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On the Shore Side of The Sea

Is it becoming tradition for me to announce new collections of work in Summer? It's been just over a year since I announced my collection of miniature portraits The Garden's Glory. The time that the pandemic gave me to sit and focus solely on my art without distraction was the chance I had been waiting for for some time. The crazy race of normal life, two jobs, running a small business and balancing all this with my personal life meant I was never able to truly sit and dedicate time to working steadily through a series of my own artworks. On completion of the series I found I had a new determination in me to keep finding time to create these original pieces as I loved the entire process and, though I adore getting to draw people's beloved pets, loved the freedom to choose which subject and reference I wanted to draw and choose some wildlife I had wanted to have a go at for a long time.

And so, without further ado, it's my pleasure to share with you all my new series inspired by the Scottish coast. I grew up on the West Coast of Scotland in a house which was actually right on the shoreside. The seashore has always been right there, my bedroom view, my playground and my muse in all art forms. I'm an avid birdwatcher and the calls and songs of the various seabirds have always been the soundtracks to summer days and nights lying out in the garden, or out with friends on the beach. The haunting call of the Curlew always makes me feel at home no matter where I am. There is comfort in the whistle of an Oyster Catcher and childlike joy when I spot the head of a seal silently gliding along the surface of glass-like waters. Yes, the seaside is truly a place of serenity for me and it was such a pleasure to finally capture some of this magic in my artwork. Unlike the last series, this one is all of larger pieces of work and I am also leaving it open to dip in and out of as there are just so many species I adore and want to capture in future - so if you like what you see here then stick around as there will be more to come in time! Due to them being larger and other exciting projects in the books this year there are only 5 portraits so far. I am thrilled with them and just loved the process. I can't wait to continue with this series and I would love to hear your thoughts on them!

First off! (and actually the last piece I completed in the series!) These flying Oyster Catchers are super eye catching on this dark blue Pastelmat! I debated adding more background in the beginning but as soon as the birds were complete I knew they were perfect left against a dark moody blue sky.

Next up is one of my favourite pieces to date! This Grey Seal was one of those rare pieces where I absolutely adored the entire process of creation and fell in love with the final piece of work. I love the effect I managed to create in the background of movement and light in water through use of pan pastels and charcoal. To say I got a little messy creating this one is an understatement and it threw me right back to my teenage charcoal obsession where I frequently ruined carpets and t-shirts from how much smudging and scribbling I did whilst blasting my iTunes "Arting" playlist... I knew as soon as I finished this one I would be keeping the original for myself as it was just such a joyful experience and really rebooted my excitement and love for what I do after feeling a bit burned out last autumn.

Another Oyster Catcher! This wasn't really planned as I have such a small number of pieces in this collection so far but I loved the movement and expression in the reference so couldn't resist! Again, it was so nice to get to use the tonal Pastelmats in this project and it worked beautifully in this serene image of calm waters and you can almost hear that loud "peep-peeppeep-peeppeep" call they make!

Puffin! The cutest little birdies! I had to include one of these sweet little birds in this collection. Though we don't get Puffins here on the West Coast I was lucky enough to go on a trip as a teenager over to North Berwick on the East Coast to see the Puffins up close on the Bass Rock. It was an amazing experience (despite being certain the small boat we were all in was going to capsize in the rather choppy sea!) and I totally fell in love with the little Puffins that day.

The beautiful and sadly endangered Curlew. One of my favourite bird calls is made by these extraordinary birds. They were the soundtrack to my summer nights all throughout my childhood and it's been heartbreaking to see their numbers steadily fall over the years. When I learned they are now on the Red endangered list I was devastated. There is a lot of hard work going on in trying to save the Curlew now and I desperately hope it works as it would be a true loss to see these birds go extinct.

I have been working away over the past couple of weeks getting prints of the series ready and updating the shop here on! Once again I have gone for two size options: 10x13"- £30

13x17" - £65

In celebration of this new series I am also super excited to announce I will be doing a little giveaway competition over on my social media pages! All the details will be announced on Saturday the 10th of July on my Facebook and Instagram and you could be in with a chance of winning one free 10x13" print from this series of your choice! Good luck to all who enter!

I hope you love this series as much as I do and, as always, stay safe and have a lovely day! Ruth x

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