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Keith Bowen was born in North Wales in 1950 and began exhibiting at the Royal Academy, London in 1980. The artist works in a variety of mediums and is considered one of the foremost pastel painters in the country. He was elected a member of the Royal Cambrian Academy in 1992. Amongst a host of awards he has twice received the Gold Medal for Fine Art at The Royal National Eisteddfod of Wales and has exhibited extensively receiving justifiable acclaim. He has written and illustrated a number of books including Among the Amish and Snowdon Shepherd, and his work can be seen in the National Library of Wales. He also designed the Royal Mail Stamps for the 1992 Great Britain Winter Scenes issue. The artist uses sketches, pastels and oil on canvas to encapsulate the Welsh landscape and the gritty weather beaten figures that inhabit it.
An utterly compelling and affecting work of art ... As a newcomer, dare I say it incomer, to Gwynedd, a lot of sheep farming lore is new to me. But after ten years in Snowdonia the faces of the men and the sheep are beginning to be familiar. The pastel images of the sheep and sheep-farmers year described here are fascinating and full of life and movement, the landscapes achingly familiar yet strange and sometimes alien and echoingly empty. Most striking of all are the portraits of old men steeped in their cynefin as much as their stock ... and of the rams, eloquent in their silent stares. Often the scenes of men dipping or shearing sheep remind me of Michael Praeds Cornish fishermen aboard their boats or in the Newlyn fish-sheds both artists bestow a simple and very special strength on the pictures they draw. Theres a stillness in the studied movement and the practised shapes that speaks volumes about an endangered but essential way of life. With its introduction by Jan Morris, this is a book to keep and hand on to the next generation, it describes a typical year in the life of a Snowdonia sheep, a season at a time, in both words and pictures. Caroline Oakley It is possible to use this review for promotional purposes, but the following acknowledgment should be included: A review from www.gwales.com, with the permission of the Welsh Books Council. Gellir defnyddio'r adolygiad hwn at bwrpas hybu, ond gofynnir i chi gynnwys y gydnabyddiaeth ganlynol: Adolygiad oddi ar www.gwales.com, trwy ganiatd Cyngor Llyfrau Cymru. -- Welsh Books Council