Sea Swallow Me
oil on canvas
152 x 92 x 4cm
Painted as part of my ongoing exploration of the sea, a subject I have been longing to paint for around a decade but not known how to tackle.
While swimming all year round in the North Sea I began taking photos with a waterproof camera a few years ago, after seeing an amazing photo taken by a sea swimming friend. The photos allowed me to see the sea from my own angle and a dislike of naff blue paintings of the sea as seen from the shore really fuelled the paintings. The North Sea is most definitely green, brownish green at that, which another aspect I wanted to embrace.
Sea Swallow Me included another aspect of the photos I have been taking – my legs floating on the waves. The photos of this began as an aside, something I’d do at the end of my swim is float, feeling the undulations of wave after wave and I’d always take just one photo of the experience. These self portraits have amused me and their distortion and complex colours begged for them to be painted.
When I swim it usually not long after dawn and so very often the skies are laden with low cloud, tinged pink or purple with a band of light softly glowing on the horizon underneath, as depicted.
Title shamelessly stolen from The Cocteau Twins song, one that has accompanied me a lot this summer.