Sunset over Bala

Watercolour; Bala lake north Wales


Many of the gods and spirits of the Celtic world were represented by birds and animals. Birds were thought to be bearers of divine information, and their calls and flight patterns were commonly interpreted by the druids as insights into the future.
I painted this picture on a winter afternoon near Lake Bala in North Wales, birds were roosting, and they were silhouetted against the early evening sky.
Wales seems to have many myths of drowned cities.
Lake Bala (or Llyn Tegid) is on the edge of Snowdonia, it is the largest natural lake in Wales, and legend has it that there is a lost palace beneath the lake.
The legend says that there was once a cruel king who refused to listen to a harper about an impending flood that was going to kill him and all the other evil people who lived in the valley. One night the harpist was led to safety on a hilltop by a bird - and the next morning, there was a huge lake where the palace had been.