A TRIO of prizewinning aviation artists are flying into town next week for a joint exhibition at the White Lion Street Gallery in Tenby.

Tim Jenkins, John Wynne Hopkins and Ieuan Layton Matthews have a lot in common since they are all based in south west Wales, have a long standing practice in painting, and each reaching a level of skill that has been recognised by awards and prizes from prestigious bodies.

Given that they share so many interests it was natural that they should become friends.

Tim Jenkins, Pembrokeshire born, now based in Llanelli is a graduate of UWIST in Cardiff and has always had a passion for painting and drawing. This, combined with hearing stories of family members who served as aircrew in WW2, led to him joining the Air Training Corps and later becoming a glider pilot himself.

In Llanelli Art Society he won several awards, sold his work and met Ieuan who encouraged him to enter a painting in the Aviation Painting of the Year Exhibition. The painting sold and now Tim shows regularly there, sells consistently and has gained many commissions.

Ieuan Layton Matthews' south Wales upbringing was followed by tuition at Bath Academy of Art under Howard Hodgkin and at London University Institute of Education. A teaching career followed in schools, university and for 20 years he worked with young people on remand.

Ieuan has produced an eclectic mix of work for this exhibition. He portrays with technical accuracy the machinery working on the Loughor Bridge project, gentler pastoral scenes, close up beach pebbles and rock pools which verge on abstraction and a series of lively dog portraits.

John Wynne Hopkins, based in Gowerton, is well known for his landscape, military aviation and wildlife painting. Like the other two artists he was educated in Wales, even though he was brought up in Northern Rhodesia. He taught in schools in England, and later as head of art at a senior special school in Wales.

During a large gap in between he returned to Africa to paint and served in the Rhodesian African Rifles, an elite airborne unit for whom he completed his fist military commission. Numerous painting commissions for the Army Air Corps and various British army regiments followed with some entailing travelling to a number of trouble ‘hotspots’ in the world including Northern Ireland, Bosnia and Kosovo.

The exhibition “Down to earth” opens on May 1 and continues until May 28. Everyone is invited to come and meet the artists on Saturday, May 3 from 2 to 4pm.