Archive for category Subject: Coast

From Coast & Cove || Anna Koska

There is a charm to this book that draws you in and has you gripped within only a few pages. Entirely impressionistic, Anna captures the essence of the coast, from wild landscapes to playful seaside, in words and pictures.

It isn’t, on the face of it, an art book, although the illustrations, frequently peeking from the edge or corner of a page, are part of the appeal and will serve as an example to other aspiring journal writers. For them, the main lesson to be taken is how to see, observe, select and retain. A scene can be almost anything you want it to be, from the wide vista to the intimate details and the tiny creatures that cling to rocks or crawl among the grasses. What any given moment means to you will depend on an infinite variety of factors. Anna is first class at telling these stories, from how the day began to concerns about the weather, who else was there, what you grandfather told you, or how a particular colour caught your eye.

There are no lessons here, in the sense of sitting down, paying attention, practising and revising. Rather, this is a piece to enjoy and absorb. You’ll come away refreshed, informed and a whole lot wiser.

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The Paint Pad Artist: Coastal Landscapes || Charles Evans

I dealt with the mechanics of this new series in the introductory review, so this is a look just at one particular volume.

Charles Evans is an experienced and popular demonstrator who is ideally suited to this introduction to painting coastal scenes. Each of the six demonstrations introduces a new topic or technique, such as drawing out colour to create clouds, capturing reflections, using a rigger to create trees and working with stormy skies and seas.

There’s plenty of variety, but nothing is too taxing and the beginner will feel at home quickly, producing worthwhile results that can only encourage further work.

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Shorelines: artists on the south coast || Gill Clarke & Steve Marshall

This pleasantly serendipitous book spreads its net wide and its coverage ranges from Thanet in the East to Mousehole in the West – a lot more than the “Dover to Brighton” run that the term often seems to imply.

As several of Sansom’s similar recent offerings have, it accompanies an exhibition (in this case at the St Barbe Museum & Art Gallery in Lymington from 19 September 2015 – 9 January 2016). On the basis of the book, I’d urge you visit if you possibly can as you’ll see a more catholic choice of work and artists than is often possible.

The blurb slightly plays up ( as it’s entitled to do) the role of the coast in art from the seventeenth century to the present. Artists have indeed painted coastal subjects and are attracted both by the air and the light (they like a seaside break as much as the next person), but they’ve also painted buildings, landscapes, portraits in equal profusion.

But I quibble. This is about the coast in art and it’s a nicely-chosen selection that runs from Turner to Kurt Jackson by way of Paul Nash, Eric Ravilious and Laura Knight. The serendipity comes from the fact that these are artists you can really only anthologise by subject matter and, being necessarily a selection, you can’t easily guess what’s round the next corner or on the next page. If I was one to squeal with delight at every new discovery, I’d have been very annoying while I was reading this!

As well as being thoughtfully curated, the book has insightful essays by the editors that explain their choices and put them in a narrative context. It should also be said that the illustrations are well-reproduced and generously sized. Books of this type sometimes act more like a catalogue for the personal visitor and cram in too many pictures, with the result that many are little bigger than a postage-stamp. Long after the exhibition has closed, this will stand alone and it’s all the better for that.

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