Artist & Author Caroline Downey

Caroline DowneyCaroline Downey is an award-winning artist who works at her hillside home in the Black Mountains of Wales. She has lived in the area since 1974 after moving from London where she was born. She loves to paint the dramatic landscapes that is all around her and feels the magical atmosphere of the area has a personality of its own. Caroline uses acrylic paint that is often applied with her fingertips to achieve vibrant and energetic images - creating fanciful scenes of moody moonshine and lyrical landscapes. Her Studio, that overlooks the valley, is bedecked with fairy-lights and candles evoking a peaceful and enchanting ambience that is evident in her style of work.

Caroline has always needed to be creative and developed her painting career after gaining a Certificate in Fine Art at Hereford College of Art & Design. She now sells her work at her home Downey Barn Gallery in the Llanthony Valley with her Original Paintings and Prints going all over the world.   

Born in 1958, Caroline Downey (nee Goodman) grew up in Harmondsworth, a small village near London. At the age of 16 she moved, with her parents, to Dorstone situated in the Golden Valley on the edge of the Herefordshire Welsh Border.

She worked in Hay-on-Wye for a number of years before becoming self employed in 1982 at the age of 23.  She produced fabric Craft items and scraperboard Pictures to sell at the 'Pump House Teas and Crafts' business jointly owned with her mother, in their 18th Century Cottage. She gained many commissions for her black and white scraperboard work and soon started an Art, Design and Printing business producing prints, cards, calendars and stationary – mostly of local scenes.

In 1993 Caroline attended a two year course at Hereford College of Art and Design as a mature student – studying Drawing, Painting, Printmaking, Photography, Sculpture, Metalwork and the History and Culture of Art. She gained a Certificate in Fine Art.

After forming with fellow students 'The Inner Landscape Group of Artists' Caroline had successful exhibitions selling her paintings. The demand for her work grew until financially she finished her printings business to paint full time.

In 1995 she moved, with her Blacksmith husband Peter Downey, to Cwmyoy in the Llanthony Valley that is situated in the Black Mountains and National Parkland in Wales. They renovated an old coach house to live in and in 2000 designed and built Downey Barn Gallery in their garden on the side of a hill.

Caroline formed 'Galleries in the Black Mountains' with Artist Christine Hunt of Cellar Gallery, Walterstone - who she met at Hereford College.

Caroline's Sculptured board Paintings began in 1997 when her husband Peter had the ideas of engraving boards with his carpentry tools and presented them to Caroline for her to paint. She uses vivid colours to link images together to produce a quirky distorted picture.

Caroline uses acrylic and sometimes spray paint to complete her work on board and occasionally produces work on reverse of Perspex. She describes herself as an enthusiastic artist creating starry nights and shadowy moonlit scenes in her spirited approach to Art.

In 2002 Caroline won the Daler-Rowney Worldwide Golden Jubilee 'Image & Story' Competition for her 'Sculptured Board' painting of 'Millennium at the crooked Church of Cwmyoy'.

Caroline has sold work at the Royal College of Art and has undertaken many commissioned paintings and her work goes all over the world.

In 2006 she published her first illustrated storybook - 'The Black Mountain Sheep' of Proper Dragon Tales. In September 2007 she completed the next in the series 'Shadows in the Fforest'  and 'Secret of the Standing Stones' in Sept. 08. Books are available on this website or locally around Abergavenny.