Inspired: Alison Bradley

by Webmaster, 19th February 2018

Oil paintings and charcoal drawings by Alison Bradley, Betws-y-Coed, Conwy                                                       

Originally from Nottingham, Alison moved to Wales in 2004. She has run the Alison Bradley Gallery in Betws-y-Coed for 10 years with her partner Jon. They live in the Clwydian hills in north-east Wales and, in 2016, opened a second gallery in Chester.

Above: Riverside Walk, Llangollen

“There are lots of nice water scenes in Llangollen. On this particular day it had been raining, then the sun came out and the clouds drifted away, creating an interesting light effect.”


In the shade

“Some farmers kindly let me watch them lambing one spring and suggested I might like to draw and paint that subject. But I noticed this dog hiding under the trailer. He knew his place out of the way and in the shade. Sometimes you have to be looking all over the place for a subject because it’s easy to miss things when something else is going on.”


Looking south, Snowdon

“This was a really clear day and we actually went up on the train. I thought it would be nice to paint a walker looking out from the top towards Porthmadog. As I painted it I realised its similarity to a famous painting called Wanderer above the Sea of Fog by a 19th century German artist called Caspar David Friedrich. It wasn’t intentional at all, but when you’re interested in art history you can see how images reappear.”


Swallow Falls in spring

“There are so many places in Betws-y-Coed to paint, like Fairy Glen and the Swallow Falls. You don’t have to walk very far to find a picturesque view, and perhaps that’s why an artists’ colony settled there in the 19th century. Swallow Falls are very noisy; the force of the water is amazing. I chose a traditional view, though there are so many angles from which to paint it.”


Snowdon horseshoe in summer

“This is a place I like to keep going back to at various times of year. Each time, the colours and the light are different. It’s sometimes more difficult to see Snowdon clearly in summer than winter. Each day I ventured out, the mountains were under cloud or hazy. Finally, I had the perfect day and climbed up to see the Snowdon Horseshoe with a patchwork of fields in the foreground.”



“I had a wander round my village, and I noticed some cattle were very curious as to who was on the other side of the hedge – I was definitely being watched! I painted this Hereford cow loosely with a neutral background to make the red colouring stand out more vividly. I like to capture the personality of the animals I draw and paint.”



“I observed all the ewes in the barn and even helped one give birth when I was looking for subjects. I did a lot of loose sketches to get an idea of the light and atmosphere in the barn. I also took photos to capture the detail, then put it all together. Lambs are so funny – even the new ones will try and get away to explore.”


Summer reflections, Llyn Gwynant

“This is one of my favourite spots. I’ve painted it a few times, and it was nice to paint it in summer when there are so many shades of green. The lake is a shiny silvery patch in the middle of green hillsides. It’s a magical part of the world and is always changing from one season to the next.”


Scroll down to see more of Alison’s work:


More information

To see more of Alison’s work, and to get in touch, tel: 01690 710080; or visit www.alisonbradley.gallery


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