A CEREDIGION artist who took on the challenge of painting the castle in Cardigan now has the painting on display there in an exhibition of his work.

The painting celebrates the significance of the site of the first Eisteddfod in Wales as Ceredigion takes on responsibility for the arrangements for staging the National Eisteddfod of Wales.

Tregaron-born Wynne Melville Jones, who works from his home in the north Ceredigion village of Llandre, is a prolific artist and has produced more than 300 paintings since his retirement in 2011.

A former art student, Wynne returned to the paintbrush after a gap of 40 years working for the Urdd youth organisation before setting up his own public relations business Strata Matrix, the first fully bilingual agency of its kind in Wales, which he ran for over 30 years.

Many of his paintings are of familiar cultural and historical sites in west Wales especially Ceredigion and Pembrokeshire but his work also includes pictures representative of the four corners of Wales

“I paint whatever catches my eyes but it is far more meaningful when I paint a subject which has a story behind it, either because of a personal connection or is inspirational as part of our Welsh heritage and culture,” said Wynne.

“We should be proud of our rich and vibrant cultural heritage especially in our communities in West Wales.

“The painting of Cardigan Castle was triggered during a visit to see the excellent renovation work on the ancient site and during my conversation with the castle director Jac Davies I was inspired by the significance of the castle in Welsh culture and as the site of the first eisteddfod in 1176.

“Now, as we launch our arrangements for the Ceredigion National Eisteddfod in 2020, which is being staged in my home town of Tregaron, it became a driving force for my project to paint the castle in Cardigan as a celebration of this rich tradition” he added.

The exhibition at the castle features over 30 pieces of Wynne’s artwork and an event is being organised at the venue on Friday, November 9 to celebrate the exhibition with a taster meal specially crafted and prepared by resident chef Tom Holden.

The meal will be followed by a Q&A session with the artist. The exhibition is open until Christmas 2018.

A bilingual book of Wynne’s paintings was published recently - Darluniau o Gymru/Paintings of Wales - by Y Lolfa and features over 100 images of his paintings.

Wynne’s paintings can be seen in many parts of Wales but some have travelled much further. His painting of the isolated chapel of Soar-y-Mynydd near Tregaron is in the art collection of former US President Jimmy Carter and his picture of the Elvis Rock at Eisteddfa Gurig is at Elvis’s former home Graceland, Tennessee, now an archive and museum in memory of ‘the King’.

In 1967, Wynne created the Urdd mascot for the youth organisation and the bouncy little character remains a favourite with tens of thousands of young people all over Wales.