Hill Arts with Tony Hall, offering resources and teaching in drawing, painting, ceramics and sculpture.