I loved this dreamy bohemian place: my art holiday in south Wales

A portraiture painting break in the Black Mountains reignited the artistic spark that I abandoned as a teenager

Closing the door of my holiday accommodation for the last time felt like leaving my fantasy life behind. For a week I’d been a bohemian artist, drawing and painting daily, mixing with colourful arty types, surrounded by remote and inspiring Black Mountains scenery.

I had just been on my first learning holiday – a five-day course with the Welsh Academy of Art in Cwmdu, a hamlet in the hills a few miles north of Crickhowell, staying in a converted barn next to the tutor’s home in the neighbouring valley. Though I’d been mad keen on art as a teenager, I’d put away my pencils to pursue an academic university course and forgotten about art for decades. Recently I’d had the urge to create again – and though the first picture I’d produced was rubbish, the process was so enjoyable I wanted more.

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