THE tables have been turned on a St Davids portrait painter.
Grahame Hurd-Wood featured in the Western Telegraph last summer when he announced an ambitious project to paint each and every one of the 1,800 people living in St Davids.
He believes he can do it in about five years painting one portrait a day, and hopes to exhibit the ‘City of Portraits’ collection in St Davids once complete.
The project was inspired some 14 years ago, when Grahame began painting residents in St Davids, the first being fellow artist Meredith Baker.
Grahame said: “I got to 100 portraits without really concentrating. After that I thought I could paint 1,000, and after that why not the entire population of St Davids?”
He added: “It’s a very diverse community, which together with the beautiful landscape has a mixture of people that really works, from the young surfing brigade to the local Welsh speakers.”
On March 17, Grahame was invited to be the subject of a workshop held by the St Davids and Solva Art Group.
He sat alongside local Councillor Malcolm Gray, who also has a special interest in portraits, as his family hosted Southampton artist Herbert Colborne Oakley, who left a fascinating collection of his work to the family, including portraits of local characters.
The St Davids and Solva Art Group has around 25 amateur artists who meet every Monday in Solva. They each work in their preferred medium and share experience, expertise and benefit from mutual support.
When visiting artist Janis Fry made a request to invite a sitter with character, organiser Lett Harris said: “Two local gentlemen came immediately to mind, partly for their personal interest in portraits, but also for their depth of character and interesting faces.
“Both Grahame and Malcolm have contributed greatly to their locality, and their Irish connection with St Patrick's Day made it feel as if it was meant to be.”
The art group will be exhibiting at Solva Memorial Hall for two weeks over Easter, starting from April 17. A further exhibition is planned for St David's City Hall during the first two weeks of August. For more information visit www.stdavidsartgroup.co.uk