Art and Creativity in the Wye Valley AONB

It’s said that the idea of landscape was born of art, and the Wye has been inspiring artists and creatives for centuries, from the giants such as Sandby, Turner and Samuel Palmer to today’s professional and amateur artists.  Here are some artists and creatives whose work takes you into the heart of the landscape of the Wye Valley AONB.

Lynda Jones is a Monmouth-based artist whose paintings have a very distinctive sense of place, where half-hidden details are discovered, revealing gorgeous features of the Wye Valley landscape. 

When I go out walking or on journeys (I don’t drive so I get see the scenery) I always have a good look at my surroundings. I think it comes from doing lots of long car journeys as a kid, I used to stare out of the windows all the time and follow maps as we were travelling. 

I don’t normally photograph places that spark my interest but sometimes I’ll take a quick photo to remind me of a certain place, or the look of the place or the light conditions. I occasionally draw outside but I tend to wait til I get back home and immediately get the sketchbooks out and try and replicate what I remember and then follow up by looking at maps.  I’ll look through my sketchbooks and spot something I really want to turn into a painting or drawing. I think this is probably why my work, even though it’s of a certain location, never looks exactly like it, or real – it’s a memory. 

I work in my studio most of the time as I use oil paint and it’s so messy!  I love drawing as well and get really wrapped up in these. I love building the paintings up because I think this gives them the depth of colour and, as I work, shapes can develop randomly with the paint and brush marks and I use these in the painting. 

I always wanted to paint. I knew at school what I wanted to do. An Art Foundation Course at Newport College of Art was followed by a degree in Visual Art at the University of Wales, Aberystwyth. I continued to paint after I left and sold work privately but ended up in a job that I hated for a long time – but it paid the bills and taught me how to run a business! I’ve been self employed as a painter since 2008. @lyndajonesmonmouth