I love spending time in the landscape and it’s no surprise that it’s what I enjoy to paint the most. For me it’s not just about recognising the landscape but recognising an emotion it evokes, the memories that get created and the connections you make which keeps you coming back for more. It’s my memories of spending time on a busy beach in the height of the school holidays which left a lasting impression on me and inspired me to try and capture that holiday feeling on canvas.
I very clearly remember taking the photo which inspired my very first ‘Beachscape’ painting. It was during Boardmasters, Fistral beach was mad busy and I decided to go for a walk with my telephoto lens. The idea was to force myself to see differently and take photos of something new. I remember taking a lot of rubbish photos, having an ice cream from an ice cream van from little Fistral car park and walking back past the Headland hotel being inspired to take photo slices of Fistral beach.
I created the painting and at first didn’t think much of it. It was a bit too different and I wasn’t sure it was any good. However we had some visitors at the time and they gushed over it because it was new and different and that gave me confidence to put it online.
Initially I received good reactions, which is nice but you never really know if people are just being polite!
I also remember the day I sold that painting. I was on the train from Glasgow to Edinburgh with my dad and I remember the notification coming in. I was still very much in a place where any sale was very very exciting!
Welcome to my ‘Beachscape’ collection. The emotion of this collection comes from my childhood memories but the style of this collection is influenced by a much loved painter, L.S. Lowry. My beachscapes might feel like a world away from the mill scenes and industrial landscapes of Lowry’s work; where the figures are often leaning forward with heads down, moving towards their destination rather than enjoying being where they are. And yet many people are reminded of Lowry when they look at these paintings.
Lowry’s figures were often dark, thin and elongated, given the name of ‘matchstick men’ by a critic, a name which Lowry didn’t like, but a name which sticks fondly in the minds of many people when they think of Lowry. In these paintings I want people to be able to spend time looking around all elements of the picture; seeing something new or conjuring a cherished holiday memory with every glance.
There's no place like home, except for the beach.
The First Ever Beachscape!
Below is the photo I took with my telephoto lens during Boardmasters of Fistral beach. I loved how it cropped the beach so it could be anywhere, but it was unmistakenly a beach, and a busy beach at that. It was semi-abstract but still very clear what it was portraying. Here you can also see the first ever Beachscape painting inspired by that photo. I remember at the time I was very unsure of what to make of the painting once I had finished it, I couldn't tell if it was unique and brilliant, or terrible! After getting a couple of unprompted positive reactions from friends and family I decided to take a deep breath and put it for sale!