The first go at creating this picture was started around 1996. I got well into a piece on board, roughly A2 size that I ended up leaving and trashing around the 2000 mark. I don’t have photos of it to share, which is a shame as I was quite fond off how it was starting to look at the time. Jump forward to 2016 and my decision to devote a lot more of my time towards making art again and I took the decision to have another crack at the image.
Around 2018 I began the new version in earnest, applying some new techniques to help me make the image. I started painting, but then other ways of working developed in parallel, and I parked it once more, less than a quarter finished. My technique and interests also moved on in the subsequent time, and painting was less important than doing the digital work that was being well received by both galleries and my collectors.
It became harder to find my way back, but the last couple of months things have changed, and I wanted to revisit and finally complete the pieces I had begun in 2018 (this and Meg Of The Rocks) and so I began again, slowly and surely doing little by little towards finishing the piece. Finally, I’ve got there, the piece is completed, and Guto’s Last Race is done.
It’s on a piece of heavy duty watercolour paper, which is A3 in size, and completed using acrylic paints and varnished. I made a number of changes along the way, reworking some parts from the 2018 version quite considerably, and leaving other parts as they stood. I’m pleased with how it has turned out, even though it is very different to my more recent work, and represents the end of an old way of working going forward, and dare I say it, the end of style that harked back to earlier pieces in my catalogue.
As I worked, I mused on how I would have approached this now, and it would have been a remarkably different looking piece to this. The drama, lighting and story would have been the same, but the composition would be entirely different. But there we go, the itch has now been scratched, and the piece is finally done. I may revisit the story of Guto Nyth Bran in the future, but for now, that’s the end of the race.