Gaabriel Becket


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Blogs: 288
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youtube videos: 43
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Category: Art

Today is St Dwywen's Day in 2020, the Welsh patron saint of friendship and love, you can find out more about her here:   

And send someone you love a free St Dwywen's ecard, funny or serious, here -


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If you're on the east coast, Welsh painter Catrin Phillips Perih has a show in Dobb's Ferry, NY.  The opening is 27 October 2019 and her work will be there through 8 December.  

poster for Across the Pond, paintings by Catrin Perih, Donald Gallery 343 Broadway<br>
Dobbs Ferry, New York

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I’ve only ever heard it within the township of Laugharne.

Mother Bear is an exclamation of surprise, similar to the phrase Gordon Bennett! or Cor Blimey!

It began with the chance discovery of a memorial stone in churchyard, which led to finding the diary of Thomas Skeel, born 1781, a farm labourer from Hangman Street, Laugharne. The diary told the story of an ordinary man caught up in extraordinary events. His story deserved to be retold. So came the birth of Mother Bear Community Theatre Group , mixing storytelling with music to relive the history of those that have lived in the unique township on the banks of the River Taf. War, love, lust, murder and more are recalled in the tales from Agincourt to The Second World War. The treatments are presented as pop up theatre.

In this video John tells the story behind his research into the life of Thomas Skeel , landlord of the Ship Inn in Laugharne and relates some of the stories of his young life.

In Part 2, we find out about his adventures in Spain and Portugal, fighting the armies of Napoleon and being wounded at the Battle of Tallavera.

Mother Bear still performs regularly. They are looking to perform a 19th century arsenic murder mystery very soon! In the meantime Mother Bear produces these videos for Americymru – we got a few to go!!!

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The Big Spring Beach Clean, Surfers Against Sewage
Freshwater West, Pembrokeshire
April 7th 2019

It’s World Oceans Day, June 8th, and people around our world celebrate and honour the ocean, which connects us all.


To celebrate we would like to release a video of the Big Spring Beach Clean . It is the UK’s biggest coordinated beach clean activity, which has brought together over 150,000 volunteers over the last five years, contributing an incredible two million hours of volunteer time to protecting and conserving our beaches for everyone to enjoy. These vital community events not only remove dangerous plastics from our unique and precious coastal environment, but also indicate where action needs to be taken further upstream to reduce the leakage into and impact of plastics on our ocean and beaches.

Jaz Strelecki has been a representative for Surfers Against Sewage since she was nine years old. Jaz also helps mum, Anna, run her iSea Surfwear clothing business in Amroth. Jaz is the surfer of the family and has always had a passion for spreading the word about environmental issues and especially beach cleaning.

As lots of groups help to clean Freshwater West already Jaz and Anna decided to focus on the teeny tiny micro plastics and nurdles/mermaids tears, to see how bad it really is on this lovely beach.

Mermaids’ tears, also known as resin pellets or nurdles, are used in the manufacturing of plastic products. S.A.S. identify these plastic pellets as a major source of pollution on Welsh beaches, and their undercover work in plastic factories have identified a route from plastic factories to the beach, via the storm drains.

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Bryn Seion Welsh Church   SUNDAY, 23 JUNE 2019

                       84th Annual   Gymanfa Ganu   (Welsh Singing Festival)

Come and join your fellow Cymru in an American-Welsh tradition, singing together in Welsh at the oldest Welsh church west of the Rockies for the 84th year of this event.  Bilingual song books are available with phonetic pronunctions of Welsh language lyrics.  This is a lovely family event in the country, limited seating is available inside the church building itself and more outside on the lawn.  The Gymanfa is conducted in two sessions, one in the morning and one in the afternoon with a wonderful Welsh high tea served in between.  

Located at 22132 S. Kamrath Road, Beavercreek, Oregon 97004

Celebrating 135 years in Beavercreek, Oregon

Whether you have Welsh heritage or not, you will be very welcome at this cultural event.


                   Enjoy lunch at one of several restaurants nearby.


                 Eryl Aynsley, director; Geneva Cook, organist;

                 with musical guests, The Phoenix Choir.

4:00 PM:   The ladies of the church will serve a   bountiful Welsh Tea

                 ($12.00 adults, $5.00 for children under 18)


                 Jamie Webster, director; Geneva Cook, organist.

