There are five small paintings in the Tidal Sunset Series and this was my particular favourite, in fact I’d earmarked it as the one I wanted to keep hold of. But I took it to show a client who is commissioning a similar, much larger piece (130 x 200cm canvas that I must start on but it’s so big I’m not sure where to paint it!) and he loved it so much his wife bought it as a birthday present! This was a couple weeks ago.
This piece depicts the view from the Palace Pier in Brighton, England. At dusk, with the sea at low tide, the sunsets are incredible and an endless source of inspiration for a painter. The usual view to paint tends to be where the sun sets as the cloud formations and colours light up the sky. The Golden Hour.
The light emitted from the sun at this time of day can feel soft and soothing, therefore this series uses a more pastel coloured palette. The view is unusual as paintings of Brighton are far more likely to feature the piers, particularly the burnt out West pier rather than the seemingly uglier, concrete Marina. The groynes are prominent at low tide, this repetition of contrasting, solid lines against the mirror like shallow waters are also important to the composition.
The paintings in this series of seascapes preceded the similar but square works. These first studies have a spontaneous quality that comes with the initial response to a subject. The detail is more delicate and somehow finer. The birds that feature in several works, are starlings doing their sunset dance, and is a spectacle that’s hard to replicate in paint, compared to first-hand experience. The movements they make as a flock, the swirling shapes, the swoops overhead are incredibly absorbing as well as beautiful, the birds have an impeccable synchronicity that’s humbling and one of those wonders of nature that has the power to make human beings pause and observe