Linda Foskett of the little art gallery in West Wittering picks out the local artists who embrace the coast and all its elements
Artists have always been attracted by the sea and skies in its various lights: strong, violent, soft and atmospheric. At the little art gallery in West Wittering, we always have a selection of coastal works by some of our artists. Something to cover all tastes and budgets. This is a selection of our regular artists whose work is often based on the coastline of Sussex.
Shazia makes strong vibrant images of the local beaches and dunes (her work is pictured at the top of the page too). She works with oils, acrylics and inks on canvas and handmade paper. She makes watercolour sketches on location, which she then uses as a colour map when she returns to her studio.
Shazia has been a full-time artist for over 25 years. She studied for her masters degree in fine art in Barcelona. She has travelled and painted all over the world, but the Sussex coastline near her home inspires most of her work. Her dramatic land and seascapes capture the detail of the coastline and sand dunes. Bold washes of colour and movement add drama to the skies and sea.
As an experimental artist, Shazia loves using different tools to evoke the landscape around her, often using toothbrushes, sticks sponges, water and a hairdryer to manipulate the paint. She often works on the floor so that she can tip the paint around to get an almost airbrushed look
Sue is a very popular artist and her work often adds the finishing touch to a modern designed space. Sue was born in Belfast, and she studied at Nottingham College of Art and Vienna College of Art. She was later accepted by the Nottingham Society for Artists. After College, she worked in the fashion business as a designer then moving on to interior design.
The coastline and the turbulent English Channel are a constant inspiration, as is the café life on the continent and the swirling wash and exotic excitement of Africa and South America. She approaches these rhythms of shape and colour from different viewpoints attempting to capture and freeze a moment of movement, quality of light and atmosphere through layers of broad confident brush marks and a palette of subtle hues and contrasting vibrant colour.
Susie has a BA in Fine Art Painting from St Martins School of Art and an MA in Fine Art from Brighton Art School. Her work evolves from speedy responsive drawings and rapidly painted sketches made directly from nature. These rapid drawings capture expressions of fleeting moments and inform the larger paintings capturing the elements at a moment in time.
She works in a very physical way, in an outside studio space for as much of the year as is possible: this helps to keep the air on the paint allowing its life and energy to gently invite the process of pushing, pulling, splashing, scrubbing and scraping to take over, at which point a painitng may or may not emerge and evolve into an expression of something that taps into what it felt like to be there.
Paddy works on recycled sailcloth, and his images of surfers and backlit sails attract a lot of attention in our gallery.
Since Paddy graduated in Fine Art in 1998 at the time of Brit Art, and studying under some of the YBA’s, he has been fascinated by paint, light and by the juxtaposition between the paint and the surface it is applied to. He spent many years painting surfers, surf and subaqua vistas before moving towards painting commissioned works.
He likes to think that every recycled sail he uses for his paintings already has tales of adventures woven into it over the years of use. Add to this adventure, paintings that are very much about atmosphere, space and light and also about the very stuff they are made of – paint. Then overlay a process of sourcing materials, repurposing, layering paint and sanding back to reveal both the studio activity and the very history of the sail and you start to understand his aim to engage viewers in his work through the three narratives of the history of the materials, the process in the studio and the atmosphere and light of the finishes pieces.
Frances graduated from Camberwell School of Art in London, and she then won a Commonwealth and British Council Scolarship to do her MA in India. Frances works in oils, outside on location directly from nature. She often works from these plein air studies back in her studio to create much larger paintings that explore further the relationship of colour, light and structure in the landscape and seascape working them in to much larger paintings.
She is not so much interested in rendering the surface qualities of a landscape or seascape, but in conveying the underlying structure, colour and atmosphere. She likes to explore the interaction between abstract qualities of the two dimensional painted surface with the illusion of space. Although some people may find her paintings have an unfinished look, she finds that if she continues past a certain point the painting will lose what she wanted to express, by getting bogged down in surface detail. Frances would like her paintings to help people feel happy, experiencing the underlying harmony in nature that is the essential nature of everyone.
Visitors to our little gallery are constantly surprised to see the variety of work we have to offer. It is not always possible to display all the paintings a visitor can see at any one time because, as the name suggests, we are a little art gallery. It is why we offer private appointments, so if anyone wishes to view more work of a specific artist, style of work, subject or size, we can arrange to have a selection available on the day of your visit.
Find out more at thelittleartgallery.online