What inspires me to paint the sea is that it is a beautiful and ever changing subject which has endless possibilities.
Before I moved to the beachside residence where I now live I began painting tropical seascapes in a semi abstract way. I am sure that in my subconscious mind I have beaches and the edge of the sea and palm trees engrained, as I was brought up as a toddler on silver sandy beaches of East Africa.
When I was selling in London, the ever-popular prints of John Miller were taking over the galleries countrywide and that influenced my semi-abstract tropical beaches. Also it was a complete breakaway from portraits, architectural London scenes and commissions of popular places that I was previously painting.
The flat areas of colour simplified down to blue and white meant that the design and composition became paramount.
The Beautiful Colours of the Sea
Since living here and walking daily on the beach my present style of seascapes has developed. The beautiful colours which change everyday according to the light, weather, tides, winds, time of year and time of day are an endless source of fascination. I prefer to paint just water and sand with a bit of headland (natural trees and foliage) but the brightly coloured sails and the graceful yachts tackling the wind are beautiful especially when the sun and shadows plays across the taut sails.
This year the design and pattern of the beach pools, rocks, seaweed and meandering wet outlets of water on the sands are what seems to be my fascination. The shapes create space and distance and I try and use the shapes in the sky to compliment the designs on the sands. I like to create therapeutic relaxing stress relieving paintings.
One customer kindly wrote to me and said that my paintings were peaceful to the soul.
My latest painting is getting close to the effect I am trying to achieve. See “Solent View” and “Far “Out Triptych” …..The way the colours are lit up by a ray of sun and the gaps in the clouds.
The sea is alive with colour caused by the currents and rocks beneath, the clouds above, and the winds churning up waves or little ripple. It always looks different.
Artists that Influence my Paintings
Having studied history of art at college, of course, Turner is the greatest seascape painter. The Japanese prints changed the nature of composition from then onwards, notably the Hokusai wave which has influenced so many seascapes ever since.
However I do not consciously think of other artist’s style but my own has evolved just from doing so many paintings. It is not until I finish a painting and look at it and the previous ones that I see a similar style emerging. This just happens it is not contrived at all.
There are some contemporary artists from Scotland who do some fabulous beach seascape painting of the Islands remote rugged scenery in a broad colourful style.