The region that stands astride the border between England and Wales is known as the Welsh Marches and has always been a favourite of mine. It contains few big towns and is archetypal English farmland with its rolling hills, private valleys and charming villages. In the south is the River Wye where the town of Hay-on-Wye straddles the border. Close by is Merbach Hill which has wonderful views south towards Hay Bluff and the Brecon Beacons while to the north is the undulating country of Offa’s Dyke. Its great walking country with plenty of country pubs to rest your feet.
A gifted artist and good friend called Ron Moore lives near here. We were at college in Birmingham together and despite going our different ways through our working life, we now keep in touch regularly and I always look forward to seeing his latest painting or photography. I found out this photo of small Hawthorne trees only yesterday and it was taken on our last visit to see Ron and Penny. It was a surprise, then, this morning to receive a phone call from Ron who was passing the time while waiting for his car to get new tyres fitted in a Hay garage.
So I thought perhaps it was the opportunity to show this picture alongside some of Ron’s paintings and photographs. Ron took many photos in and around Birmingham in the 1960s and also collected views from the city as well. He has used these to inform a very successful series of paintings of urban life and city streets. More recently he has started a series of painterly landscapes that are selling well in the galleries of Herefordshire as well as further afield. Below are just a few examples of his work.