Cornwall Cove at Tintagel by Zoe Elizabeth Norman

Where did the inspiration come from for this piece?

I started ‘Cornwall, Cove at Tintagel,’ while on holiday on the Cornish coast.  A walk from the ruined castle, legendarily the home of King Arthur, had bought me to the hidden cove, the combined beauties of the rocky coastline, with the stunning aquamarine coloured sea enough to inspire me to sit down and attempt to capture it. I later completed the painting in my studio back home. From the use of pastels, I’ve found that this medium allows me to capture the mood and atmosphere of a landscape in the short time the British weather permits, the outcome allowing bold and immediate images.

How long would this work have taken you?

A painting of this size, in pastel, normally takes up to a week to finish.

Cornwall Cove at Tintagel Zoe Elizabeth Norman
Cornwall Cove at Tintagel Zoe Elizabeth Norman

You also paint flowers; what is the creative process when creating your floral paintings?

My floral paintings start by sketching the plant in different positions until I get a good composition. I try to capture three blooms with the fullest one as the focal point, and then two further flowers not quite opened or still in bud as the secondary images. When I’ve decided upon the composition I proceed to draw and paint one flower at a time to ensure I captured the flower’s beauty in the short time before it fades; I then complete the next flower and so on until all flowers are finished. I lastly paint the stems and leaves as these stay fresh longer.

I prefer painting flowers in watercolour to accommodate my very detailed style, where I use many layers to create depth and colour. My botanical pieces can take up to three months to complete, depending on their complexity.

Hollyhocks and Rosa Rugosa by Zoe Elizabeth Norman
Hollyhocks and Rosa Rugosa by Zoe Elizabeth Norman