Home By The Sea Arts
I was fortunate enough to be able to spend my childhood on Jersey’s beaches and from a very early age I remember collecting sea glass and shells, or any other strange object which caught my eye.
It was only in recent years when I found myself with more time on my hands nearing retirement after 42 years of full-time employment that I rekindled my interest in beachcombing and hence my love for making pictures with my finds was born.
My first creation was a 90x55cm map of Jersey made entirely from sea glass and sea pottery. I included Parish churches, valleys, reservoirs, golf courses, lighthouses, sand dunes, villages, castles, and every single slipway. This project took more than three months to create and was a labour of love.
The map set the seed for many more pieces, and I soon built a strong following on Instagram and Facebook and started to receive commission requests from not only Jersey but world-wide interested parties.
In recent years I have been using watercolour and acrylic paints to create more of a scene in some of my pictures, and this has enabled me to paint views and objects in enhanced detail, but always using a touch of glass or pottery to embellish the picture.
Opening the pictures to paint-based themes I am able to portray unusual subjects such as sea creatures, wild animals, treasured objects, birds and country maps. Most pictures are painted onto canvas, but I have also used wooden boards, medium density board, driftwood, and furniture. The glass, shells and pottery pieces are affixed with two-part epoxy resin which allows a secure but clear bond between the object and the surface. The pictures can be mounted behind glass or left open to satisfy the tactile interest.
Some of the shells which I use are hand-collected when I visit beaches from around the world. This gives me the ability to create different colours and affects whilst retaining the integrity of the shell - discarded shells which would have otherwise been worn to sand and lost forever. Most of my glass is collected in Jersey on wet and wild winter beach walks.
To me, there is nothing more satisfying than seeing the happiness on the faces of those who have requested a special commission piece, and in some cases, people shed tears of joy upon the ‘big reveal’.