This is a brief description about a paining study day that I attend today 19/7/08 in the grounds of Nantclwyd y Dre Ruthin.
The painting workshop was advertised in the Daily Post as "Paint in Tranquility." Held in the grounds of Wales' Oldest Timbered House, dating from 1435 - a brief potted history of the venue includes the fact that the first people to live in the house were Goronwy ap Madog a Welsh weaver and his English wife Susanna. Weaving was an important and profitable industry in Ruthin at the time, the Denbigh County council web site have all the house history on their very informative web site. There were a long list of tenants and owners, the house was once a girls school and even a rectory for the parish of Llanfwrog. From 1834 - 1976 it served as lodgings for Judges who visited Ruthin to sit at the assizes. In 1984 the house was sold to the County Council and it has been restored and designed as a museum reflecting the various eras of the house' previous heritage, the ground are truly beautiful and it was in the grounds that today's painting class was held.
I arrived a little before the start time of 11am, the Ruthin sky was the colour of badly laundered hotel linen, a murky cloudy grey but rain was absent, however, it was in the air. Nine disciples gathered to commence our study under the tutelage of Mr. David Lloyd-Griffiths. After a coffee and a very interesting introduction we got under way and thankful for 2 canvas gazebos erected to shelter us from precipitation and strong breezes that had been forecast, were kept dry. BUT, the forecast weather developed into quite ferocious gusts that would register quite highly on the Beaufort scale, in spite of and may be because of the weather we as a class had commenced our drawings and were getting on fairly well - Our teacher was very encouraging and positive and came around to us all individually and he was extremely helpful. as a wheelchair user I can sometimes pose a a bit of a difficult customer because of things like level parking and access to buildings, however I was made extremely welcome and felt totally included throughout the session.
At 1.15 pm we broke for lunch and by this time real Wet Windy North Wales Weather had set in and got a fair old grip and even though calorific intake of massive proportions had been consumed by me at lunch my spirits were beginning to flag. We abandoned the project at about 2pm but with the promise that we could have first refusal on a possible future day course in September. We all said our "Cheerios ! " and went on our separate ways. It was a little more than ironic that the day was advertised as " Paint in Tranquility " because what with uprooted gazebos due to the wind it far from tranquil !