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About : Sarah Hawkes - Artist and Illustrator based in Ceiriog Valley, Wrexham

I arrived at painting rather late and began to try in my 50's.  

My Welsh valley home (where I came to bring up my children) has been shaped by agriculture since the Iron Age and perhaps even further back than that.   And, we know, that in the Middle Ages a man from Yorkshire came to the valley to build a woollen mill by Afon Ceiriog at a time when Britain was growing fat and rich from wool.  

The mills have gone, the sheep have stayed. Some of them live outside my kitchen window.  

In spring, I work 6 weeks in the lambing shed so sheep, lambs and their characters are part of who I am now just as the wildlife of the valley is -from the invertebrates that live in every habitat of this lovely landscape, to the birds that live here,  year round or just sometimes inbetween  migrating north or south along with a myriad insects  keeping them company (and often providing a travelling picnic).  

In winter the fieldfares and redwings come south, in summer the martins, swallows and swifts arrive from Africa with hoverflies and butterflies.

There are so many creatures living in or passing through the valley all with individual characters and I love to paint them, especially the sheep and dogs I know best.  I hope you will enjoy their presence and personalities along with me. 

And sometimes here, you'll meet an animal from the plains of Africa, or somewhere else I have travelled, which maybe as familiar to the swallows nesting in my woodshed as the sheep in the field outside my window are to me.


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