We've followed Northumbrian artist, Sarah O'Dowd on Instagram for a little while now. We asked her if she'd like to write a blog post to tell us about her experiences of the Northumberland Coast. She sent us this fantastic piece, complete with some of her atmospheric paintings.
I am a Landscape Artist, born and bred in Northumberland. I began my artistic development from early age and went to Newcastle University to Study B.A. (Hons) in Fine Art. My choice of landscape especially the coast as a subject matter is influenced by where I live. I am drawn to the power of the dramatic and atmospheric Northumbrian coast which inspires to capture the beauty and drama of the coast dotted with its historical sites. I love the expansive Northumbrian skies and the ever changing sea. I am influenced by Turner’s work while working in a contemporary style, keeping something recognisable by maintaining certain points of reference. I am often seen walking up and down the coast with my westie Maddy looking for inspiration. I take photos in all kinds of weather and use them for reference when working in my studio.
For those of you who haven’t been or don’t know, I’m going to tell you about some of my favourite places.
This part of the coast holds special childhood memories for me. It was my local beach and still is. Happy memories of exploring the rockpools when the tide goes right back, running and rolling down the high dunes. The expansive tumultuous skies and long stretch of coast contributed to my work. They’re what inspired me to do my ‘Storm Brewing’ and ‘Rockpool No. 1’ shown below.
If you go when the tide is very low, you can even walk along the bay and see the remains of tree stumps from a 7,000 year old forest.
‘Storm Brewing’ acrylic on board
‘Rockpool No.1’ - acrylic on board
Quiet and secluded beach with a view of the Bathing House in the far distance. Many would agree with me that it is such a special place. There, I was inspired by the green seaweed algae of the rocks and the solitude of the beach. So I executed two separate paintings, one of the view looking north to the Bathing House and the other looking south (below)
‘The Bathing House’ - acrylic on board
‘Sugar Sands’ - acrylic on board
The geology of this area is quite extraordinary. The patterns, textures and formation of the rocks never cease to amaze me. This is one place where I could paint over and over again because I always find something new. ‘Howick Rocks’ (below) is one of my paintings. You can see cullernose point in the distance.
‘Howick Rocks’ - acrylic on board
So, until the next instalment of my favourite Northumberland coastal spots... it’s bye from me, Sarah and of course Maddy.
Facebook: Sarah O’Dowd (Landscape Artist)