Sea Paintings blown in by 'Hercules'

As a huge winter storm called ‘Hercules’ powered across the Atlantic from the U.S. it sent huge swell hitting the Cornish shores these past few days. It’s lovely to see but is also very destructive as we have seen across the newspapers and social media sites. In Bude, there has been damage to the breakwater, the entrance to the lock gates and the beach huts at Crooklets with stones and all sorts of debris being tossed and thrown around in the surf.

I could take photographs and use them for reference, but there is nothing quite like painting spontaneously, with the energy of the sea and wind in your head, grabbing visual references, where are the whitiest whites, what colour is the sea today, the fast ever changing movement and mood as the waves race in. Yesterday was rain and low cloud, whereas today there were beautiful seahorses and luminious lights on the foaming waves.

To make it feasible and afford some shelter, I cleared out the back of the van to make a makeshift studio. Lifting the boot, I had a great view of the sea and if I just rested my foot against the edge of the canvas, it stopped it being whipped up by the wind and being sent twirling into the raging surf below. I did forget a knife to open my paints, but a with a little thought, the seatbelt clip made a great alternative.

Two hours of painting on two canvas’s produced two very different pieces of work which will be finished off in the studio along with the two I started yesterday. Four paintings inspired by the storm and more ideas in the pipeline, this could be forming the basis for my next exhibition in April .

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