Augustus John and Welsh Mountains

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Exploring Augustus John's paintings of Snowdonia.

Presenter Kim Howells climbs rocks near Tanygrisiau, near Blaenau Ffestiniog, explaining how Welsh artist Augustus John had little time for the people of Wales, calling them ignorant. He was however inspired by its mountains. Having often climbed in the area, Howells understands how this part of Snowdonia attracted the artist. Referring to a painting called 'Welsh Mountains' he shows the exact spot from where it was painted, and the ruins of a cottage nearby where the artist stayed. He explains that John was not interested in portraying the vibrant industry of a working slate quarry that was close by at that time, but was much more interested in the beautiful landscape of Snowdonia.
From: Framing Wales Episode 1
First Broadcast : 24 February 2011

Teachers' notes

Age Group : 7-9,9-11,11-14

Subject : Art & Design

Topic : Art history, Landscapes

Keywords : Augustus John, Snowdonia, Welsh artists, Welsh Mountains,

Notes : Pupils could make sketches from real life of landscape they can see from the school or a brief field trip if possible. Pupils then do colour mixing exploration to get a range of landscape colours. Ask them to paint single landscape colours onto A5 pieces of rough paper and when they have dried, to tear them into strips and experiment with overlaying and underlaying them in order to create a collaged landscape on a piece of heavier A3 paper.


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