Books about Pembrokeshire Wales

Mural Magic: July 2020

At the end of 2018, we discovered the wonderful work of Nina Camplin, an artist who had brightened up the street view in local towns such as Pembroke Dock, Milford Haven and Haverfordwest. She painted murals of animals in places that were connected to those animals: the dog of a shop owner or customer for example. Doing work for the VC Gallery, art in public places, visible to all. She posted pictures on her website and Facebook page that combined animal and mural. I found her work lifelike and moving.

We contacted her to ask whether she would want to paint Rosie, our Jack Russell. She came to meet us and have a look at the site, then said she would as soon as she had a gap in her diary and the weather would be good. In April 2019 she came out and it was a tremendous joy and privilege to see her at work.

She painted Rosie on the outer wall of our table tennis room. You see this wall as soon as you come onto our premises. The first few weeks we, and our visitors, really thought Rosie was sitting in front of that wall! Dutch photographer Johan van de Watering's beagle (see slide show at the bottom of this page which auto-runs from the last photograph down, photo © Johan van de Watering) may have thought that as well, or maybe he just thought  'Nice dog but why doesn't it want to talk to me?' ....

Rosie double hand.jpg

A few weeks ago Nina came back to paint another set of murals, this time of our two cats: Vlekje (Dutch for Spotty) who died recently and our remaining cat Griselle (French for ‘she who is gray’). As she also teaches art for the VC Gallery, she agreed with them to make this her first ever outdoor mural painting session to be  live-streamed on Facebook. The weather was good and all went really well. Nina is not only a lovely woman, but also a very gifted artist - again, we felt privileged to see her at work.

The result is magnificent we think; We were especially taken with the creation of the 3D tail of Vlekje. We have added a slide show at the bottom to show the process of painting these murals. Nina also posted two videos of the painting process on Youtube: Cat Mural 1 - Griselle & Cat Mural 2 - Vlekje. Go and watch them to see how she does it!

Vlekje 675.jpg

Cats being what they are, never staying where you want them to, needless to say, it was impossible to get Griselle to pose next to ‘her’ mural, but something remarkable happened .... When Griselle spotted the two murals for the first time, she stopped in her tracks. She looked at them and made the same noise as when she spots a bird. She hissed and sort of growled, and did not want to pass that way, probably thinking about Vlekje “I thought you were gone?” and of her own image “what is this strange cat doing here?”. Even now, after a few weeks, she will not voluntarily pass the murals. She looks at them warily. I have to pick her up and carry her past them (or put her on top of the wall).

If Griselle’s behaviour isn’t the ultimate accolade for Nina’s craftsmanship and artistry, I do not know what is.

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After having admired the cats, one of our guests said “I guess the next mural should be chickens”. Who knows? We’re already eyeing up potential walls ....

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Rosemoor Country Cottages and Nature Reserve
Walwyn's Castle, Haverfordwest, Pembrokeshire, South West Wales, UK SA62 3ED

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