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Tom Benjamin Shore Lines Cornish, Hebridean and Sussex seascapes 6 April - 5 May 2019

St Anne’s GALLERies


‘The many ways land gives way to the sea...’ “Recently I have been concentrating on paintings of coastal waters, completed on location in Sussex, Cornwall and Scotland. I am fascinated by the many ways land gives way to the sea, from the rich colours of a beach on a sunny day or an abandoned trawler rusting into the sea, to waves crashing against cliffs. Water has so many elements: it has form, it reflects, and we can see into it. The movement of the tides and waves mean that painting directly in front of it stretches all my abilities to the limit. Oil paint worked wet into wet has many of the same properties, and trying to make it stand for light on water seems to me to be practically impossible. Still, for some reason it doesn’t stop me trying.” Tom Benjamin January 2019

Tom Benjamin was born in 1967. He trained at Brighton then Norwich School of Art, graduating in 1989. His work is held in private and corporate collections across the UK as well as in the US, Japan and Europe. Tom is also a widely respected teacher, leading regular sell-out courses at the Paddock Studios and on location in Sussex and Dorset.


‘The cliffs and sea are in movement.....’ Cornwall “The Cornish coast is full of rich possibilities for painting. Sometimes it feels as if the sea is at war with the land while at other times the meeting is harmonious. Both the cliffs and sea are in movement.The scale of movement in the cliffs is so slow that we can’t experience it but the movement is implicit in its forms no less than with the sea. At each moment new relationships are created by the changing light and tide...”

PORTHCOTHAN BAY, AUGUST, OIL ON CANVAS, 60X92CM KYNANCE COVE, ROUGH SEA, OIL ON BOARD, 20X25CM


ROCK REFLECTIONS, OIL ON CANVAS, 38X46CM


‘A season in a single day’ Hebrides “The Hebrides are like another world. The light is unlike any other place I have been. The west facing coasts are full of open empty white sandy beaches and dunes. The east coast is craggy and barren. Across this the weather can create a season in a single day. I have to work quickly and intensely to try to capture its fleeting beauty.”

ESTUARY, NORTH UIST, OIL ON PANEL, 23X30CM

WHITE SANDS, OIL ON PANEL, 15X20CM,


ROUGH SEA, BARRA, OIL ON BOARD, 19X30CM


‘Boats, water and shadows...’ Sussex “As I live in Sussex it has the coastline I know best. I am often drawn to slightly untidy locations. The gaps between the houseboats at Shoreham have wet mud, sea plants, decomposing boats, water and shadows cast by the gantries. At Newhaven I am drawn to boats that are getting rusty or seen through posts of jetties. Hope Gap and Cuckmere have a magical atmosphere and vast sense of space.”

HOUSEBOAT HUT, OIL ON BOARD, 23X30CM

GAP BETWEEN TWO HOUSEBOATS 2, OIL ON CANVAS, 61X76CM


WINTER LIGHT AT HOPE GAP, OIL ON CANVAS, 70X100CM


‘The form of a wave changes every moment’ Painting water “I find what I am often after is the sense of atmosphere created by light in my subjects. The colour relationships on water change very quickly as the weather and time of day and tide changes. Even though I am working in front of the subject, I am at the same time working from memory and imagination, because although I usually only work on a painting for sessions lasting about an hour and a half, during that time a great deal changes. This is especially so when water is the subject. The form of a wave changes every moment, so I am trying to find characteristic shapes. In the end I want to make paintings that get across the life of the subject as closely as possible..”

WAVE BREAKING, OIL ON CANVAS, 35X45CM (detail)

WILD SEAS NEAR PORTSCATHO, OIL ON BOARD, 23X30CM (detail)


BEACH, LIGHT THROUGH WATER, OIL ON BOARD, 20X25CM


CLIFFS AT PORTHCOTHAN, LAST LIGHT, OIL ON BOARD, 30X20CM (detail) Front cover : Abandoned trawler, newhaven, oil on canvas, 76x122cm

St Anne’s GALLERies REPRESENTING SUSSEX ARTISTS

111 High Street, Lewes, East Sussex BN7 1XY mobile. 07860 728220 michael@michaelbell.co.uk www.stannesgalleries.com

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Tom Benjamin Shore Lines  

Cornish, Hebridean & Sussex seascapes 6 April - 5 May 2019 Exhibition open weekends 10am-5pm, or by appointment The catalogue shows a small...

Tom Benjamin Shore Lines  

Cornish, Hebridean & Sussex seascapes 6 April - 5 May 2019 Exhibition open weekends 10am-5pm, or by appointment The catalogue shows a small...

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