Summer Exhibition 1/3 'Waves'

by Stephanie Cullen - 13:30 on 26 June 2018


   Over the years, we’ve regularly had artists in the shop, standing in front of our selection of paints and looking somewhat perplexed. They’re looking for ‘that blue’, the specific one for painting Orkney seas, we can advice but the truth is that the exact colour of Orkney’s waves can be rather elusive. On a summer’s day, our sea is the deepest of blues with a scattering of diamonds across it, whirling pools of turquoise and dazzling white horse-tails of foam. Trying to capture the ebb and flow of the tides in one frozen moment can be hard to do.

   Nonetheless, a number of artists have risen to the challenge and our gallery is awash with waves of blue. Kim Fletcher has probably taken the most technical approach, zooming in on a couple of waves as they greet the shore. The artist goes into great detail with the dimensions of the waves themselves, capturing the movement and size perfectly in paint, a veil of froth pouring to the forefront of the picture and intricately laid on the shore.

   Kim’s not the only artist whose sole focus is the waves themselves, Mary Smith has created a felt-picture, ‘Spindrift’, which has swirling blue and green felt capped with white which fans out across the picture, the effect makes for a lively and pleasing take on Orkney waters. Kathy Potts’ ‘Reflections’ are similarly felted, but have a more serene quality to them as different shades of velvety blue lay quietly across one another.

   Meanwhile, some artists have panned-out and chosen to paint waves within the context of gloriously calm and sunny beaches, such as Teresa Allen and Margit Baker whose cheery landscapes make you want to go a paddle as the waters look that inviting. Lori Kent has also managed to capture this pleasant stillness in our waters in photographs of rockpools, the tide is out and the sunset streams across the glistening rocks draped in bright green seaweed.

   On the opposite end of the spectrum is Ingrid Grieve, who chooses to show the true power and magnificence of our waves in an atmospheric and stormy picture in oils. Seaspray is whipped up in an almost volcanic reaction as it beats on a rock in a dark sea with overcast gloomy skies looming above. Personally, I hope to see more of the bright and still waters this summer when visiting the beach. Come see these pictures for yourself if you fancy a day at the seaside without the weather, the gallery is open Monday-Friday, 10-5 and Saturdays 10-4.

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