Whitsand Seascape by Keith Athay
Whitsand Seascape by Keith Athay

Seaside and coastal paintings are popular subjects with British artists from Turner with his atmospheric and innovative seascapes to today’s exploration of various techniques in order to create a unique coastal artwork. The spectacular views on the British Islands and the dramatic change of colours in the sky are constant sources of inspiration for artists who either live by the sea or travel from afar to capture the perfect scene by the coast.

In the Romantic Era, marine art started to emerge as a specialised genre with artists depicting Britain’s maritime power in the 17th Century. What initially started as a way of documenting battles of the time such as the Napoleonic Wars, marine art slowly became a popular subject for landscape painters who made this genre available to the general public. As such, they moved on from accuracy to their own artistic input, thus making the genre evolve over the years.

Today, we have a wide range of styles and mediums, from traditional style paintings and impressionistic to naive and abstract. Scenes with boats and harbours; sunsets and moons reflected in the water; coastlines and little islands; estuaries and villages by the sea – here are just a few subjects depicted by artists in acrylic, oils or mixed media.

Some artists capture the movement of the sea, some capture the colour of the coastal skies and some capture the marine atmosphere in abstract compositions. The variety we have today makes the coastal art appeal to art lovers of all ages, being admired not just in galleries and themed exhibitions but in cafes, tea rooms and people’s homes too.

Sunrise over Hengistbury Head by Marja Brown
Sunrise over Hengistbury Head by Marja Brown
Cuckmere Haven by Paula Oakley
Cuckmere Haven by Paula Oakley
Boat Home by Laurence Chandler
Boat Home by Laurence Chandler
Carrick Hills From Ayr Beach Scotland by Stuart Kirby
Carrick Hills From Ayr Beach Scotland by Stuart Kirby