[Photograph: Don Jackson-Wyatt]

A PRESTATYN artist is back on the Helfa Gelf Art Trail.

Artist Christopher T Roberts will open his studio to the public this weekend. Mr Roberts, who works in oil paint, charcoal, ink, pencil and acrylic, was last part of the Helfa Gelf Art Trail in 2008.

The trail, which is in its 12th year, takes place across North Wales. The open studio event invites the public to visit artists at work.

Mr Roberts said: “I have been pleasantly surprised by how much Helfa Gelf has developed and grown since the last time I joined in. So many more artists across North Wales are now taking part and I am told people travel far and wide from across the UK to follow the trail. It is such a friendly and welcoming collective and it feels joyous to be part of the creative, talented family of artists and craft people producing beautiful works across the region.

“My paintings have always represented what is going on in my life and the world around me. My earlier works were of the angst of youth, the uncertainty of what life will be, disappointments and heartbreak. Later on I progressed to look outwards and considered the landscape and seascape of my home. My family is my current muse, although recent paintings are of animals, people and flowers, and my wife and children often feature as various characters. Whatever the subject matter, it has always been my intention to create bold, strong, energetic and interesting paintings using a variety of techniques and mark making.”

The Helfa Gelf Art Trail takes place across the counties of Gwynedd, Conwy, Denbighshire, Flintshire and Wrexham from Friday to Sunday throughout September 2017

Mr Roberts describes himself as a realist expressionist. He grew up in Bangor and as a teenager, studied under the tutorship of Iwan Parry and Peter Prendergast at the Coleg Menai Foundation course. He completed a BA in Fine Art at Cardiff and has shown his work across Wales, Liverpool and Chester.

A recent work, Tommy, has been exhibited at The Grosvenor Museum in Chester. The painting was inspired by Mr Roberts’s son Clark who dressed up as a WW1 soldier while on a day out to the Green Field Heritage Park in Flintshire.

“It gave me a strange feeling seeing my fresh-faced innocent lad dressed like that,” Mr Roberts added.

“Many of the WW1 soldiers were so young, some teenage boys, which made it even more poignant. The painting reflects deeper connotations. The title refers to the nickname ‘Tommy’ that was given to the British Soldiers.

“The red shadow represents blood and violence but also the colour of the poppy and is in the shape of a heart, representing remembrance and love. My wife Marcia initially hated the painting; she said it gave her a chill to see our baby as a soldier.”

Mr Robert’s studio is at the side of his house, near Prestatyn High School. For the address and full details, visit helfagelf.co.uk/artists/christopher-t-roberts

For the full list of artists, visit helfagelf.co.uk/artists