For more information, e mail:  brynseionwelshchurch@gmail. com,

Mail: Bryn Seion Welsh Church, PO Box 484, Beavercreek, OR 97004

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File:Blodwen, album cover.jpg PRESS RELEASE: January 2018 In May/June of 2019, NOVA Center for the Performing Arts, in a co-production with Rimrock Opera Foundation in Billings, Montana, USA, will perform Joseph Parry’s Blodwen (the first Welsh opera) – yn Gymraeg! [in Welsh], with English supertitles. Tickets will go on sale in September 2018 – seating is limited so the early bird …

This will be the first complete stage production of Blodwen in America and will use Dulais Rhys’s 2015 chamber version of the orchestration. For more information:  

 DATGANIAD I’R WASG a GALWAD I GANTORION: Ionawr 2018 Yn ystod Mai/Mehefin 2019, bydd NOVA Center for the Performing Arts, mewn cyd-gynhrychiad gyda Rimrock Opera Foundation yn Billings, Montana, UDA yn perfformio Blodwen Joseph Parry (yr opera Gymraeg gyntaf) – yn Gymraeg! - gydag uwchdeitlau Saesneg. Bydd tocynnau ar werth o fis Medi 2018 – mae nifer y seddau’n gyfyng, felly’r cyntaf i’r felin … Dyma fydd y cynhyrchiad llwyfan cyfan cyntaf o Blodwen yn America, gan ddefnyddio fersiwn siambr 2015 Dulais Rhys o’r gerddorfaeth. Am fwy o wybodaeth: GALWAD I GANTORION: mae Rimrock yn gwahodd cantorion proffesiynol o Gymru sydd â diddordeb mewn ymgeisio am Brif Ran* i anfon portffolio proffesiynol at y Llywydd: Ms Lucinda Butler, 4964 Nez Perce Lookout, Billings, Montana 59106, UDA neu Disgwylir i’r unawdwyr gynorthwyo cantorion Rimrock gyda chanu yn Gymraeg  * Mae croeso i chi anfon y wybodaeth hon ymlaen at unrhyw un fyddai â diddordeb.

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Dim Gobaith Caneri

By gaabi, 2017-11-29

I read a great idiom this morning, "dim Gobaith Caneri," which is Welsh and in English is "no hope like a canary." This came from a bio of the judge in the AmeriCymru short story competition, poet Mike Jenkins , and was the title of an exhibit he did with painter Gustaf Payne , photo is below.

I read this as "no hope like a canary," like a crazy, fragile, even illusory hope that you'd just shrug your shoulders over and leap before looking anyway, without regard to consequences and on the chance it would be ok. Ceri, read it as "no hope, like a canary," as in no hope at all.  Another definition of "dim Gobaith" I found was "no chance."

When I read Mike's poem, which is here on his website, I saw he meant it the same way Ceri did and I thought this was both an interesting illustration of the differences between us as individuals and of the two similar but different cultures that made us.

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Shipwreck at Morning Light  Cefn Sidan Pembrey.jpg

Shipwreck at Morning Light – Cefn Sidan, Pembrey from the Vyvyan collection

vyvyan.jpg AmeriCymru: How would you describe your work? If you had to choose a genre, what would it be?

Vyvyan: It is a well known fact that Wales is a truly beautiful country with majestic countryside and breathtaking coastline. Most of my work is based on seascapes although from time-to-time, an occasional countryside scene will capture my imagination. Living by the sea with a splendid view overlooking the Gower Peninsula, painting coastline scenes provides me with the “passion" to paint.

The overall style of my work can be described as contemporary and having practised as a graphic designer, my profession has provided me with a strong structural approach to my work especially with the use of colour, composition and technique.

AmeriCymru: How did you evolve as a visual artist, did you have particular influences or was it just more organic? What was your education as an artist?

From very early days, I always knew that art would play an important part in my life. As my education progressed, art became my favourite subject in school and I was extremely fortunate to have the support of my art teacher Wally Jones, who encouraged me to develop my interest in this subject.

Between 1966 & 1968, I studied graphics and fine art at Llanelli School of Art. My fine art lecturer was the well known Welsh artist, Tom Nash. He was greatly influenced by the renowned Welsh artist, Ceri Richards and on numerous occasions, Tom Nash demonstrated the style and contemporary approach Ceri Richards adopted to his work. This obviously left a lasting impression on me and to some degree, has had some influence in the way I approach my work.

During the two year period at the Llanelli School of Art, I also participated in a graphic design course which I enjoyed immensely and found that both these courses provided a perfect blend which has remained with me to this day. My lecturer in graphic design Howie Jones provided me with the platform to develop a keen awareness in graphic design.

Following my Pre-Dip course at Llanelli School Art, I went on to study graphic design at Ravensbourne College of Art & Design between 1998 - 1971. I qualified with a First Class Honours and then my career in graphic design commenced with a London Advertising Agency.

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AmeriCymru: What media do you work in? Do you mix your own paints and pigments? What do you use?

