Why I paint beach scenes

Murderhole Beach

Why I paint beach scenes

I spoke this week on my live social media about why I paint Irish beach scenes. I have been thinking so much recently about the artists who taught me and the subject matter they focused on.

One example of a tutors I studied under who focused on their heritage and very much grew their obsession into art is Willie Doherty, He was nominated for the turner prize twice and he specialises in moving image and photography to show the divided city he grew up in. The Troubles in NI and the city of  Derry Londonderry are at the forefront.


When I was s student I ran from this. I have my own story of the troubles that I may share in the future but for now I am happy to indulge in the City and the beaches that I live close by.


When my husband and I were first married we lived in a seaside town in Northern Ireland called Bangor. I admit I didn’t enjoy living there at the time. Maybe this was a mixture of being young teamed with a change in identity as a couple? We both decided after four years that we wanted to find a place to live in the suburbs around Belfast city.


Ironically, after thinking we didn’t like the small town mentality, we have recently moved out of the City again in this our fifteenth year of marriage.  We love being by the sea in a place close to Bangor and not far from the city. It’s the beauty of life in Ireland- you are rarely too far from a village or some water!


I noticed that this is what is happening in my paintings- I am gravitating more often towards beaches in the paintings I make. Perhaps lockdown amplified that with my ‘Mayim’ exhibition of 60 Irish  seascape paintings. Nonetheless, Dreaming of Summer and beach life has been creeping up for a while as you can see in my ’71 ‘ from 2018 after I was selected in the top 100 small businesses in the UK. But also the winter after that when I made a private exhibition for a corporate client called ‘ dreaming of summer’… I still love all of the marks made to depict beach waves and colourful headlands.


In an artist’s life we journey so many emotions and try to convey them through words or paint or song… and then when happiness rests we succumb to seeing inspiration in our everyday. Right now I feel very fortunate to be able to create more often.

I am finding that I can be more creative for the first time in 11 years because my three boys who are 12, 9 and 4  are in school longer, and even more significantly I have grown my team to three so others can help with admin and sending print orders to allow me to paint. This is a blessing that I do not take for granted and feel proud that I have reached this stage in my creative career.


With this being said, I am very  excited to teach you how to paint an Irish seascape on 21st may 7:30-9pm. Capturing the scene of an ocean setting provides escapism in many ways- the act of mixing paint is therapeutic, the application of paint is methodical and fun, the engagement with teaching and learning expands your mind. And the beach scene we delve into will conjure memories and associations of your own even if you have yet to visit this locations. It’s the beauty of painting- we get to jump into the paintings every now and then to immerse in the experience.

Join me with red, blue, yellow, black and white acrylic paint, three pages, 1 pencil, 1 paintbrush, a mixing plate and a water cup for creative time, energy and fun! Here is a link to the tickets which are just £20 and the workshop