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Page last updated at 12:17 GMT, Tuesday, 8 June 2010 13:17 UK
Croesor and Cardiff with Porthmadog artist Elfyn Lewis

Pengelli, a painting by Elfyn Lewis
Oriel Caffi Croesor is a community enterprise in the tiny Snowdonia village

Artist Elfyn Lewis prefers trowels and Squeegees to paintbrushes and palette knives.

Originally from Porthmadog, he's settled in Cardiff, created cover images for Catatonia CDs and won the National Eisteddfod's top art prize.

Now his work is coming back to his home area with an exhibition in the tiny village gallery at Croesor, while another show of his paintings has opened at Cardiff's Oriel Canfas.

"I feel I am in the zone right now," said Elfyn, whose paintings at Oriel Caffi Croesor are inspired by the landscape and people of his childhood.

"I'm so glad they asked me to exhibit there," he said. "Local people might know I'm an artist, but not have seen my work before."

The exhibition title is Bylchau (Spaces), though Elfyn says there's no particular theme to this group of paintings.

I see colours fine, they just might not be the same colours others see
Elfyn Lewis

"It's more about how I paint," he said. "My work is abstract, although people always have a tendency to read something in to pictures, to make sense of what they're seeing.

"There is an element of landscape in them, but I want to take individuals to somewhere else: an experience which is memorable.

"I use Squeegees, trowels, even cassette tapes to drag the paint down, top to bottom or right to left to create different patterns and marks."

Elfyn's 25-year career has won him many accolades, including the gold medal for fine art at last year's National Eisteddfod in Bala. This is despite being colour blind, or having 'dyslexia of tones', as he describes it.

Carno, a painting by Elfyn Lewis
Elfyn took the art foundation course at Bangor's Coleg Menai

"I confuse greens and browns, reds and oranges or purples and blues," he explained. "I see colours fine, they just might not be the same colours others see."

But this only pushes him to be more creative and confident in his own personal sense of colour.

"When people are said to have a disability, that's the limitations others are placing on them, or that they might be placing on themselves," he said.

"I hate it when, say, children are pigeon-holed about their ability. I just want them to enjoy playing with paint."

Bylchau is at Oriel Caffi Croesor, Penrhyndeudraeth, from 13 June to 18 July. Gestiana is at Oriel Canfas, Cardiff, until 3 July.


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