Vyvyan: I tend to work mostly with oil paints as I generally paint with a palette knife on a large format canvas. Apart from the odd watercolour and acrylic, the majority of my work tends to be in the medium of oils and on average, I use a maximum of six colours to achieve the tone of colour for a painting and I never use black paint. Instead, I always use Pain's Grey

AmeriCymru: How do you usually choose your subjects, is it planned - “today a seascape” - or more that you see something and it grows on you or you have to recreate it?

Vyvyan: My work ethic allows me to choose a suitable subject matter weeks in advance. Once I have a subject matter in mind, the planning of when to paint will largely depend on my work commitments with graphic design commissions. When a slot in my programme of work is made available, I make the most of the balance between fine art and graphics.

AmeriCymru: What is your process following the choice of subject?

Vyvyan: Planning is a crucial part of the preparation. Choosing the format (landscape or portrait), composition and styling is the first step and once I set my mind on the approach to take, I am then eager to start. If an opening from my graphics work allows me the time to commence with a painting, I’m in paradise!

AmeriCymru: Do you work mostly in a studio or en plein or both?

Vyvyan: Most of my work is undertaken in my studio as I find everything is at hand and I’m in control of the environment. Having practised as a graphic designer for nearly 40 years, I’m used to working in a comfortable studio environment. When weather permits, I go on location with my camera to photograph scenes that I can use as a reference. However, it has been my ambition to paint on location in Italy one day!

AmeriCymru: (If both) Which do you prefer and why?

Vyvyan: Given the choice, a studio environment would be my preference from the simple reason that I would be in control of the environment to work in.

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AmeriCymru: What would be your ideal creating space and what would be in it?

Vyvyan: I am fortunate to have two studios - one for graphics and one for fine art. In both cases, they are bespoke and have been set up specifically for the type of work to be carried out. My graphics studio focuses on the right environment for computer work - dust-free and well structured interior - contains large format Apple Macs, library and reception area whilst the fine art studio has more of a care-free surrounding with modular display units, large flat white table, working desk and drawing board, paint cabinet, two large easels and daylight freestanding lamps.

AmeriCymru: In the studio, what do you use for visual reference?

Vyvyan: With recent advancement in technology, I now work mainly from photographs taken of various scenes and I use my iPad as a working tool to enable me to scale and view images as a whole or in sections. This is a perfect reference tool for a studio environment.

AmeriCymru: Do you have a favorite work that you’ve created and why is it your favorite?

Vyvyan: My favourite piece of work is titled “Shipwreck at Morning Light” (see attached). It is a large format oil painting (60in x 29in) painted with a palette knife of a well known shipwreck of “SV Paul" which beached during a storm in the 19th Century at Cefn Sidan, Carmarthenshire. The skeletal remains of the wreck emerge from the sand when the tide retreats and at certain conditions, the striking silhouette of the wreck forms a very powerful image. This is a scene which I have a very personal connection since my youth. The original which had been on display at our local Golf Club for a year has now found place in our home - as a special gift to my wife! Large format limited edition canvas print of this painting and one other have been purchased by the Golf Club and are now proudly displayed in the restaurant area.

AmeriCymru: Do you teach or collaborate on projects with other artists?

Vyvyan: As my design business his still an active profession, I haven’t had much free-time to be involved in teaching or collaborating with other artists. However, I am fully aware of the need to do so and it is one of my ambitions to form an Art Centre whereby local people can be encouraged to show their talent. I have met a number of local people since I moved to this area who are interested in art and with some support, I am sure that this dream of mine can become a reality.

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AmeriCymru: If you had advice for a young artist, what would it be?

Vyvyan: Based on experience, I would advise young artist to find a way in developing their talent. Whether it is through education, visiting art galleries, seminars, art is a special gift and one must capitalise and built on this opportunity and find the passion to move forward.

AmeriCymru: Do you paint commissioned pieces as well?

Vyvyan: I have produced some portrait work but I tend to stick to my personal plan. There is so much more painting I want to do which leaves very little time for special commission pieces to be undertaken.

AmeriCymru: Where can people see your work?

Vyvyan: For the majority of people, my work can be viewed on my personal website I have exhibited in galleries in London and Cardiff but I have found a niche to display my work in an environment that complements my style of paintings. Currently, I have furnished two of the top restaurants in West Wales, the Coast restaurant in Coppet Hall, Saundersfoot, Pembrokeshire and the Beach House restaurant, Oxwich Bay, Gower. In addition, I have a selection of work displayed at the luxury hotel, The Grove of Narberth in Pembrokeshire.

AmeriCymru: Any final message for the readers and members of AmeriCymru?

Vyvyan: Readers and members of AmeriCymru can hopefully relate to some of my work. Through some of my paintings of landscapes and seascapes of Wales, “Hiraeth” can fill some of people with national pride for their homeland and “a longing to be where one’s true spirit lives - a place and belonging."

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