6:20pm Wednesday 22nd June 2011
Jenny Jones' optimistic town and coastal paintings form a striking contrast with Steven Allan Griffiths' deeply atmospheric still life work in the latest show at Pure Art in Milford Haven.
A self-taught painter, Jenny has lived in Merthyr Tydfil all her life. She previously found an outlet for her creative talents in dressmaking, but following her retirement and the death of her husband she started creating what she calls "colourful contemporary figurative work".
Her work is now keenly collected across Wales and it's easy to understand why: her bright, optimistic paintings depict life at its best - days on the beach, blustery shopping trips to town; sun-drenched park walks.
"In a nutshell I paint people having a nice day," she said. "I love people, I love being among people and my paintings reflect this. I also love trees, the sea, everything that makes you feel great. I've always found in times of trouble that nature can be a great healer."
Jenny's artistic career has gone to strength to strength over the past few years and she now exhibits at some of Wales' leading art galleries, including Pure Art.
"It gives me an enormous sense of pleasure to think that somebody will put a painting of mine on their wall and it will give them pleasure, " she says. "I love to think of people buying the paintings and enjoying them."
While Jenny's paintings are typically full of activity, Steven Allan Griffiths' work has a calmer, meditative quality. Piles of dusty books, mysterious parcels wrapped with string, flawless apples and haunting masquerade masks come together in compositions that are deeply evocative and often slightly surreal.
"I'm fascinated by forms and their relationship with each other," he said. "I'm very concerned with texture and the shape of objects in space. I like to offset them against one another, rough texture against smooth, to create an atmospheric feel."
People often comment on Steve's distinctive, rich use of watercolour, which is the result of a technique he developed himself by experimenting with the medium. That same spirit of exploration drives his work forwards.
"I'm driven by never having produced the definitive picture," he said.
"There are always things you can improve upon and I don't think I've even scratched the surface of possibilities with the subject matter I deal with and the way I explore the medium."
Pure Art's owner, Leslie Crascall, is pleased to be bringing two such different artists together.
"This show will appeal to a wide range of tastes," he said.
"Each of these artists excels in their chosen medium, and their work is so different that each one highlights the other's strengths, from Steve's precision and intensity to Jenny's freer technique and uplifting subject matter."
The exhibition runs until June 27.
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