In my previous post Inspiration on a trip to St Ives I wrote about how I’d been inspired by the artists who worked in St Ives, particularly a couple of pioneering female artists.

But you can’t visit Cornwall and not be inspired by the wild scenery and seascape. Once again, being inspired was informed by the art I saw in the galleries in the town, this time it was the landscape and abstract art of contemporary artists on display in the town.

One particular artist grabbed my attention, Andrew Bird (exhibiting at Porthminster gallery) was showing a series of acrylic paintings based on the seascape of the area. I was grabbed by his mark making with acrylics, which was at once loose and ordered, and with the striking, seaside summery harmonious palette he used.

Andrew says (March 2018- Porthminster gallery website):

“I am interested in the relationships of colour and contrast, as well as the interplay of forms and gestural mark-making.

I will often use a boat to view the landscape from the sea.  This offers a very different viewpoint when looking back to the land, where the geometry of field patterns, the shape of the coast and its hidden forms are revealed along with the motion of the sea.  My paintings are composites of many of these elements.

A painting will go through many stages of being worked and re-worked, with layers being scratched and scraped back to reveal remnants of the earlier process, with elements added and removed until the composition and balance of colour, line and form is resolved.”

How liberating to use the land and sea to explore the way paint can be applied with freedom and expression.

Different, but from a similar basis, was Sarah Woods exhibiting at Belgrave St Ives as part of ‘Artscape – New contemporary painters’

Sarah’s palette is subtle, and her paintings drawn from magnificent well-observed drawings of the area. Her mark making is beautiful, stong and methodical whether drawn or painted, and paintings (in acrylic) include sewn lines, often on the horizon.

I was very sad I didn’t bring either of these paintings home, but if I ever get a chance to immerse myself in seascape or landscape paintings, I will think of these artists and they will spur me on!


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