(portrait of Keith Andrew by the late Sir Kyffin Williams )
"In 1975 I saw a small exhibition in Blackheath, London which planted the seed of my inspiration, and it is still growing.
It was an exhibition of eighteenth century watercolours including works by Samuel Palmer, David Cox, Turner and particularly John Varley. The show made a lasting impression on me.
From that moment I studied their eighteenth century technique and formulated my contemporary vision.
Later that year I moved to Wales bringing with me expectations of the mountains and landscapes formed by these artists. Unlike them I stayed."
An extract from an Introduction to a one man show held at Oriel Ynys Mon written by the late Sir Kyffin Williams OBE, RA .
"Most landscape painters have created their best work in their native land but many left their homeland to find artistic satisfaction far from where they were born. Claude Loraine like many other painters from the north was so moved by the classical warmth of Italy that he spent his life in the countryside around Rome. Richard Wilson discovered he was a true landscape painter in Italy as did the watercolourist John Robert Cozens. Richard Parkes Bonnington owed more to Northern France than to England and Paul Gauguin is most loved for his paintings of the South Seas.
Wales has been lucky for, at the full flowering of the English school of watercolour painting, the continent of Europe was denied to its artists because of the wars in France. Wales to the Englishman of the late eighteenth century appeared to be a wild romantic land so it was westwards to our hills and valleys that so many great artists made their way and it was amongst them that some of their finest watercolours were painted. The artists that created such lovely work did not stay, for the land they depicted was an impoverished one in which an artist could not have made a living. It is very different today for English artists are happy to come to Wales, to live amongst us, paint our landscapes, and to find a ready market for their work.
One of these is Keith Andrew , born and trained in London, who found in Anglesey an island that appealed to his contemplative nature and provided him with the subject matter that reflects it. He senses its antiquity and its intimacy and has the intelligence to allow it to dictate the creation of his pictures and never imposes himself upon it. Keith Andrew is moved by the little things; by the narrow stream, by the broken window, the grouting of an ancient roof or by the lichen on an island wall . His searching eye selects what most people do not notice but once he has made them aware they appreciate all the more what they have failed to see, and buy his pictures.
The island with its mysterious heartland is not his only source of inspiration for, from his home in Llandrygarn he can see the distant mountains and is often working amongst them.
Quiet, energetic, and determined, Keith Andrew is now very much a man locally regarded as an important cultural figure and we, who were born on the island are grateful to him and hope he will stay with us, recording a Wales that is in constant danger from the seemingly inexhaustable desire of man to scar, pollute and desecrate our inheritance.
Keith Andrew records our past and our present and in doing so warns us through apathy it might all be lost."